Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ORIGINS - a tribal storytelling workshop

Over the years, I have been both delighted and surprised at the effectiveness of my tribal storytelling workshops in reconnecting writers, directors, actors and others with their tribal origins while at the same time  promoting creative and practical insights into their own, often unappreciated stories.

The workshop is unique in that it provides the circumstances for creatives from all disciplines to make the inner journey and the outer odyssey towards forming more intimate and emotionally meaningful relationships with their characters and, through those relationships to tell ever more authentic and dramatically powerful stories for the screen.  It is also one of the few short workshops I run that  has a production outcome, as each participant is required to make a short film (in any style, genre) that dramatises their "tribal identity".

Here's a tribal film that came out of a workshop I did a couple of years ago, along with a brief introduction by the filmmaker:

"Heard of Billy Marshall Stoneking's Tribal Storytelling Workshop? He has again reminded me of what the essence of telling a story is... it is not a telling at all, but rather a showing - a showing of simple things. In drama, emotions are connected to objects, to actions, to what we can see and hear. One struggles to find a way, the means by which, one might make the inner life an outer reality...

"In the quest to make emotion present, one sometimes flounders and falls to despair. Within the story, one hits upon 'a wall'.... a point at which everything you "think up" is wrong... and the only way forward, the only way over the wall, is to leave it to one's intuition. The inspiration for this film is founded on this insight... as well as my desire to explore, cinematically, the creative condition of the long dark night of the soul.

"The other reason for this film is that I felt that people simply do not know how to make spiritual films... they make an abstraction of spirituality, they make it "out of this world" - and its very realness is neglected.... this film is an experiment in revealing the realness."