Thursday, December 12, 2013

Film Night at the Willamette Writers House

WW office manager Bill Johnson hosts a movie night at the Cynthia Whitcomb Writing house on Friday, December 20th, at 7 pm. He'll show and break down scene by scene the movie Memento. Bill breaks down popular films as a way to teach story structure. The evening would be a good resource for anyone entering a script in FilmLab, or writing a screenplay or novel.

Bill breaks down other movies, books, and plays at his website at Bill is also the author of A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling.

The event is free, but a $5 donation is requested.

Film Notes:

Memento offers a great example of how to introduce both a story's promise and its plot. Both are conveyed in the opening moments of the film when a character about to die tells the story's main character, "You know who were; you don't know who you are. If you want to know who you are, go look in the basement."

This introduces the main character's central issue, identity, and the main thrust of the plot, what will he find in the basement?

To get to the answers, the story moves back in time, but in terms of story structure, it moves forward toward answering those questions.

I've found that struggling writers introduce some kind of plot question, but often fail to introduce a story's promise. This failure means there's nothing that cues readers/viewers to what a story is about. This forces readers to memorize details until they have an understanding of the direction a story is going. It makes a story work, not the pleasure one gets from a film like Memento that transports its audience.

Friday, December 20, 2013

7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

Willamette Writers Writing House