At Axonista we love a good story. Great storytelling is a key part of our vision for the future of interactive video. We help our customers harness the power of video for remarkable storytelling but we also love sharing stories with each other. We have a tradition that started up during the lockdown of a weekly storytelling meeting where a team member shares personal stories. It provides a way for us to get to know some of our colleagues that we have not yet met in person, due to the pandemic. Storytelling helps us relive and share memories, and learn about cultural differences and values. For World Storytelling Day we asked some of our team about their favorite storytellers.

Our favorite storytellers.

Many authors have the capability to take readers on a journey. They have a wide range of genres, tones, and settings that enables the reader to use their imagination to bring a story to life.

Hiromi Arakawa and Carl Sagan.
My favorite storytellers are Hiromi Arakawa who writes and draws her stories and Carl Sagan Scientist and a writer. I picked these storytellers because they are awesome but why I love them is because they all tell stories about deep complicated things like philosophy & science. While remaining hugely popular and critically acclaimed.

– Ian Luby, Customer Success Manager, Dublin, Ireland.

Ernest Hemingway.

So one of the things that sets Hemingway’s works apart is the way in which he writes. For me, Hemingway’s style is similar to the writing style of a journalist. So I think that Hemingway wrote the way people really talked or experienced things. I also think that he describes his characters through their actions, which helps to better reveal the characters.

– Maksim Pozdnyshev, OTT Engineer, Kazan, Russia.

Derek Landy.
My favorite storyteller is Derek Landy, an Irish author who wrote the Skulduggery Pleasant series centered around Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective and his young protégé, Valkyrie Cain. The main reason why I love Derek Landy and this series is growing up surrounded by American and UK fantasy series, having one set in Ireland with a teenaged girl as a crime-fighting, smart-talking main character was a dream come true to a young girl like me. It was hard not to feel like you could be your own protagonist after reading Skulduggery Pleasant. As Skulduggery says: “Embrace your inner lunatic. Fun times guaranteed.”

– Michela Roche, Team Assistant, Dublin, Ireland.

Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan and Jiddu Krishnamurti.
I like science fiction and everything related to space, the universe, etc. My favorite storytellers are Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan and Jiddu Krishnamurti. I like Arthur C. Clarke’s novels because they are interesting. Similar to Carl Sagan as my favorite movie is “Contact” based on his novel of the same name. When it comes to Jiddu Krishnamurti, I like his philosophy.

Darko Radisic, Software Engineer, Belgrade, Serbia.

Video games are a source of entertainment for many people. The combination of interactivity and a great plot provides a way for players to experience the story.

Neil Druckman.
My favorite storyteller is Neil Druckman, the writer of The Last of Us. He has crafted stories that have stayed with me for years after. He’s not afraid to take his audience to uncomfortable places and show the deeply flawed duality in his heroes and the humanity in his villains. The world is bleak with pockets of hope and joy. Packed with lore and interesting environmental storytelling. Everything is built around making the audience feel the desperation in the struggle to survive and the futility in putting trust and hope in humanity.

– David Mullis, Android Engineer,  Galway, Ireland.

Critical Role.
Critical Role is a group of voice actors who started playing Dungeons and Dragons for one of their birthdays and then it turned into a web series. I love D&D and can’t get enough of the Critical Role series. What I love about these people is how open they are in the games. Essentially what they are doing is creating a story live on the internet. It’s a performance where no one knows what is going to happen next and anything could happen. There is the Dungeon Master (who leads the sessions) who has plans and ideas of what could happen, but the other players could do something that completely scraps what he thought they would do. It makes for some really good moments and stories.

– Luke Mallon, Senior Software Engineer, Dublin, Ireland.

At Axonista, documentaries, shows and films are also great methods of storytelling that we love. This art of storytelling enables us to fall in love with places that we have never been, build bonds with fictional characters and appreciate the skills of the artists.

John Oliver.

My favorite storyteller is John Oliver because he is good at presenting complex arguments in a witty/funny way.

– Francesco Alisetta, Software Engineer, Barcelona, Spain.

Louis Theroux and Anthony Bourdain.
Louis Theroux is a documentary filmmaker that investigates fascinating worlds and lifestyles. I admire Louis Theroux’s ability to get others to tell their stories. His mix of empathy and humor creates an environment that allows the people he is interviewing to feel comfortable expressing their authentic selves. His documentaries have educated me on religion, addictions, sexuality and politics. I also admire Anthony Bourdain’s ability to tell a great story.  His documentaries provide me with a lens to see the link between politics, culture and food. Similar to Louis Theroux, Anthony Bourdain’s humor creates great documentaries that always have me eager for more.

– Dami Balogun, Marketing Executive, Dublin, Ireland.

Sheldon Cooper and The Little Prince.
My favorite storytellers are Sheldon Cooper and The Little Prince. Sheldon Cooper because of his rapacious intellect, fiercely analytical mind, and being honest. He has a goal in his life and works so hard to accomplish it. The Little Prince – ‘Here is my secret. It is quite simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.’

– Sandra Bartoloti, QA Engineer, Osijek, Croatia.

JRR Tolkien.
My favorite storyteller is JRR Tolkien. Tolkien included many archetypal elements in The Lord of the Rings which resonate with people all over the world regardless of culture or language. Anyone who’s ever embarked on a challenging and scary venture can relate with Frodo & Sam. They show the value in confronting the darkness within and without, the value in friendship and persistence. I like how Frodo is the opposite of a comic book superhero in many ways, but his role in the story is vital nonetheless.

– Brendan Byrne, Web Developer, Dublin, Ireland.

Hearing a story from family members is a great way to learn about family history and relive memories. Families share stories about generations and life experiences.

My dad is my favorite storyteller because he loves telling stories about ‘the old days’ when he was growing up. He knew stories about generations of the family that had passed (both tragic and happy). He also left school and started working when he was 13 so hearing about how he went about going to and from work (sometimes cycling for 45 km one way) I always found so bizarre since it wasn’t all that long ago

– Aine McNamara, Project Coordinator, County Clare, Ireland.

My favorite storytellers are strong women! I like reading/hearing about women and family members in history and politics.

Lorna Buttimer, Services Delivery Manager, Dublin, Ireland.

Here is a quote from Neil Gaiman that perfectly sums up the art of storytelling. Someone asked Neil what quote he would choose to be inscribed on the wall of a public library children’s area and he responded 

“I’m not sure I’d put a quote up, if it was me, and I had a library wall to deface. I think I’d just remind people of the power of stories, of why they exist in the first place. I’d put up the four words that anyone telling a story wants to hear. The ones that show that it’s working and that pages will be turned: “…and then what happened?” The four words that children ask, when you pause, telling them a story. The four words you hear at the end of a chapter. The four words, spoken or unspoken, that show you, as a storyteller, that people care.”

If you are interested in joining a company building the future of video commerce, and you have a passion for storytelling, please check out our careers page.