I thought it might be interesting for people to get a sense of what I’m doing these days. I work for the major studios as a union story analyst when such jobs are available. Most recently I was at Paramount but all of Hollywood seems shriveled by the worldwide economic slump and I haven’t had a studio gig in a year. Hello Hollywood, I’m available! Meanwhile I do consulting jobs for various companies and go around the world giving lectures and seminars on story structure and the “Hero’s Journey” pattern derived from mythology and the works of Joseph Campbell. I am working closely with the Swarovski crystal company on a number of film projects, and I consult with directors and writers on their screenplays. In recent times I had a hand in Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 B.C., Darren Aronofsky’s THE WRESTLER, Helen Hunt’s feature directing debut THEN SHE FOUND ME, and a couple of Will Smith movies, I AM LEGEND and HANCOCK. I had fun on all these projects but am particularly pleased about 10,000 B.C. where I can find scenes in the trailer that I definitely influenced. These were some of the big turning points in the movie and I’ve discovered one of the things I’m good at is identifying and magnifying the effect of these turning points. In one case, at the climax of the movie, I was insistent that the gold capstone of a pyramid had to be toppled in order to fulfill the requirements of an epic movie, and there it is toppling spectacularly in the trailer. Cool.
And I have my own projects. My book THE WRITER’S JOURNEY is in its third edition and has sold over 250,000 copies. I’m working on another book, working title BOILERPLATE, that will present essential concepts and principles for writers and creative artists. I’m writing a historical novel set in a time and place I love, and I’m scheming how to revive the manga or graphic novel that I started, RAVENSKULL. The first installment was published by Seven Seas but it didn’t perform well enough to continue the series. I don’t feel too bad; the same thing happened to Patrick O’Brian after sales of his first Aubrey/Maturin novels were disappointing, but an American publisher saw merit in the series and revived it. Ravenskull is a medieval fantasy written as a sequel to Sir Walter Scott’s IVANHOE and I had the time of my life collaborating with the artist, the talented Elmer Damaso. The next chapter is all mapped out and I’d love to see it in print. Maybe I’ll write it up in novel form.