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What is Story Screen?

Let's get some full disclosure out-of-the-way: I've been doing Story Screen in Beacon, NY now for about 2 years. I don't know if that “about” means less than two years or a little bit more, I just know that I've been doing Story Screen for a while now, and I've talked to a lot of people about it. There's always been the question that goes along with having a name like Story Screen that begs to be asked, “What is it?” Story Screen is a bunch of different things to everybody, mainly me. Every time I get asked the question, I always think about the person I'm talking to before I answer. What kinds of things do they like? What kinds of movies do I think they would enjoy, what are they into? That's what makes answering the question so odd.

Very simply put: Story Screen is a screen that tells a story.

Story Screen is a love project of what it feels like to sit in a room and have a story told to you where the light is not from a fire, but from the images projected in front of you, whether it's on LED screens, 30mm or digital projectors, anything. Story Screen is about bringing people together to watch a story, not just to listen or learn, but to watch. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity to learn and feel and possibly even grow as a person from the story you take part in. I’m not saying every person is going to have a moral breakthrough when they watch, “Transformers 6: The Silent Army,” but it is possible to learn something even from a film you don’t agree with or do not even necessarily like.

Story is defined as an account of imaginary or real people and events, told for entertainment. Story is important. To this humble little writer, it’s the most important thing that has ever and probably will ever exist. Story is who we are as a person, as people, as things. Our memories are our own stories, and we get to build upon and hold back whatever we choose, to whomever we choose, to paint a picture of it. From books to music, paintings and poetry, to sculptures and buildings and bridges and signs and roads and phones: an artist’s job is to tell a story. That’s what all art is; any medium, it’s a story. Film connects with a story through a combination of multiple mediums of art to form one cohesive display, and it is one of the most beautiful art forms that has ever existed. One of the greatest attributes that film has is that the imagination is specific. Film allows you to look at a gigantic, fantastic, wonderful world, seen through the eyes of one person: the director, bringing together hundreds to thousands, to even millions of different people, who work together to bring that one single vision to life: the story.

As Story Screen grows to showcase films from all backgrounds, genres and varieties, we hope it will become clearer to everyone (including me) just what Story Screen can be. We can’t do it by ourselves and honestly, we don’t want to. We want to construct a film culture in the Hudson Valley that can be a beacon for those to come and immerse themselves in the art form that they love. Because what’s the point of sharing some of the most wonderful, imaginative tales of our world if the light and sound of our screen only hits empty chairs in a dark room?


Mike Burdge

Founder of and programmer for Story Screen, Beacon native, lover of stories. When he isn't watching movies, you can find him reading things about people watching movies.




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