The world is full of drama, and dramatic stories remind us what it means to be human. They call to mind the horror and desperate hopes of creatures afraid of death, who are nevertheless willing to risk everything for what they love. Life is, after all, an unexpected battleground, where the enemy is constantly surprising us with what we weren't looking for. The horrors - the horrors of our own making and unmaking. Why do we fight? To stay alive - spiritually alive - and to help those that we care for to stay alive as well. What else is worth fighting for? Not jobs, not money, not reputation, but to keep the fire burning, the courage to make it through one more day.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Every culture, every tribe, has its origin myths, its stories about how the universe came to be what it is, how it was formed and how Earth became earth with its creatures and all their transformative dramas. What is not commonly appreciated is that every individual also has his/her own origin mythology, a collection of secret/sacred stories that shelter in the unconscious. The impulse to understand one's origins, one's essence, the source of one's being, is no more prevalent than in the stories one tells and embraces.
- Billy Marshall Stoneking
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
There is a debilitating attitude, mostly unconscious, that operates in the psyches of many would-be screenwriters, that works to stifle or otherwise undermine the quality and vividness of the emotional energy and potential buried within the lives of the characters whose story is being told. Frequently dismissed as laziness, the undermining attitude is predicated on two, complementary sets of feelings concerning what is being written. On the one hand, there is “the careful fear”, which manifests as a conserving anxiety, the fundamental purpose of which is to protect the writer from unnecessary, personal exposure by maintaining and preserving a suitable emotional distance from the characters and the story’s subject. On the other hand, there is the writer’s blind and stubborn loyalty to a host of powerful albeit irrelevant assumptions, prejudices, and habits of thought (beliefs) concerning what one is doing, including one’s perceptions concerning the significance of what is being presented. Mostly, writers work within the boundaries created by these two inclinations, tirelessly striving to get the balance right. Alas, it is mostly a waste of time. One’s proclivity to “be safe” whilst maintaining a steadfast devotion to one’s belief in oneself, render the possibility of balance nearly impossible. The writer and the story would be much better served if they simply forgot about being safe and gave up every ambition for writing the greatest story never told.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
No character is fully realised until we are able to imaginatively grasp what is unrealised in them. This cannot – for either the writer or the audience - be negotiated solely in terms of the intellect; It is contextual and sub-textual, and is - most profoundly - grasped emotionally, as one enters into those “spaces” that film can neither show nor tell but only suggest. The incompleteness of the characters meets our incompleteness and together – in our relationship with them, something more complete emerges. Their contradictions call out to our contradictions; their imperfections resonate with our own. Together, creatively, we strive to realise a truth that is framed in a story and conveyed by actions funded by the emotional energies that are present. It the exchange we are called upon to enlarge whatever judgements we are inclined to make about who and what they are or might be, as well as who and what we might be.
Billy Marshall Stoneking
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
I often speak of cinema as “the art of the invisible”, for it works best when it employs the 'grammar' in such a way as to allow the logic to imply emotions, thoughts and drives that are never literally stated or shown. In allowing the audience the space to act (i.e.: co-create the vision out of the subtext) the story produces that quality of meaning that we refer to as an experience.
- Billy Marshall Stoneking