Posts Tagged ‘Breaking Bad’

On my own doorstep

January 15, 2015

Viking horn

For some reason, most of my workshops these days are given far from home.  In 2014, for example, I presented my 2-3 day “Essence of Storytelling” masterclass in Stockholm, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bari in southern Italy, St. Louis and New York City, but not for years in my home turf of Los Angeles/Hollywood.  I have been hoping for a chance to unfurl my still-evolving ideas about the power of storytelling before a home-town audience, and the opportunity has come at last.  On Jan. 24 and 25, 2015 I will present the “Essence of Storytelling” at the Hyatt Concourse Hotel at 6225 W. Century Blvd. Los Angeles 90045, on the corner of Century and Sepulveda. (Note that the venue has changed.)
If you live in or near the Los Angeles area, this is a rare chance to hear me explore the ancient roots of story and the exciting modern developments of storytelling for TV, movies, novels, games and the Internet, without having to travel to Sweden.

Details about the event are at!course-outlines/ccov.


I’ll be covering my fundamental concepts of the Hero’s Journey and the Archetypes, of course, but will also dive into new territory.   I explore the essential operations that must be performed to make an emotional connection with the audience.  I look at the latest discoveries in science about how stories move us so deeply, through the brain and the organs of the body.  I share my beliefs about how stories teach lessons through want and need, and how polarity, catharsis, conflict and intention can all work together like beautiful music to create stories with a ring of psychological truth.  I demonstrate how these ideas have been applied to make successful, emotionally satisfying movies and TV shows.

My recent travels have expanded my thinking quite a bit and I will gladly share with my L.A. audience what I have learned.  For example I work in a program (The Puglia Experience) in the southern Italian region of Puglia that concentrated this year on developing TV and Internet series that could be shot in that beautiful and culturally diverse region.

My career in Hollywood has been almost entirely in feature film development, but like everyone else I am fascinated and thrilled by the recent flood of new energy and potential in TV formats.  By studying successful shows such as Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Vikings, etc. I began to understand some of the design principles that the creators of those shows are employing, and I had a chance to apply those principles to sixteen long-form storylines being developed by the workshop participants.  The lessons I learned from that work will be part of the 2-day L.A. Masterclass.

So if you’re within range of Hollywood or the LA area, come in for a complete course in what makes stories tick and how we can craft new models for an exciting future.