Narrative for Movies and Television | “Fix it in script or fix it in post”
Presented by Melanie Anne Philips
Creator of StoryWeaver Story Development Software, the co-creator of the Dramatica Theory of Narrative and the Dramatica Story Structure Software.
Narrative for Movies and Television is a full-day seminar that addresses the two biggest reasons some productions fail at a structural level.
The morning session focuses on techniques to find and fix holes and inconsistencies in the structure of existing scripts, and the afternoon session provides techniques for building a strong structural foundation in development projects without hobbling the creative process.
1. Improving the structure of existing scripts
Underlying problems with the structure of an existing script can remain hidden all the way through production, emerging only in post-production, audience testing, or even after release. Often, small and simple revisions in the script can solve structural problems in advance that would be costly, impractical or even impossible to solve after production.
The morning session of the seminar provides methods for identifying the most common and most significant structural failures in an existing script, in all four principal areas of a story:
characters, plot, theme, and genre. You'll discover tried and true techniques for seeing through the subject matter to the structure beneath, much as an x-ray can see through the body to the skeleton. You'll learn how to diagnose problems with the story and what needs to be done to solve them. By the end of the morning session, you'll see scripts in a whole new way that transcends topic, style, casting, crew and budget to bring the infrastructure to the surface.
2. Build sound structure for scripts in development
The development process is often a chaotic one, sometimes involving many people, each with an opinion and each with an approach for creating a story that will become a successful motion picture or television program. Unfortunately, these opinions are just as often in conflict, leading to a Frankenstein's monster of script, stitched together from the best ideas of several people and perhaps progressively sculpted by a series of different writers.
Even if you are writing a script on your own or with a partner, the process is usually driven by the subject matter, the genre, the setting, the visuals and the opportunity to express a passionate concept or to push the technical envelope. And yet, through all this, frequently very little attention is given to the structure of the story being created.
The afternoon session of the seminar will provide a complete method for developing a script from scratch (or by adaptation) that ensures all essential structural elements are present without getting in the way of the creative spark. In fact, this method will open up whole new creative avenues and new opportunities for sidestepping stereotypes and breaking out of clichés.
Director Member (advanced) registration starts - March 7th
General Membership & Permittee Logbook Holder registration starts - March 14th
Non-Member registration starts - March 21st
DGC Member & Permittee Logbook holders cost $25, Non DGC Member cost $75
Registration cancellation until Wednesday, March 30th at 5:00pm
REGISTER by calling the Directors Guild of Canada, BC District Council, Suite 430 – 1152 Mainland Street, Vancouver (604) 688-2976 (cash or credit cards accepted).
About the Presenter
Melanie Anne Phillips is the creator of StoryWeaver Story Development Software, the co-creator of the Dramatica theory of narrative and the Dramatica Story Structure Software, and the originator of the Master Storyteller Method.
Originally working for ten years as a writer, director and editor in the Los Angeles area, for the past twenty-five years, Ms. Phillips has been a teacher of creative writing for novels and screenplays. Her approaches to story structure have been embraced by hundreds of thousands of writers and employed on motion pictures with a collective box office in the billions of dollars.
Today, Ms. Phillips focuses on teaching groups of writers through a variety of seminars and workshops and consults on productions and with individual writers to help find and refine the structure already emerging in the project.