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Michael Clayton

Posted: May 05, 2010 8:23 am
by dietelco
hi all,

one of the most haunting i (humbly) soundbites took away from the previous DUG podcast (aside from that "I am Shiva" monologue they discussed for a bit - that was cool !) was the comment Chris mentioned; A guy was asking about impact character handoffs, and Chris said it's more of an aggregate.

this brings to mind another story with multiple impact character handoffs with an aggregate - the Aesop's fable about the guy who tried to please everybody! Could we discuss that, please?

Also, another thought for the benefit of newbies : instead of dissecting immaculate works-of-art like Michael Clayton and trying to figure out how a 40-page treatment fits in Dramatica theory, i think newbies (hey, i've been at it for almost 4yrs & i'm still consider myself a noob at this!) would much appreciate simpler, bare-basic storyforms like Aesop's fables and the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales which would be more conducive to learning how the Dramatica theory & software actually works!

If I may add : the DUG podcasts could also cover story material from the printed form, like classic-but-mainstream book titles such as Golding's Lord of the Flies (which has been the basis of tv shows like LOST and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica), or George Orwell's 1984 or even, The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

even comics have been trying to lend an air of respectability by re-branding certain projects as graphic novels. I'm talking about the works of Neil Gaiman, to stories like the Watchmen.

i'm also wondering if modern video games like Halo, and Command & Conquer 3 qualify for the Dramatica treatment? they have complex & expansive, multi-threaded storylines that involve teams of writers, graphic artists, programmers, heck even film producers and regular tv actors have been thrown in the mix lately (for example, check out Tim Curry's portfolio in imdb)

i'm just saying, it's a big, wide world out there and there are lots of exciting things the DUG podcasts could cover, in deference to movies (hey, i'm a movie-&-tv buff myself)

PS how are multi-threaded storylines explained in Dramatica?

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 05, 2010 8:36 am
by dietelco
PPS Afterthought :

- are video games & comics, viable alternatives to tradtional writing platforms?

- are these alternative media a reliable source of employment? and at what level of employment? (full time/part time/contract/guest writer?)

i think the Dramatica forum would benefit greatly if there were a channel or thread where we could sit down and discuss bread-&-butter issues, like a trade rag of some sort, but for writers. Dedicated to Dramatica users.

What say you?

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 05, 2010 2:59 pm
by Chris Huntley
The main reason we discuss movies in the Dramatica Users Group (DUG) is that movies may be watched over a short period of time. Book discussions, while useful learning Dramatica, require a lot of time investment in reading the books before discussion. Personally, I love reading books and do so all the time, but a book club approach would be a different beast than the Dramatica Users Group. (BTW, I believe The Lord of the Flies would be a great book to discuss.) The L.A. crowd, which is where the DUG is held, tend more toward the filmic story than the printed works.


My reluctance to discuss fairy tales and Aesop's fables, and the like, stems from the fact that few of these tales are grand argument stories, and they do not pretend to be. Because they are not "complete" stories, it is easy to get into endless discussions about the author's intent to determine the story's meaning. A story's "moral" is a statement, which is not the same as an argument. Tales leave out so many story elements that it is not effective trying to figure out one storyform for each tale. Each tale can be told in many different ways.


Multiple stories require multiple storyforms. The different stories are then woven into a single work.

We have some game designers using Dramatica. It is a natural fit. Eventually it might be pretty cool to have an interactive story engine acting as the A.I. for a gaming engine, but that is a ways off.

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 06, 2010 6:53 am
by dietelco
Well, most of the good book titles already have movie version of them. Jack Nicholson's portrayal in One flew over the cuckoo's nest immediately comes to mind. I've also seen a film version of Lord of the Flies, so we could still discuss this story over the next DUG perhaps?

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 14, 2010 11:23 am
by Chris Huntley
I am considering adding Lord of the Flies to the list of Dramatica Pro 5 examples. It's a great book, and a great film (1963 version).

The book version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is somewhat different than the film. For one thing, Chief Broom is the MC in the book, while McMurphy is the MC in the film. Frankly, I don't know why we haven't it as part of the DUG. I know we've discussed it in house many years ago, but I don't see a storyform for it, so that's a contender too.

We've got our list of films all picked out for this year, but one or both of these may end up on the list next year. Thanks for the suggestions.

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 17, 2010 7:44 am
by dietelco
Anytime! :D

Re: Michael Clayton

Posted: May 17, 2010 7:46 am
by dietelco
Actually, it's a good thing to discuss about the creative decisions film producers make that differ from the book versions.