News | 2006 | No Need for Shame

Adaptation Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee

Last week I took a week-long intensive screenwriting course at a local university. One of the films on the curriculum was Adaptation, starring Nicholas Cage, Merryl Streep, and Chris Cooper. In the film, some of the characters go to Robert McKee's story seminar and read his book, Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. Now, I've read McKee's book this year and got quite a lot out of it, but in the film, one of the characters derides McKee's work. Seeing the film made me wonder if I should be embarassed to have liked it--I didn't know which way the prof was going to go with it. Luckily, she supported the work. She may not have always agreed with McKee--which is completely cool--but at least she didn't laugh at the students who'd read the book (actually, I'm being a little unfair to the prof--she was absolutely fantastic and the course was great).

In related news, I used the week-long course to write the first pass of the first draft of a screenplay for a short film. Whew. Now, that was a lot of work. Fun, challenging, interesting, and scary, but ultimately, very rewarding.

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