Wednesday, April 16, 2014

21st Century Fairy Tale Telling

Metalalia--Postmodern Fairy Tales for Your Tablet and Phone

It's been about 200 years since the brothers Grimm first committed pen to paper in order to preserve the folktales of their native Germany.

Since then, fairy tales have grown and contracted, been melted down and reforged to make new alloys of folk-and-fiction.  The twenty-first century has already seen impressive and stunning contributions to the fairy tale tradition, but what about the storytelling medium?  To see the written word upon paper expire is the last thing I want, as I'm sure all of you agree.  But adaptability is key to survival.  And movies just aren't cutting it as a successful fairy tale medium (see my review of Disney's latest Frozen).

Enter Metalalia, an immersive, digital fairy tale storytelling experience.

character design for The Wind-up Boy

Musician Pam Shaffer and author Alex Nicholson have defied distance to join their creative efforts over the width of the Atlantic (Steel thistles and glass mountains?  Please!).  Together, with a team of talented professionals, they've laid the foundations for an app that will bring "future-twisted fairy tales" to your fingertips with original scores, fresh imagery, and interactive elements.  This means users will be able to "tailor their experience by combining or removing artistic elements, customizing the story, and making it more accessible."

first page of The Hair-Woven Rope

A multimedia storytelling experience that harnesses organic audience-to-author interaction recreating folkloric origins in a 21st century context?  I think yes.

The Metalalia team are rallying fairy tale enthusiasts and free-spirited creative types to help them fund the launch of their app on Kickstarter.  At the time of my writing, they have already raised almost $2,000 of their $9,000 dollar goal.

If this looks like something you'd appreciate; if you feel the importance of the digital medium in preserving our sacred fairy tales and engendering new ones; or if you just want some really cool freebies, click over there and donate anything from $1 to $1,000.  Whatever you feel moved to contribute.

If you're at all like me, they'll have you at "digital illuminated manuscript" and "William Blake."


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