Storytelling for the Screen

January 18, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download Storytelling for the Screen...


Principles of Storytelling

Ancient Principles as Understood Today

Fear = Suspense

Pity = Empathy

Catharsis = Release

Where do Stories Take us? Stories work in the realm of our emotions

Storytellers manipulate our feelings through compelling images and sounds

Story Selection Where the emotional interests of the storyteller and audience meet

A compelling character to explore

High stakes or highly humorous situation

Where a story will yield a succession of incidents

Basic Dramatic Format A compelling “what if?” situation A character in action with a goal A series of obstacles embodied by a compelling antagonist An outcome dependent on testing the character with tough choices.

Characters Identifiable (empathetic) Believable (recognizable) Under stress Multidimensional and surprising Revealed by actions Forced to make choices

Changed by central conflict of the story

Character Growth Characters moved by events and their own choices … Rick in Casablanca goes from complacency and self-pity to heroic sacrifice

Charley in Citizen Kane goes from confidence to crushed pride

Crises, Climax and Resolution Series of conflicts and surprises

Test and prove the central premise

Has a catharsis or emotional payoff for the audience

Dialogue (Aristotle’s principle of diction) Observant and authentic

Concise, loaded words

Strong (out of the ordinary)

In comedy: ironic, playful, and revealing of character flaws

Visual Kinetics (Aristotle’s “spectacle”)

… must serve the story Scenes built around movement objects, people, camera, edits

Gestures – smiles, hugs, facial expressions, body language

Costumes, production design, visual effects Movement paced by musical score

Premise Lajos Egri called moral theme the “premise”

Romeo & Juliet: Love surpasses death Othello: Jealousy destroys love Citizen Kane: Pride leads to isolation Law & Order, CI: Intellect defies evil

Seinfeld: If every instinct you have is wrong then the opposite would have to be right

The Dramatic Center Former NBC executive Dona Cooper says a work’s “dramatic center” is linked to its pivotal moment of change

She identifies a story’s dramatic structure as the emotional rollercoaster ride of its audience.

Character Growth Character tests lead to character growth Is the character … Courageous or reckless? Confident or too cocky? Great or grandiose? In control, or inflexible? Charming or manipulative? Thrifty or miserly?

Advice from David Milch Engage a passion, and follow it Identify the locus of tension in a story Scenes come from the emotional dynamic of the story, not plot points Satisfying personal (affectionate) moments set off from the drama of incident reduce expectations for tight plotting Juxtapositions and modulations of tone weave meanings between stories Argument of theme is indirect, so the viewer will find significance in small moments

Advice from David Milch (continued) Render behavior that seems credible, get all the people right, and trust that things will connect Respect the humanity of characters and you make all stories one story The sources of good storytelling are in the heart

The pressures of the present story force the past out of the unconscious Respect the people, respect the situation, turn the screws.

Romance = high stakes When love is at stake, so is happiness Obstacles to love are great plot drivers

Nora Ephron

Obstacles to Love Age, class, or cultural differences Ambition (love vs. work) Annoying habits Envy, lust, pride, etc. Reversal of circumstances

Greed, haste, mistrust, rivalry Commitment and prior commitments

Comedy Characters often embody the “flaws of the day” Opposites attract

Rivals and relatives often deliver insult humor In farce, misunderstandings and false inferences accompany wit and physical comedy Include an unconventional character

Great Writers – a very partial list Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard) Carl Reiner (Caesar’s Hour, The Dick Van Dyke Show, David Milch (NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, Deadwood) James L. Brooks (Broadcast News, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Simpsons) Steven Bochco (NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law) Joe Keenan, Christopher Lloyd (Frasier) Larry Gelbart (Tootsie, M*A*S*H (TV), Your Show of Shows, Barbarians at the Gate) Madelyn David, Bob Carroll Jr., Jess Oppenheimer (I Love Lucy) Donald Ogden Stewart (The Philadelphia Story, Holiday) Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane, Dinner at Eight) Norman Lear (All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude) Preston Sturges (The Lady Eve, Sullivan’s Travels, Easy Living) Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Silkwood) Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, Agatha Christie: Poirot) Frank Pierson (Dog Day Afternoon, Cool Hand Luke) Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) Robert Bolt (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago) I.A.L. Diamond (Some Like it Hot, The Apartment) Julius J. and Phillip G. Epstein (Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy) Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles) Lawrence Kasdan (The Big Chill, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) Carl Foreman (High Noon, The Bride on the River Kwai) Ernest Lehman (North by Northwest, The Sweet Smell of Success) William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men) Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil) Robert Towne (Chinatown, The Last Detail) Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Manhattan) Samson Raphaelson (Trouble in Paradise, The Shop Around the Corner) Matthew Weiner (Mad Men, The Sopranos) Sally Wainwright (Scott & Bailey)


View more...


Copyright � 2017 NANOPDF Inc.