In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, alone in the taiga and cut off from all human contact, unaware that WWII had happened. Their story is incredible.
This is one of those stories where 1+1=3. A family, still angry at the policies of Peter the Great, flee Bolshevik persecution into the wilderness. They cling to survival, and children grow up unaware of all aspects of civilization except what can be gleaned from a crumbling Bible. What happens next is amazing, tragic and bittersweet.
In 1999, the staff of This American Life invited cartoonist Jessica Abel to spend several weeks with them. The result was Radio: An Illustrated Guide (public library), in which Abel peeks inside the hood of the beloved radio show to reveal what makes it hum and teach us how “to lift Radio to its true potential…”
sometimes the simplest ideas can yield the most amazing results.
David Lynch presents INTERVIEW PROJECT, a 121 part documentary series which showcases interviews with ordinary people discussing their lives. 20,000 miles criss-crossing the United States over a 70-day stretch, filmmakers Austin Lynch and Jason S. sidle up to strangers and ask them piercing questions like “What were your dreams as a child?” and “When did you first experience death?”
In a filmed introduction to Interview Project, producer David Lynch (Austin’s father) says: “There was no plan, really. The (filmmaking) team found people as they were driving along the roads, going into bars, different locations…. There they were. The people told their stories.”
This series is an enduring example that there are amazing stories in each person you meet.
The Laugh How a unique laugh can make someone’s day better. Produced by Sean Callahan
Ira Glass of “This American Life” talks about the building blocks of a great story.
Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
Say yes to everything. I have a lot of trouble saying no, to an pathological degree — whether to projects or to interviews or to friends. As a result, I attempt a lot and even if most of it fails, I’ve still done something.
Assume nobody else has any idea what they’re doing either. A lot of people refuse to try something because they feel they don’t know enough about it or they assume other people must have already tried everything they could have thought of. Well, few people really have any idea how to do things right and even fewer are to try new things, so usually if you give your best shot at something you’ll do pretty well.
The Future of Stories
“A great story is like a great melody: it announces its inevitable greatness and you recognize it the first time you hear it. Most stories aren’t that. They do not announce their obvious greatness. 60% are in the limbo region where they might GET great or they might flop, and the only way to figure it out is to start making the story. So you launch in, hoping for that winning combination of great moments, charm, funny, and X factor.
As a result, we go through tons of stories on our way to the few that end up on the air. It’s like harnessing luck as an industrial product. You want to get hit by lightning, so you have to wander around for a long time in the rain.”
|—||Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life, in a Reddit Ask Me Anything|