5 years ago

Power of Metaphor

Great filmmakers use techniques to engage and inspire an audience on an unconscious, psychological level.

The Power of Metaphor

Making a mainstream film that is culturally resonant, critically acclaimed and financially successful is a rare achievement, yet some filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan and David Fincher consistently tell stories that tick all of those boxes. Under the surface of their most celebrated films lies a hidden architecture that operates on an unconscious level. Mik Hill’s talk is designed to illuminate the techniques that great storytellers use to engage a global audience on a deep and meaningful level through psychological metaphor.

Mike Hill is a Multi-Disciplinary designer living and working in the in Los Angeles area. He is a co-founder of the Berlin based, Emmy award winning Karakter Design Studio. Mike designs worlds for the entertainment industry, creating concepts and designs for film, TV and video games. Mike has designed for Warner Brother’s Blade Runner 2049, HBO’s Game of Thrones, as well as for video games such as the best-selling Call of Duty series and Sony’s award-winning Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Mike’s works have been published in Expose 3: The Finest Digital Art in the Known Universe and the celebrated Spectrum series. He has also contributed to magazines such as Popular Mechanics and 3D World and is a regular lecturer at events such as Industry Workshops in London and Portugal’s Trojan Horse was a Unicorn. He currently works as a design consultant in the Los Angeles film industry.

Mike’s major interest is in the psychology of storytelling and how an understanding of mythology and psychology is crucial to understanding how great stories work.

To explain the techniques that great filmmakers use to engage and inspire an audience on an unconscious, psychological level.

In 2018 Mike was invited by the team at CAMP festival in Calgary to come and talk about a subject of his choice. The audience was a mix of different creatives so Mike decided to talk about the universal subject of metaphor – and how masters of storytelling use metaphor to reach us on a deeply psychological level. You can find the talk (divided into 3 digestible chunks) here:

Four Things That You Will Learn
The importance of communicating on multiple levels
The significance of metaphor in understanding great visual storytelling
How psychology can help to explain the resonance of culturally significant movies
How great filmmakers embed hidden, unconscious themes and ideas in their stories

Part 1 of a lecture. Analysis of the psychological principles embedded in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight and the mythological aspects of Batman and The Joker.

Part 2 of a lecture. Mike Hill demonstrates the psychological significance of mythological stories through Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth.

Part 3 of a lecture. Mike Hill describes the archetypal basis of Jurassic Park’s success – and why Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom makes the Cookie Monster really sad.