"I hope Babnik lives up to the (ahem, your) hype and pulls one out for the 'plot' team (but not at the expense of character!)."
My reply, in slightly edited form (and intended as a treatise on story and not to be misconstrued as a chastisement):
I don't mean to derive too much meaning from what likely was a quickly dashed off thought, but I would like to address the concepts the above thought brings into play because there's important territory therein.
I'm not, actually, a champion of plot, nor am I on the plot team. In my own artistic thinking I refuse to use the word, to let it be an object/aspect of a work that I consider. I root for the story team. Plot is a mechanical, story is organic - much as the mechanical and living birds in Hans Christian Anderson's The Emperor's Nightingale (http://hca.gilead.org.il/nighting.html very much worth a read).
So let's discard plot in favor of story, and then we get
"I hope Babnik lives up to the (ahem, your) hype and pulls one out for the 'story' team (but not at the expense of character!)."
That makes little sense. Story is about decisions and decisions reveal character and values and the consequences of both. Plot on the other hand is simply concerned with moving pieces forward towards an end in the name of something - instruction, delight or propaganda mostly commonly. The latter, story fervently resists as it is counter to its nature.
Story, however is not the only aspect of a piece of narrative art one needs attend to, of course. In broad terms, regarding the narration, I believe there are two facets that come into play: the aforementioned "story" and "experience" (for lack of better words). In music, one might characterize these differently, as "melody" and "texture," respectively. Story and melody are "what happen" and experience and texture are "what it felt like." It's easier to talk about story and melody, and no doubt their accessibility leads to their being discounted in the eyes of many artists as common and thus base. That, however is a mistake.
Of the two features of narrative art, I would contend an artist could attend solely to story and produce a work of brilliance (because the experience will follow, or be suggested by the story), while an artist trading only in experience would be likely to produce mere curiosities (since story isn't guaranteed to follow experience) - producing the sort of things one might expect to see in an antiseptic art museum room outfitted temporarily with nine stackable chairs rather than an art-house cinema where your shoes stick to the floor and the seat squeaks from use.
I always cringe to bring up the name, because he's become one of those people whose work is bandied about by short-in-the-tooth intellectuals, but I have watched David Lynch from the beginning favoring the experiential while having the thematic core (ie. the "truth") of his work reside in the story, to more and more moving that core to the already-favored experience realm of his work. The resulting works have lost their integrity as narrative pieces and as a result and are nearly unwatchable to anyone whose constitution doesn't yearn for the merely grotesque. Wes Anderson, too, has had this trajectory so far in his career. Originally creating moving films that cared about their characters (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore), to the last few works (The Life Acquatic, The Royal Tennenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) that seem to have little more depth than dioramas and not surprisingly care most about precious little things. In this case the grotesque is replaced with the ornamental. In both cases, it's been a transition from artist to hack. Usually, though, young "artists" who have had the blessing of not having early success before becoming grounded in their art - if they stay at the craft - become true artists. The transition moves in the other direction, from an initial fascination with the surface of things to a more fundamental respect for the characters as people who must make decisions that reveal themselves and the larger truth of the work.
So, I would reiterate, one ought always attend to story, and if one has the inclination he or she might attend to experience as well. Artists who attend to story will not have to worry about experience as it will follow, but those who put experience before story must at least pay story mind and would do well to have the truth of their work, the thematic core, tied to the story.
It's the story that the audience will remember, anyway. To artists who eschew their audiences, and wish to hazard the experience route, I'd suggest the art of diorama. They are easily displayed and stored in one's bedroom.