Tuesday, September 3, 2013


It would seem that I've been asking the question, "where's the drama?", long enough for it have to have finally crystallized into a rather counterproductive mantra that causes me some concern, especially when I hear that highly imaginative and daring scripts, with tons of emotion energy and subtext are being rubbished because they / quote / "lack drama". What I find most disturbing is the uncritical use and dogmatic application of terminologies associated with the notion of conflict/drama, and how easily a conceptual knowledge of the form supplants or displaces risk, intuition and insight. When ideas are reduced or clumsily debased into a language 'game' whose truth is codified in a specialized system of jargon, can formula and formulistic thinking be far behind? In the end, formula replaces form, and discovery and chance give way to stale predictability.

I wonder if I haven't (unwittingly) contributed to creating a headless and heartless monster formed from a curious crystallization of the jargon associated with dramatic storytelling. It is a misplaced concreteness. You CAN find and present compelling characters, involved in engrossing situations, that do not conform neatly to the paint-by-number recipes of screenwriting and film-making teachers that - despite their learning - have never been challenged by either the mystery or the suspense that can occur - despite the lack of drama - so long as the character is possessed of origins that intimately intersect with the storyteller's origins.

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