Sunday, December 28, 2014
The writing of a compelling dramatic story is always a transformative experience in that it ultimately transports the storyteller into a view of the world that is multi-perspectional, where the storyteller confronts & empathises with the needs, desires and fears of a number of diverse and often conflicting characters and perspectives. The finding of a story involves a certain type of resiliency by virtue of which there is the possibility of liberating yourself from an artificially precise and confining ego. When you experience, develop and live inside a story-world that is founded on accepting and understanding the differences rather than anxiously asserting the identities of the characters, you edge closer to the truth that stands behind and within every story worth telling, for which there is no better word than "love".
Friday, December 26, 2014
The situation of irony into which we have fallen - sometimes referred to as "the world" - is driven by a perverse fascination with play that has so trapped and entranced us - and at such an early age - that we have forgotten we were only pretending. The outrages perpetrated upon us, and which we perpetrate upon others, are symptomatic of this forgetfulness, and provoke and encourage ever more desperate measures as well as the formulation and promulgation of countless recipes, techniques and methodologies, aimed at helping us re-member ourselves (read: empower ourselves). The irony is that, for most of us, we equate fragmentation with freedom - with the result that the only way we can assure ourselves that our freedom is complete is by choosing not to be free.
-- Billy Marshall Stoneking
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Ambiguity is not the same as confusion. And vagueness is a counterfeit form of subtext. To write in a confusing manner merely frustrates the audience's desire to make an interpretation about what they are seeing or hearing, whereas ambiguity permits of several possible interpretations, none of which might be compatible with one another but all of which are credible in terms of the emotional logic of the story. The incompatibilities that reside in ambiguity are the source of subtext.
- Billy Marshall Stoneking
Monday, December 15, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
“After I’ve written a few lines I let the words slip back into the creature of their language. And there, they are instantly recognised and greeted by a host of other words, with whom they have an affinity of meaning, or of opposition, or of metaphor or alliteration or rhythm. I listen to their confabulation. Together they are contesting the use to which I put the words I chose. They are questioning the roles I allotted them. So I modify the lines, change a word or two, and submit them again. Another confabulation begins. And it goes on like this until there is a low murmur of provisional consent. Then I proceed to the next paragraph. Another confabulation begins…”
— John Berger
Friday, December 12, 2014
Characters become, they become present. Having invaded the senses of the tribe from which they have sprung, they invade the being of the storyteller, and eventually, the lives of the audience. It never happens easily. It takes a long time. It take a story with sharp edges and breakages and stuff your habitual self would rather shut away from the eyes and ears. By the time the characters are fully present, fully alive, there are scars and messes everywhere, but something more than ugliness shows through. Something oddly familiar and seldom seen - the living by which characters come to life, the "being there".
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
David Mamet said somewhere that “almost no one knows how to write a movie script”, which seems to me to be only partially true because a screen story is never entirely written by the screenwriter. It is also “written” by the director, in the casting and in rehearsals and by the actors in performance, and by the editors and sound mix people, and finally by the audience. Mamet went on to say that “all movie scripts contain material that cannot be filmed”, and about this he was absolutely correct. Just as the script must contain emotions that can’t be expressed in the text itself, so too does the film depend on the magic of what isn’t actually on the screen but breathing and alive in the invisible interplay of what can be shown and can be heard.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Expressions of interest now being accepted for 2015. The Writers' Studio commences in early February 2015 at Randwick TAFE. Studio conducted by Billy Marshall Stoneking & Bernie Zelvis
Monday, December 1, 2014
For the writer that cares, finding a dramatic resolution to a story can take you into nervous-breakdown territory. If the end of your screenplay is too pat, it can trivialise the complexity you’ve set in motion - if, indeed, there is any complexity at all. And yet the art of plot necessarily requires a apt resolution, even when the underlying human questions and frustrations are unresolvable. Often, what you are dumbly searching for is an illuminating tension between the "right" ending and the impossibility of tying anything up in a neat bow. Freud reminds us that, in analysing a dream, "if an uncertainty can be resolved into an either/or, we must replace it for the purposes of interpretation with an and.” This is what I have some times referred to as "the recontextualisation of the problem". What’s interesting about switching the conjunctions is that it often produces some other, third way, and frees up the secret desire latent in the actions of the characters.