DOCTOR STRANGE may have mystical superpowers, but still can be felled by one small act: a lame First Act. Hollywood producers are wrong when they tell screenwriters that the lead must be likable. No, not necessary. However, they must be relatable, the audience must be able to empathize. True, Dr. Stephen Strange is a flawed character, but without any explanation why he should be forgiven for acting like such an arrogant prick. He just is. But wait, isn't IRON MAN a insufferab
"The audience will not undergo anything the protagonist does not undergo. For the journey is the same, and the audience members understand themselves to be the protagonist—as, indeed, for the length of the evening they are, for the drama is their dream, put forward by their representative, the dramatist; and we know in our dreams each character stands for the dreamer." So proclaims David Mamet in his book, Theater, and, on this occasion, I agree with the dogmatic/problematic
Dalton Trumbo was a champion of the "little guy." You can hear his advocacy in movies such as SPARTACUS, PAPILLON and THE BRAVE ONE. Of course, Dalton's voice rings clearer in his books. I just re-read Johnny Got His Gun, a book which maintains its potency and import now, almost 75 years after its initial publication. The story of young WWI vet who loses his arms, legs, nose, mouth, sight and hearing in service of his country remains devastating. It tempts you to believe the
Slap Me Five!
A good story is like a Russian nesting doll. Initially, you are drawn to it by its trappings, the plot, the pictures, the promise. Then, you open it and discover characters and truths both unexpected and exhilarating, even if heart-rending. The seemingly smallest buried inside the larger tale is the actual core. This is the essence, this is the significance. Watch this well-crafted short doc from ESPN and director Michael Jacobs about the origins of the High Five; you'll disc
What's the Big Idea? Who knows... but I better have one for my presentation at the Walla Walla Public Library this Friday night. If you're in the neighborhood, won't you please join me for my talk, SAVE AMERICA: Make Stories Great Again, part of the Library's ongoing Big ideas series, on November 4th, 2016 at 7pm. Here, let the Walla Walla Union Bulletin sway you. #WallaWalla #lecture #3actstructure #storyfinding