Stories worth watching … #1

“Year after year, power cuts threatened the Yang’s orchid farm. Now is their last chance to save this fragile business. But it has been a long, cold winter in Guangdong…”

This is the brief, seducing intro to a very touching story about Mr. Yang and his family who are in the business of selling orchids in the Chinese province of Guangdong. The orchid selling season is running to its peak around Chinese Near year when the story begins. Normally, that’s a very exciting and promising time of the year. However, Mr. Yang is as nervous as never before, for him it’s an all-or-nothing year. In past seasons, his fragile flowers have suffered from frequent blackouts – and no power means no delicately heated greenhouses, means no flourishing orchids, and means no income for the Yang’s. This season is the very decisive one for the family and its business …

If you want to find out how the drama ends and what all of this has to do with a German engineering company, you should follow my recommendation and enjoy these six minutes of very emotional and intelligently story called “The Last Flower”, told by award-winning US documentary filmmaker Zac Murphy for the digital storytelling magazine “/answers”:

Some background on “/answers”: In 2010, while other B2B companies were still dreaming the twentieth-century broadcasting Muezzin’s dream, Siemens had the courage to experiment with the evil twin called “loss of control”. They asked renowned documentary filmmakers, journalists and authors from around the world to take their personal look at people who benefit from Siemens technology, mostly unknowingly. Every author is asked to find true heroes for a true, authentic, un-staged story, people who have or have had a major challenge in their lives which they manage(d) to overcome. The authors produce a piece of authentic story (not always necessarily film) in their own style and tone of voice, no branding, no company control of the creative process or outcome. I still think that’s pretty brave and remarkable.

/answers has been the experimental and at the same time very thought-through and dedicated top of my business story list for a very long period of time. The magazine was launched in 2011 at http://www.youtube.com/answers and http://www.facebook.com/answersmag and includes two new stories every month and lots of interesting background info and behind-the-scenes outtakes on the Facebook page. Worth watching and following!

BUT: Ever since, the business (2C or 2B, a very questionable differentiation anyway) communications market has moved deeper into the sea of stories and invested more time, effort and money into this social media currency – which is great and raises hope. Have a great example from Old Spice up my sleeve for the next post …

Stay posted, because: The story goes on … here … soon.

2 thoughts on “Stories worth watching … #1

  1. Thank you so much posting the project! I think it’s rare to take the risks you did and trust a bunch of crazy filmmakers to go and find stories and shoot them unscripted. So often we spend time trying to compose shots, construct those scenes, and shoot lean. It was such a pleasure to be able to focus on relationships, building trust, and living with the lives that drive these stories. These projects bring me back to why I started telling stories in the first place. Thanks for the opportunity and for giving me the space to take risks!

    Zac Murphy

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    • zac, this definately needed to be THE first “stories worth watching” example for me. not because it’s /answers, but because it’s simply a great story, one of our best – and still brings tears to my eyes at the end. thanks for commenting – and following…;) tobias

      Like

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