Sunday, 16 November 2008

968 - Whitley - The Movie (1)

Robert McKee delivers a seminar about Story. His homepage states that some 50,000 screenwriters, actors, directors, novelists and journalists have attended in the 15 years it has been running. Former students have written WALL-E, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Enchanted, Scrubs; have won 27 Academy Awards and 141 Emmys. You get the picture.

His book (from which I've been quoting already) expands on the thesis of the seminar. What you realise, pretty soon, is that it is not just about screenwriting - it's about the ways we make sense of life. This from his website:
in ALL creative work, everything works in the shadow of classic story design.

So if community development is creative, then it is story. If taking reponsibility for your life is creative, then it is story.

Religions realise this - traditional Christianity is the invitation to participate in a massive story arc, one of cosmological as well as personal scope. So too Islam, Hinduism, a myriad others. Though it would be a truism to say that, realising this, we live in a post-religious age.

Still, we cannot avoid seeing life in terms of story. The regeneration of Whitley Bay is a story. Here's a pitch: tiny seaside town blossoms as pleasure resort, but internal and external pressures conspire to see it fade. Will it succomb? When all seems lost, it rediscovers its heart. Belief returns. A newer, braver, wiser Whitley rises.

Robert McKee charts twenty five movie genres - twenty five basic pitches: love story; horror film; modern epic; western; war genre; the coming-of-age story; redemption plot; punitive plot; comedy; biography; animation; fourteen others. It'd be very fun to pitch 'Whitley - The Movie' in terms of each of these. Then, having selected a pitch, to make the movie by living it.

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