Personal | Blair Witch Project. But for Instagram Stories.
Social Media Storytelling // Narrative Design
In the fall of 2020, I got completely caught up in Natalie B. Compton's Instagram story about staying at a haunted house and mused openly that this format would work great for episodic storytelling. Which made me curious about narrative on social platforms … so I made an experiment in short format storytelling for Halloween: I adapted the 90’s “found footage” horror movie classic Blair Witch Project to Instagram Stories.
First things first - crop the video down from its original 1.85 aspect ratio format to vertical.
Here’s what I learned: Stories is a wildly unique medium that bullied any attempt to deny it. Keeping my shots to 15 seconds was paramount - any time I went over it had to be for a really good reason otherwise it felt clunky. Format dictates style. So I had to keep the dialogue snappy.
The contextual storytelling that can be done with supertitles, stickers, polls, countdowns, emojis et al are just as powerful as anything that’s happening on screen. On a vertical stories format/social platform, its absolutely part of the rigor of the storytelling. I felt that posts/shots that DON’T have that additional layer are speaking volumes and demanding attention in a way that is wildly different but just as intentional as having them.
Or if you want an uninterrupted viewing experience, here it is, in all 44 minutes of it's indolent glory (the original was 81 minutes).