BPS 125: The Art of Story, Dialog and Character with Robert McKee


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Our guest today is the well-regarded screenwriting lecturer, story consultant, and eminent author, Robert McKee. Reputable for his globally-renowned ‘Story Seminars’ that cover the principles and styles of storytelling. McKee’s work has shaped the way Hollywood movies have been written for years. Particularly, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, written in 1997. A very resourceful guide for screenwriters. In Story, he expands on the concepts he teaches in his $450 seminars (considered a must by industry insiders), providing readers with the most comprehensive, integrated explanation of the craft of writing for the screen. More than 100 big-name screenwriters have benefitted from his seminars at one point or another. Many of you might have been introduced to McKee's work in the film Adaptation, where the great Brian Cox portrayed him. This is how I began my journey into McKee's game-changing book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. Nicolas Cage is Charlie Kaufman, a confused L.A. screenwriter overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, sexual frustration, self-loathing, and by the screenwriting ambitions of his freeloading twin brother Donald (Nicolas Cage). While struggling to adapt "The Orchid Thief," by Susan Orlean (Meryl Streep), Kaufman's life spins from pathetic to bizarre. The lives of Kaufman, Orlean's book, become strangely intertwined as each one's search for passion collides with the others'. My interview covered discussion on McKee’s latest book which is linked below, Character: The Art of Role and Cast Design for Page, Stage, and Screen. And a combination of his other books Dialogue: the Art of Verbal Action for Stage, Page, and Screen, and Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World, which are both linked in the show notes. This interview felt like a free pass to one of McKee's sold out seminars --- packed with knowledge bombs. Enjoy this conversation with Robert McKee.

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