Monomyth for Gamers

Story Department intern Rusty asked: “all over the blog, I keep reading about the Hero’s Journey. At the risk of sounding dumb, is this a book I have not yet read, or simply terminology I have yet to come across?” If he is asking, there’s probably more of you.

It’s nice how one intern is really helping the other, as Louise Tan found this great piece on The Hero’s Journey (or Monomyth) for game developers.

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Hitch on Pure Cinema

“Photographs of people talking… bares no relation to the art of the cinema.”

That quote alone makes this clip of Hitchcock wisdom worth watching.

Will your screenplay result in “photographs of people talking”?
Or will it instead be pure cinema?

Another nice one: “Tell the story visually and let the talk be part of the atmosphere.” Hitch also responds to his being ‘canonized’ by the leaders of the French avant garde.

Expect a lot more of Hitchcock goodness on Wednesdays!

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Writing Precious

Brief interview with Geoffrey Fletcher about his career leading up to Precious, which won him an Academy Award for Best adapted screenplay earlier this year. My favorite quote:

“A lot of the art we respond to comes from some degree of pain.”

Thank you to Louise Tan for selecting this clip.

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The Secret of Twilight Revealed

ScriptShadow has just published the 13 Secrets to a Great Script. Would Twilight have qualified?

Let’s have a look again at what that story really entails. Warning: we’re not being serious today.

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Exposition in Cameron’s The Abyss

Yesterday I had the enormous privilege and honor of watching James Cameron’s The Abyss on the big screen, sitting next to the movie’s concept designer Ron Cobb. The last time I saw the film in a cinema was at a preview before its release in 1986.

The scene in this clip is a trademark Cameron setup.

Remember the unobtainium – ‘floating rock’ scene in Avatar? That is a case of exposition that some love and others loathe.

This scene from The Abyss sits around about the same time into this movie and sets up an equally important concept, which will be crucial in the movie’s climax.

The scene is in my view one of the most supreme examples of exposition. It combines character and tension with essential story information.

It shows how James Cameron has always been a tremendously gifted screenwriter.


In fact – and contrary to the unobtainium scene – Ron Cobb confirmed to me that the fluid breathing system is not sci-fi but fact.  Hippy’s rat is submerged in actual fluid breathing system liquid and in this scene it is really breathing underwater. Apparently, Beany the rat survived for quite a while afterwards and died of natural causes.

(On the contrary – as you might have guessed – in the movie’s climax Ed Harris did not breathe liquid. The glass of his suit was tinted amber to suggest it was filled with the liquid.)

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