Once upon a time in ATPM land

~ By Gunther Tijsmans

From a little boy of 4 years old who is enchanted by the story of Little Red Riding Hood to a grandparent of 70 who is reading an ordinary newspaper. Everyone loves stories and everyone comes into contact with stories each and every day. This is what project 3 is all about: the fundamentals of storytelling.

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A Toverland Case

I was 15 years old when I began to make scenarios, movies and plays. I created for example, a script for a feature film, a 100 minute show, and a swan song. With my creative background this project about storytelling made me feel right at home. It goes without saying that also with this project, we worked for a commissioner. I only may spoil that I, one of the ATPM students, worked for Attractiepark Toverland. I signed a non-disclosure agreement, therefore I unfortunately cannot give more exciting news about what I have done. But I would say: buckle up, folks, because what comes next will most certainly peak your interest!

The power of difference

Firstly, how fun it is to have a guest lecture from Olaf Vugts? It was interesting and inspiring for students and for teachers. Olaf Vugts is the creative director in the Efteling. Storytelling is particularly important for his job. Think of the theatre performance CARO which you can currently experience in the Efteling, the new fairy tale coming in 2019, or the new attractions scheduled for 2020 and 2021 …

Furthermore, he told us to be ourselves and that when you are good at something, make it better: the power of difference. The interactive moments combined with the best humour made the ninety minutes in class wonderful, time really flew by. Above all, I remember that everything has its own story. A pen, or a shoe (imagine all the places they have been), or a hairbrush or the computer I wrote this blogpost with.

Besides this, I want to briefly share an amusing story which really happened in class. There was this girl from Romania, who never had the chance to visit the Efteling! Believe it or not, she got two free tickets from Olaf to enjoy the world of wonders. Cool, no? All in all, Olaf’s lecture was a roller coaster ride through the lands of imagination.

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Storytelling in zoos

Artis, Antwerp Zoo, Pairi Daiza, Wildlands Zoo Emmen. What do they have in common? Obviously they are classified as zoos, but in fact they also apply storytelling. Of course not like Efteling or Walt Disney World but in a different way. Zoos become aware of the fact that visitors want to experience more than just ‘looking at animals’. That was also my topic for the essay I had to write for project 3. The theory seen in class has to be applied in the essay and not in an exam like the other projects. I personally had more fun writing the essay than learning for the exam of project 1 or 2. But everything I do in this track is wonderful whether it is an essay, exam or a report. To conclude, I especially liked the lectures about storytelling because the teachers are so passionate and they know so much about this industry.

If this blogpost had made you curious about storytelling, if you would like to learn more about how it is applied (for example: in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), if you are eager to use your imagination for creating new concepts for a commissioner: do not hesitate and apply immediately for the ATPM track at www.buas.nl and discover ATPM!

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