Story Lessons from Mr. Rogers

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Academy Award winning filmmaker Morgan Neville’s new documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor?, examines the life and work of Fred Rogers, and the film seems unusually important and timely for our culture. The qualities that Rogers most valued, seemingly-forgotten principles such as kindness and respect, still occasionally receive some lip service. However,... Continue Reading →

Using Animals Symbolically in Your Stories

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Some animals we love and invite into our homes as family. Other animals we revile and imagine as pure evil. The most ancient stories that humankind told often involved animals, as they offered kinship, antagonistic struggle, and sources of food in areas where plants and vegetables didn’t easily grow. Aside from the... Continue Reading →

I’ll Push You: A Case Study in Storytelling

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Sometimes the most profound and powerful storytelling lessons come from real life. In the upcoming documentary, I’ll Push You, the story is built around two men trying to get from point A to point B -- a classic story. Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray have been lifelong friends. They’ve always done everything together... Continue Reading →

A Deeper Look at DETROIT

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film, Detroit, is remarkable on a number of levels. The young men at the center of the story turn in game-changing performances. The musical score lays emotional groundwork for the audience’s journey, and Bigelow’s directing is at the top of her game. The complex yet powerful lens she... Continue Reading →

9 Literary Classics That Can Improve Your Storytelling

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) It is unfortunate that many writer’s familiarity with the classics of literature comes from film adaptations. While these movies sometimes become their own works of art, often they don’t hold up to the original written work. This has caused some writers to avoid reading the classic books that these films were based... Continue Reading →

The Storytelling of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Debate has arisen in recent years over whether summer popcorn movies actually tell good stories or simply rely on eye-popping special effects, fast-paced editing that tricks the audience into actually believing they are going on a narrative journey, and big name movie stars. Certainly a case could be made for both sides... Continue Reading →

7 Story Secrets from Netflix

by John Bucher (@johnkbucher) Pop culture and media historians will be examining Netflix for decades to come, trying to figure out how a company that began as a membership-based DVD rental program managed to, in a short amount of time, change the television landscape, bring chaos to the cable industry, and crash the Emmy awards. It’s... Continue Reading →

Pixar Storytelling: Writing Multi-Layered Stories

by Angela Bourassa Dean Movshovitz, a screenwriter and speaker, has written a new book that delves into the secrets of Pixar's screenwriting magic. The book, Pixar Storytelling: Rules for Effective Storytelling Based on Pixar's Greatest Films, is a fun, useful read. At just 122 pages, you can digest the whole thing in a weekend and be... Continue Reading →

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