“Go into the story and find the animals”

The story behind Go Into The Story…

If you’ve taken the time to click on About GITS on the home page and read The Story Behind Go Into The Story, you know that this mantra derives from a conversation I had with my then three year-old son. It went pretty much like this:

Me: Hey, Luke, I’m starting to write a new script tomorrow. And it’s funny, but no matter how many times I start a new story, I get a bit, uh, nervous about it. Got any, you know, advice for your dad?

Luke [without any hesitation]: Go into the story and find the animals.

God as my witness, that’s what my son said.

Who knows what Luke was really thinking at the time. Stupidly, I didn’t follow up with him, flummoxed as I was at his comment. I remember mulling it over and thinking that the whole idea of going into a story is precisely what a writer does, immersing themselves in a narrative universe that they create. That has always seemed just right to me, both in its simplicity and profundity, which is frankly why I named this blog Go Into Then Story.

But over time, it’s the other part in which I’ve discovered more and more layers of meaning. Start with the verb “find.” Is there any word more appropriate to describe the writing process? Here are some of its definitions:

  • “to come upon by chance”: Doesn’t that sound like brainstorming?
  • “to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort”: Doesn’t that sound like research?
  • “to discover or perceive after consideration”: Doesn’t that sound like what happens when we mull over our story?
  • “to feel or perceive”: As we go into the story, we become more and more emotionally connected to it.
  • “to become aware of, or discover”: The biggie, where as explorers we uncover a story’s hidden gems.

Then there is “the animals.” I’m almost sure what Luke was thinking about was how a children’s story so often is habituated by animals. Thus in his eyes, my task was probably pretty simple: Go find the animals. They are your characters. But what if we think about it more symbolically.

  • Animals can be both domesticated and wild. So some things we discover as we go into the story are what we might expect (domesticated). Other times we’re surprised, even shocked by ideas and thoughts that spring to mind (wild).
  • Animals are alive, organic, and intuitive beings. So are our story’s characters.
  • Throughout human history, animals have come to mean something in stories. A fox is sly and cunning. A crow in many cultures signifies death. An owl is wise. Per Jung and others who study myth and psychoanalysis, animals can serve as conduits into the mind of the dreamer.

Which reminds me of something I read about a movie director who in prepping to make a movie gave each of the actors their own animal token as something they could reference in interpreting their character.

I’m sure if you think about it, you could probably come up with other shades of meaning for the mantra.

I just know that it’s my favorite one of all because of its source.

My wish for each of you is the same sentiment as once uttered by a cherubic youngster with bright blue eyes and a look of deep intention in his face:

Go into the story… and find the animals.

What ‘animals’ will you discover in your creative journey?

For the rest of the 30 Things About Screenwriting series, go here.

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“Go into the story and find the animals” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Embrace Failure to Find Success: Jon Daly & Gil Ozeri on Becoming Comedy Performer-Writers

Here’s how a background in improv set the course for two of today’s most exciting comedic filmmakers.

The Upright Citizens Brigade is responsible for the introduction of many talented artists to the world. Of course, UCB founding member Amy Poehler is perhaps the most well-known of the improvised comedy school’s alumni, but over the years, the group has launched careers for the likes of Donald Glover, Nick Kroll, Kate McKinnon, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Adam McKay and more.

The common theme in this thread? These figures aren’t just comedians, they’re creators. Donald Glover has the critically acclaimed Atlanta, Ansari struck it big with Master of None, and let’s not even get started with the myriad of insane projects McKay has birthed unto the world. The same can now be said for both Jon Daly and Gil Ozeri, whose short film Men premiered on Super Deluxe last week. Both Daly and Ozeri credit UCB for the start of their creative careers.

“Keep making stuff, constantly make stuff until you find out who you are, and then know that who you are changes all the time, so you have to keep finding who are.”

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No Film School

Four Fundamental Ways Female Story-tellers Find Audiences

Aged nine I earned my Brownie Guide Book Lovers badge. Years later I earned a degree in English Literature but, in my twenties, I got side-tracked into the world of finance. It took me bunji-jumping off Victoria Falls Bridge to realise I wanted to get back to stories.

Fast forward to now and, at the age of (don’t be nosy, I’m not telling you), I’m the host of LBC’s Sex & Relationships show enabling others to tell their stories, as well as being a global story-teller myself: I’m the published author of four internationally best-selling books including one, Invisible Threads, recently tipped by Raindance as deserving of a film adaptation.

I’m tremendously excited about this, not least because it has partly answered a question I’ve been asking myself for a while now: how do female story-tellers find their audience? According to a report in “Variety”, in Hollywood, only 4% of film-makers are women and in “Celluloid Ceiling”, women apparently comprised just 7% of all directors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films in 2016.

From my experience writing, broadcasting and now dipping my toe into the magical world of film, here are the 4 fundamental ways for female story-tellers to stand out and grow your following:

Be Risk-ful:

You know your story’s good, right? So, own that. Act from that space. Don’t let fear of risk get in the way. Embrace risk. If you compare yourself to other film-makers you might fear you’re not good enough or that your story is too similar to someone else’s. If you stay true to your story it can never be someone else’s. And there are always more people wanting to watch movies than there are movies being made. So make yours. The reason I left finance to embrace storytelling was realising that you can’t find and grow an audience for that creative project that stays only in your head.

Be passionate:

What you’re passionate about will find its path. When you’re moved and excited by your own message, you vibrate on a frequency that draws a force greater than you into your life. On my radio show, the nights when I’m able to share a story from my own experience or when a subject makes me squeal with delight or explode with anger are the nights when the switchboard lights up and the calls flood in. Invisible Threads is making waves for two reasons: firstly because the novel is my love letter to incredible India, a country that has shaped me for the better. And secondly because I’m passionate about sharing the story of voiceless women like my character Pritti, who is kidnapped to work in a New Delhi brothel.

Be the flame:

I found my voice by developing the self-respect to know that what I’m passionate about deserves a hearing. My journey to find my voice and give it permission to be heard has made me passionate about helping others find their voice too, whether it’s clients in my therapy consulting room, callers to my radio show, or getting the story of women in India trafficked into brothels to a wider audience. By finding your voice, your audience comes with ease. If the story moves you, it will move others.

Be personal:

Gurinder Chadha’s own family history from the days of Partition fuels magnificently her latest film Viceroy’s House. But being personal doesn’t have to mean making films or writing something deeply autobiographical.

My life as an author took off once I wrote the kind of novel I wanted to read. Whether it’s in film or literature, tell the story you want to hear. From this inner source you’re being unapologetically authentic.

Tim Burton’s success famously began when was fired from Disney, for making a film they felt didn’t fit their brand. Once he had the creative freedom to make the films that were personal to him, he found his creative voice and distinctive style.

The post Four Fundamental Ways Female Story-tellers Find Audiences appeared first on Raindance.


Find out what Sony’s got for E3, live, right here


We’ve already heard from EA, Ubisoft, Xbox, and Bethesda. Now it’s time for Sony’s big E3 show.

We’re expecting some trailers or news on Spider-Man, Days Gone, God of War, and some new announcements. And probably some worthwhile indies, if previous E3 conferences are any indication. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Sony, Playstation, and E3 2017

Find out how you can be in a scene for ‘A Star Is Born’ with Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga this week

This week Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are filming concert scenes for their upcoming movie A Star Is Born at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA and you can be an extra in the crowd. According to this ticketing website, fan can cheer and applaud for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as they film scenes on the actual Coachella stages when they purchase a $ 10 ticket. All proceeds will directly to the Born This Way Foundation. You can get all the details and buy tickets here.

The post Find out how you can be in a scene for ‘A Star Is Born’ with Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga this week appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

New app wants to help you find real friends, like the kind without benefits


There are a zillion apps to help you find friends with benefits, but what if what you really want is just regular, old-fashioned new friends?

Me3 is a new app that’s launching today that’s designed to help you meet new people who share your interests, goals, and personality traits — also known as potential pals. It was created by Julian Ilson, along with cofounder Emanuel Petre, after he noticed that making friends after college was both difficult and time-consuming.

Indeed, finding new people to hang out with can be one of the hardest things about adult life. Once you’re out of the immediate social circle that school offers, it can be a challenge to forge new connections — especially when you’re always busy working. And often your posse starts to shrink as your friends move to different cities or start settling down with families. Read more…

More about Launch, Me3, Apps And Software, Lonliness, and Friends

Find out who is starring in 2017’s TV Pilots and where they are filming

It’s pilot season, that time of year when the TV networks put test episodes of next season’s potential series into production. Here’s a look at the pilots for the 2016-17 television season, who is starring in them, and which cities they are filming in. Vancouver The Crossing ABC Logline: Refugees from a war-torn country start showing up to seek asylum in an American town. Only the country these people are from is America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future. The local sheriff with a past, a federal agent and a mother in search of her missing refugee daughter drive this allegory with a surprising conspiracy at the center. Cast: Sandrine Holt Location: Vancouver Doomsday ABC Logline: Set in the aftermath of Sept. 11, when the U.S. government instituted a secret think-tank comprised of the most creative minds in science and entertainment who were tasked solely with dreaming up man made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions. The ideas they invented were so dangerous that the list was sealed and the program shut down. But when a catastrophe occurs ripped from the pages of the missing doomsday book, the team is brought back years later..

The post Find out who is starring in 2017’s TV Pilots and where they are filming appeared first on On Location Vacations.

On Location Vacations

The 19 Best Movies That You Didn’t See in 2016 – Find & Watch These

19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2016

The best of the best – that you didn’t see last year. We have returned with another set of worth watching, underseen films from 2016. Back again is our annual list of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn’t See in 2016 (find all the past lists here: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). Featured below is a hand-picked, double-checked line-up of the best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or not marketed well enough. There’s a mix of documentaries and features, all of them criminally underseen. So to give them some extra attention in the spotlight, and to support some of the finest filmmakers out there, here’s our best you didn’t see in 2016 recap. Full list below! ›››

Continue reading The 19 Best Movies That You Didn’t See in 2016 – Find & Watch These


Watch: How Producers Find Great Stories and Filmmakers to Bring Their Visions to the Screen

BAFTA’s Producing Roundtable reveals what makes producers successful and offers advice on how you can join their ranks.

Producers do many jobs, but ultimately they are responsible for bringing a film, television series, or other creative media projects to fruition. Producers find the stories, the filmmakers, and the financing, then shoulder the responsibility of making sure the project is completed to the best of everyone’s capabilities. Every project is unique, and in turn, every producer is singular in his or her approach to finding stories and creating content.

In this BAFTA Producing Roundtable video, the producers Lucan Toh (Under the Shadow), Lauren Beck (Manchester by the Sea), Pouya Shahbazian (American Honey), and Russ Krasnoff (Denial) share how they find a great story, how they find the right filmmakers for a project, and how you can set yourself up to become a great producer. If you don’t have time to watch the video, check out our takeaways below.

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No Film School

Sony and Valiant Find a Bloodshot Director

Sony and Valiant Find a Bloodshot Director

Sony and Valiant find a Bloodshot director

Almost two years ago came the announcement that Sony Pictures and Valiant Entertainment had partnered up for a cinematic universe based on the fan-favorite comic book line of characters. One of the first projects announced was Bloodshot with John Wick directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski attached. Since that time the pair have gotten very busy, and even split from being directing partners, with Stahelski bringing this year’s John Wick: Chapter 2 and the in-development Highlander reboot and Leith heading off to a different comic book adaptation as he steps behind the camera for Deadpool 2.

Now, Valiant Entertainment has revealed at their Emerald City Comic Con panel (via Bleeding Cool) that they’ve secured a new director for the adaptation with first time filmmaker Dave Wilson tapped to direct. Wilson worked with Deadpool director Tim Miller at Blur Studios, directing cinematics for video games including Halo 2Mass Effect 2, and BioShock Infinite.

Academy Award nominated writer Eric Heisserer (Arrival, The Thing) has penned the script for the film, as well as another of the Sony/Valiant features, Harbinger. It was previously reported that Sony was hoping to develop two films in the respective Bloodshot and Harbinger franchises before crossing them over with a Harbinger War feature film, though it remains to be seen if those plans remain or will in fact materialize.

Created by Kevin Van Hook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton, Bloodshot tells the story of a former soldier killed and brought back to life with technological upgrades, filling his body with billions of nanobots. This allows him to be the perfect soldier by healing from injuries, shapeshift, and even interact with technology.

The post Sony and Valiant Find a Bloodshot Director appeared first on ComingSoon.net.


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