Legendary documentary Ken Burns says that the best stories are about "One plus one equals three." A good story is more than simply the sum of its parts. There is something beyond the words and the data and the images. In this short film below by Tom Mason and Sarah Klein, Ken Burns givens a very candid and brief look into what he thinks story is all about. There is not just one way — one formula if you will — for describing what good story and good storytelling is. It's complicated and professional storytellers will give you different answers. However, there is a lot of good stuff in this very short film that should inspire you to think deeper about your own storytelling ideas and techniques in your own work. For example, Burns touches on the idea of truth in documentary storytelling. But as he says, there are many truths. This is a sentiment echoed by the work of Robert Mckee as well who has said “What happens is fact, not truth. Truth is what we think about what happens.” The film itself is a good example of what is possible with just first-person interview footage and positive manipulation of the material.
"We all think that an exception is going to be made in our case and we're going to live forever. Being a human is actually arriving at the understanding that that's not going to be. Story is there to remind us that it's just OK." — Ken Burns