Story Gatherings | Nashville, Tennessee

STORY, Casey Neistat, and the Tension of Maybe

Kellyn Robison
Written by Kellyn Robison

STORY, Casey Neistat, and the Tension of Maybe

“To earn our attention, there needs to be tension.”

That was the title of a blog post by Seth Godin a couple of weeks ago, and I still find myself thinking about the reality of those words.

STORY 2016 is going to be absolutely incredible, but does that mean that it will succeed? Not necessarily. We don’t really know if it will or not…quite yet.

Seth said that the tension is in “how it might turn out…the tension of possibility. The tension of change.”

He continued, “Telegrams used to charge by the word. Say what you need to say, there you go. But stories…stories work because we’re not sure. We’re half there, half not. This might work. This might not work. The tension of maybe.”

How does this idea apply to your current work, and the stories that you tell?

For us, as a tribe, as a conference…we are right in the middle of the tension of maybe. Less than two months until we find out…I hope you’ll join us in discovering how the tension of possibility pans out.

What isn’t a maybe is the absolute fact that there are going to be some incredible people sitting in a beautiful venue, learning from both each other and a pretty unbelievable lineup of presenters.

One of the names everyone has been buzzing about is Casey Neistat, who’s leading the way in this week’s list of creative inspiration. We can’t wait to see what Casey presents for us at STORY this year. He’ll be doing a 30 minute keynote, followed by an audience Q&A. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you might want to go ahead and get you and your team registered while tickets are still available.

His Videos

Right now, some of you are thinking, “I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR FROM CASEY NEISTAT!”  The rest of you are thinking, “Who is this Casey Neistat guy??” After winning filmmaking awards with a show on HBO, Casey became a YouTuber before that was even a thing. Now he has almost 4 MILLION YouTube subscribers. This list of inspiration would be incomplete without a link to Casey’s channel. If you haven’t ever experienced his uniqueness as a modern storyteller, start there. If you find yourself overwhelmed, this is one of my personal favorites.

Behind the Scenes

Not all filmmakers have respected Casey’s filmmaking style, but there’s no denying his success as a storyteller, or his work ethic. Here’s a great video that hit the internet this week about what you don’t see in Casey’s videos.

Instagram v Snapchat

Unless you’ve been off the grid this last week, you’ve probably heard about some of the Instagram “Stories” vs. Snapchat drama. If you’re a user of both platforms, you might enjoy this video titled, “Instagram MURDERS Snapchat”.

Stranger Things

Regarding filmmaking, by now you’ve either watched or heard plenty about “Stranger Things”. The Netflix mini-series has captivated and been praised by even the most critical of storytellers. Check out this Rolling Stone article where creators Matt and Ross Duffer explain how they made one of the most buzzed-about shows of the summer.

The Little Prince

While you’re over on Netflix, don’t miss “The Little Prince”. STORY 2016’s  theme revolves around the role of imagination in the creative process. The trailer for “The Little Prince” shows what can happen when you bring your imagination to life. If you aren’t convinced, here’s a great Huffington Post article that includes the trailer talking about why you should see this classic book adaptation, regardless of how old you are.


Also on the topic of child-like imagination, we love this awe-inspiring dance from choreographer Travis Wall that appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance” recently.

In closing, I should mention that it’s purely a coincidence that this week’s list of links point to either youtube videos on the internet, or film projects that are exclusively available via an internet streaming service. But I think it tells us something about how storytelling industries are being disrupted, and how the landscape is constantly changing.

That said, the basics of narrative haven’t changed, and continue to stand the test of time. STORY is a great place to learn from both legends, and never-before-heard-of innovators who will someday be considered legends.

It’s an exciting time to be a storyteller. In the words of Erwin McManus:

“We stand at a precipice in human history. The future awaits those with the courage to create it.”

What will we create? Will it work? Maybe, maybe not. There lies the tension, and that’s why others are watching. Because of the tension of possibility. The tension of change.

The tension of…maybe.

Kellyn Robison
Kellyn Robison

VP of Everything at Istoria Collective.