INTRO BY JENNIFER
- Email JD Schramm to meet with him for one hour
o if you would like his help extensively starting to build out story from data, meet at least 2 weeks in advance. If already have story and data then it is okay to meet for an hour about one week beforehand.
o Jennifer’s suggestion: to write down sub-lots before meet with JD (i.e. subplot can add to main plot)
2) Something to talk about
3) Two discrete groups (ideal viral videos will speak to two discrete groups):
o Start writing down one- liners for your pod
o Can email Jennifer your pods’ one liners to be passed on to Oren, JD, etc.
- Building Your Personal Brand: class Jennifer will teach next semester.
How to Tell a Story Presentation
- Little stories should add up to one big story
- Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional --> great framework that make a story stick
- Think about arc
o Story climax that brings about absolute, irreversible change
o Story structure is critical in arousing emotions
- A silhouette factor
o Let’s you know what to cut from a program by judging the number of people that walk out of the show/room.
- Inciting incidence: characters at one point of story where they decide to take an action that will change the rest of their lives
o In Casablanca: 34 minutes into the film the (page 15 of the script).This is unusually late into the story.
o Ilsa walks in, Rick can no longer deny his past.
- Main story in Casablanca: Rick makes a decision to send Laslo and Ilsa to America after Ilsa says“I cannot decide. You decide for us”
- Subplot: often simplified plot; includes introduction, escalation, climax, resolution, but edits out the main part
o All 5 subplots reinforce the main plot in the film
o Can edit out main elements of the story arc, i.e. important actions can happen off-the screen
- Plot: series of choices and instances that occur in order
o Beginning, escalation and end --> characters come out as fundamentally different human beings
o In the beginning: Rick is neutral; at the end he completely changes: sends Ilsa off with Laslo, kills German general
- “If your characters don’t change, you’ve told no story, you’ve related the incidents.”
- Start wide, cull many stories before cutting
o Interweave the many stories you come up with, and then boil down to the essence of each; that is, make sure the final product reveals the most important part of each character
o Everything else is superfluous or additive material
o Keep asking yourself: is this superfluous?
- Sometimes it is hard to cut something yourself, this is why it is good to have other people edit and cut for you
- Words: tiny change (3 words can change a character i.e. in “A Bug’s Life”)
- Know when to shut up
o Brevity makes the audience feel respected
o Brevity mystifies
- If you find your sub-plot becoming more important that your main plot, drop your main plot and elevate your subplot
“The power of one-liners”
- One-liners: lines communicate the souls of characters very efficiently – they are effective, terse. i.e. “Here’s looking at you kid” (there is weight in the context of the film)
o The craft of screenwriting is to communicate the feelings of the characters obtusely (around the issue).
o Screenwriters use words only to add to what the audience sees on the screen. There is no need to describe what the audience already saw.
- Documentary film-maker
- Go into film with an idea, shoot many, many stories and then cut the extraneous materials
- Commitment, passion and food and 3 people using chocolate to change the world.
- Characters: the more specific information that is given about a given character, the more general that character can become
o Make sure that you are not coming across in a way that you couldn’t predict
o Notes do matter when audience interprets something differently from what you intended.
o Always look before the note/comment was given.
- “Own your audience.”
- “The only time audience does not lie is when they are watching a movie.”
o Watch the audience watch your film / audio/visual work.
- Be careful about receiving feedback from the audience.
o There needs to be one person and/or one core group that has the vision for the project. You take all the notes and zero in only on the ones that make sense for your story.
- Practice distancing yourself from your project.
PODS THAT TELL STORY
- Story of Wendel – one face among many
o Feedback: powerful and dangerous thing to silence a room
o Which way will take the story? It starts down, if go up then story will be one directional. If down, it is a bit sad because we already start low.
o One liner intro was great: we went to a soup kitchen
o Physically be consistent with your story – i.e. physically do not talk. i.e. gag yourself and end PPT with “can we hear him?” --> engage the audience.
o You put audience into an emotional state, now make the audience take action.
- Viny Dotolo
o Opened school in Harlem to give students a chance
o Be careful if toggle between various versions mediums If have audio/video going in the background when you are talking, be very engaging
o Do not comment about your own story, just tell the story. Let audience come to that conclusion yourself; this respects the audience.
o Know your audience.
o Hand out information at the end.
o Can tell multiple stories: i.e. of both Vinny and the kids.
3 story telling tips:
- “A good story, well told.”
o A good story is not enough. It must be well told.
- “What happens is fact, not truth”
o Truth is what we think about what happens.
- “A story must somehow express everything you left out.”
o Let audience make inferences.