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Story telling

In the media business we think about ‘Story’ all the time – with a capital S. It’s also the title of a massive tome by Robert McKee who is one of the gurus of Story World. They gabble away in a kind of vernacular – ‘beats’ and ‘acts’ and what not. Did the writers of ‘Casablanca’ really ever think in these terms? The BBC once sent myself and a few colleagues to attend a Robert McKee Weekend – a gruelling experience that culminated in a stop/start screening of ‘Casablanca’. McKee never stops talking. No one can ask a question. It is a paradox that McKee is one of the gods of the Story teaching circuit and yet when was the last time you caught a great movie movie with his name in the writer’s slot? There is a mass of material online offering both advice about how to write a screenplay and tickings off for not knowing the rules. Beats, acts, protagonists… and so it goes on. Anyone could write one of these essays. This barrage of dogma is a powerful sign that it’s ¬†all wrong. I think it is. There isn’t one ‘perfect’ way to construct a narrative – […]
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