An almost 45-minute discussion with Julia Widdop of "The Seeker's Journey" about the evolution of the story structure I teach and how it relates to our life. The wonders of technology - recorded on my laptop at home. The most complete explanation of what I've learned about effective story structure and how it actually works out in the real world, from Aristotle to Joseph Campbell to The Elliott Wave, with a dissection of "Cast Away" and other material.
In writing and in life, there are no shortcuts to success. Even the lucky ones are prepared when they make it, or they don't stay successful. You have to learn the craft, and how to sell in Hollywood to make it here. Beginners don't realize that scripts are usually bought from established writers.
That is particularly true these days, when studios are concentrating on "tentpole" and franchise movies and big event films in 3D. There are ways to get there, which I teach in my courses (see the Services page).
Most beginners have to sell works that are great, not just good. Once you're established, it's easier, believe me. It's the same way with publishing, which I've done for decades. That's why people seek me out from all over the world - my reputation is that I will tell them the TRUTH.
I don't seek out workshops or go on the road with dog and pony shows. I probably lost a lot of money that way, but I chose to stay home and be available for my kids. I'm a bit weary of the Hollywood shuffle and only recommend or participate in things I fully trust.
I'll come do a workshop anywhere if someone wants to set it up, and they can take 50% if they want. I still need to write another book that explains a lot more than story, but that's another discussion altogether. My latest plan (due to a new computer I love, a Macbook Pro) is to start putting up short advice film clips on my own YouTube channel, which I'll try to get started soon.
I had the distinct pleasure of appearing with a lot of amazing speakers at Pepperdine University events, entrepreneurial weekends that were the brainchild of my genius friend Elliot McGucken. Some truly impressive people were there.
One of those people was Chris Vogler of "The Writer's Journey" fame. He told me after hearing me at the Pepperdine event pictured: "You blew my mind, man!" Apparently, my lecture was the favorite one at the Pepperdine Entrepreneurial Weekend the next year, as well.
If you're interested in my doing a workshop for your festival or writers' group, just send me an email and let's discuss it. Send your phone number if you want to talk about it. I'll discuss a LOT more than simple writing technique. I believe in giving people many extras when they bother to come hear me talk. It's a philosophy I've always had, and share with motivational legend Napoleon Hill.
People who have taken my online screenwriting course (about 10,000 last time I tried to add it up) and readers of my Complete Idiots Guide to Screenwriting (well over 50,000 at this point) know about my "Shaping Force" concept and some aspects of the Elliott Wave, that allows them to take their writing to a new level. That's for any kind of writing - articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction plays or screenplays.
I was told about the Elliott Wave by my friend Ed Hunt, whom I helped with his book on making movies. Oddly enough, I learned that when I came to Los Angeles in 1974 I lived in the house in Los Angeles where Ralph Elliott first wrote about his discoveries in the 1920s. Using the framework of the Elliot Wave I was able to integrate Aristotle's "Poetics", Shakespeare's five acts, and the "Hero's Journey" matrix of Joseph Campbell. I've found it is even applicable in life, and I regularly check my own life situations against it.
I won't try to tell you how to make a movie, though. I'll leave that to Ed Hunt and I can't recommend his seminar more highly, particularly for those making their first independent movie. I have one client who missed getting into Sundance because he didn't take my advice on his script I advised on. Get the right info and follow it, you'll be happier.
Published in the summer of 2010, Ed Hunt's huge book is like a mini-degree in moviemaking with both theory and a long workshop of exercises that will take you months to accomplish. I'm helping Ed Hunt do phone seminars that cover everything you need to know about:
- Getting a script ready
- Getting financing
- Getting ready for production
- Producing a movie
- Directing a movie
- Editing a movie
- Finding a distributor and getting paid
It's a six-hour per day, two-day phone seminar for only $199. It includes:
- An ebook
- Follow-up phone consultation with Ed Hunt
- Option to buy the print version at half-price
Order the book at the link above. For the seminar, email edwardfilmmakerhunt at that Gmail place, or get in touch with me here.
That's me speaking at a San Diego Film Festival panel about "10 Stupid Things Filmmakers Do to Mess Up Their Movies."
From left: Chris Gore, writer/director Pete "Project Greenlight" Jones, Skip Press, director Jude Pauline Eberhard, writer/producer Bo Zenga.