The most relevant and enduring questions in the evolution and evaluation of screen-stories-that-matter are WHERE'S THE DRAMA? and WHY DO I CARE? Yet the creation of fresh, surprising and compelling screen narratives - with some notable exceptions - is uncommon. Why is this? And what can be done about it?
Industry and non-industry film and program makers, film audiences, students, reviewers and critics are invited to join Billy Marshall Stoneking and Stoneking Seminars in this unique, online investigation into the nature and character of dramatic, screen storytelling.
Discover and explore the world of the character-driven story, as channeled by the storyteller working as a medium. Share your opinions and ideas, your insights and 'imaginary solutions'. Spread the word!
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A feeling of superiority towards one's characters and the need to manipulate and censor them in the service of one's unmanaged fears are common symptoms of a writer's low self-esteem. At its most extreme, this lack of self-respect produces the sort of superficiality that promotes pornography, propaganda and/or sentimentality, all of which work to erode the writer's and the audience's sense of connectedness to 'other' and to the world at large.
It is commonly accepted that the turning of characters into 'types', into things that exist merely to advance or obscure the writer's agenda, sells. This is the essence of formula writing, and it has had enough successes to shut-up the most thinly motivated critics. But the success of formula also offers a warning concerning the need humans have generally to dominate and objectify the emotional content of their lives. Writers and storytellers that are able to avoid the seductiveness of the trap of formula and allow the characters to become what they have it in themselves to be, are liberators, not only of their own stories but of the experiences of those whose stories serve merely as traps.
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Inside the Writers Room with BREAKING BAD: Glen Mazzara (former WALKING DEAD showrunner) chats about the creation of what some consider the greatest television show of all time with (from left to right) creator Vince Gilligan and writers Moira Walley-Beckett, Sam Catlin, Peter Gould, Thomas Schauz, Gennifer Hutchison and George Mastras.
"If you have a leap of faith that is underpowered where you're questioning it as you leap, you don't get to the other side. You can't leap without complete and absolute willingness to die for your want."
~ Bruce Joel Rubin