15 February 2007

A week and a half ago, I finally got around to watching An Inconvenient Truth. I expected Al Gore's little global warming movie to be, at best, an entertaining piece of propaganda. At worst, I thought, it will be the "PBS" version of "The Day After Tomorrow."

It was neither. I am struck by two things: 1) How passionate Al Gore is about this (and further, how humanizing it is to see him animated and interested in something) and 2) how compelling Gore's argument is.

If this movie had come out before the election, he would've won by a considerable majority. No doubt about it. Presidential politics has a way of washing out a candidate's personality and making them almost dead-stump-like. This is why it's easy for a charismatic guy like Reagan or Clinton to ride in and win two terms like there's nothing to it. Remember Bob Dole? Mr. Wet Paint. As soon as he lost his bid, and the pressure was off, he grew a personality. Same with Kerry. Same with Gore. In the arena of Global Warming, dealing with environmental issues, Gore has charisma.

And he doesn't just show slides, he builds a narrative.

I've stumbled upon a few "PowerPoint" "experts" on the web. Seth Godin has some good things to say. (And here's his free eBook.)

What's most interesting to me is the concept of PowerPoint as a form of theatre. Not doing a PowerPoint presentation on theatre, mind you, but presenting PowerPoint as theatre. It would be fun to create a PowerPoint play, complete with the PowerPoint slides and everything.

One correlation I can think of is this guy who does traditional slide shows as theatre. He uses found slides, and spins a narrative.

Another correlation is planetarium shows. Pamela took me to Griffith Observatory for my birthday, and the show under the big dome was certainly theatrical, complete with a storyteller who cooed her lines and wandered around with a glowing orb as her light source.

Anyone aware of PowerPoint Theatre? Or theatrically presented slide shows? Anything similar?

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