At MPRM Communications, we are privileged to work with some amazing storytellers, from independent filmmakers to entrepreneurs who set out to change the world. But just like the proverbial shoemaker’s children who go without shoes, they often need help in crafting their own stories. Because it is our business, we are also keen observers of other practitioners of the art of storytelling, whether in service of an issue, business, promotion or simply to entertain. What we plan to undertake here is a weekly look at the different ways storytelling can be used from transporting audiences to motivating change to building a business or creating awareness.
A good “happily ever after” ending is something we can all agree is needed as this strange year comes to a close. It may also explain why we gravitate towards stories that we’ve already read, or films and television shows we watch repeatedly every holiday season. Comfort viewing, like comfort food, comes from familiarity — knowing how it will all turn out.
It’s why Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix dish up a bounty of Christmas love; it’s why Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life and Nutcracker Suite are holiday perennials. In addition to familiarity, they have also managed to remain relevant by constantly reinventing themselves. The Christmas love story made news this year for inclusion of LGBTQ couples. In addition to its annual telecast on NBC, It’s A Wonderful Life will serve as the basis for a fundraising campaign on behalf of The Ed Asner Family Center with Pete Davidson in the role of George Bailey. In Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, a documentary airing on Netflix that MPRM is promoting, Debbie Allen talks about creating a production that is a reflection of the dancers and audiences she is serving at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA). Besides being an introduction to ballet for young fans, the Nutcracker is also an important fundraiser for companies big and small, something we learned when launching the Los Angeles Ballet. This year there are still many virtual productions.
A Christmas Carol has been told and retold, with actors ranging from Michael Caine, George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, Bill Murray and Jim Carrey to Susan Lucci and Cicely Tyson. There have been numerous animated versions as well, featuring The Flintstones, Mickey Mouse, Mr. Magoo and Bugs Bunny, among others.
Every year sees the introduction of a few new holiday films, some of which become annual viewing and others that have nothing to do with the holidays but were released because so many people were going to the movies. Associated Press shares a bounty of movies available to light up a rather bleak year. Like Los Angeles Times critics Justin Chang and Glenn Whipp, we will continue to debate love/hate movies like Love Actually and genuine classics that stand the test of time like Meet Me in St. Louis.
While we sadly won’t be going out to the movies this year, there will be much to watch according to The Wall Street Journal — everything from Wonder Woman to Mank and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It’s something that all movie fans can be grateful for.