DRAMATIC STORYTELLING - the common understanding


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A power-point introduction to dramatic screen storytelling with an emphasis on the character-driven story.

Published in: Technology

DRAMATIC STORYTELLING - the common understanding

  1. 1. Dramatic StorytellingDramatic Storytelling Character, audience & tribeCharacter, audience & tribe
  2. 2. “Jung wrote that one cannot stand aloof from the images, actions and stories of the person who’s being analysed. One has to enter them. Likewise, with dramatic characters. If you don’t enter them, then your subconscious will never work. You’ll never come up with anything that the audience couldn’t have thought of better at home.” - David Mamet
  3. 3. Our raison d’etreOur raison d’etre To facilitate effective, collaborative screen-based storytelling.
  5. 5. WHAT IS A COLLABORATION?WHAT IS A COLLABORATION? A mutually respectful, creative interaction between skilled individuals working towards a common goal based on a shared understanding concerning the nature of the work in which they are engaged.
  6. 6. So what is this “shared understanding”?
  7. 7. Dramatic stories are  STRUCTURED presentations of   emotional ENERGY   generated by ACTIONS and SOUNDS   perpetrated by CHARACTERS with   INCOMPATIBLE AGENDAS (conflict, disconnection)
  8. 8. When acted upon, these conflicting agendas produce significant consequences with increasing threat to the characters’ well- being, forcing them to go on acting in the hope of re-establishing some degree of balance, safety, or control.
  10. 10. 2 things dramatic stories2 things dramatic stories do:do: they BUILD energy &they BUILD energy & they RELEASE energythey RELEASE energy
  11. 11. When they are NOT dramaticWhen they are NOT dramatic they DISSIPATE energy
  12. 12.  A story’s power = its EFFECTIVENESS in building and releasing energy (intensity) … so long as the story action is  FRESH  SURPRISING  CREDIBLE
  13. 13.  When a story stops building energy, or is unable to effectively release it, the energy dissipates, which is another way of saying the story becomes undramatic. Therefore…  Regardless of form, effective storytellers will have a passionate interest in the sources, manifestations and transformations of emotional energy, i.e.: the characters and their actions
  14. 14.  Effective learning, conducted collaboratively, is vastly enhanced when the team of storytellers includes the characters as essential members of the team.
  15. 15. • The realisation and presentation of effective dramatic characters – in screen-based storytelling - is mediated by the capture of images and sounds relevant to those characters, their world, and the dramatic questions the characters’ problems cause us – as both storyteller and audience – to ask.
  16. 16.  A screen story that is dramatic and effective produces fresh, unexpected and credible images and juxtapositions of images and sounds.
  17. 17.  The finding and capturing of fresh, unexpected and credible images and their juxtaposition is more likely to produce effective dramatic stories if the filmmaker/ storytellers are working from inside the emotional life of the characters.
  18. 18. • When the capture, selection, weighting and ordering of images and sounds is guided by the a common understanding of the emotional life of the characters, and when the creative choices that are made illuminate what is most compelling, relevant, credible and ORIGINAL to the characters, including their specific problems, plans, and objectives, image and sound cannot fail but serve the story.
  19. 19. Therefore…Therefore…  All craft questions, at least implicitly, are questions concerning the most effective way of presenting emotional energy as enacted by characters in the context of the world or worlds in which the characters are acting…. However…
  20. 20. Dramatic storytelling isDramatic storytelling is DIALOGIC…DIALOGIC…
  21. 21.  Dramatic stories are conceived and told from a point of view, in a context, to an audience. hence…  Effective dramatic storytelling relies on the storytellers’ awareness of and engagement with not only the characters, but also the AUDIENCE and the “TRIBE” (or tribes) relevant to the telling.
  22. 22. THE THREE PRIMARY RELATIONSHIPS (or vantage points) Storyteller - Character (story) relationship Storyteller - Audience relationship Storyteller - Tribe relationship