The audience is screenwriters, but the ideas are excellent and valuable for novelists.
Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge conducted a workshop for writing movie scripts based on Joseph Campbell’s work. This is the recording of that workshop which includes some questions from the audience.
I rarely watch movies. My feeling is why watch a movie when I could read a book? Books have more depth. When I see movies based on books I’ve read, I’m disappointed although I do enjoy the visuals. As I listened to this lecture, I felt further reluctance to watch movies. They’re all made with the same formula! (or most of them) The first 10% is seeing the ordinary world and the call to action. Other parts include meeting the mentor, encountering tests, the supreme ordeal, and return with the elixir. These parts were first defined by Joseph Campbell. He studied mythology and found consistency in all myths in all cultures. Apparently all humans always want the same story.
During the 1970s George Lucas used these ideas when he wrote the first Star Wars movie. During the 1980s Christopher Vogler wrote a memo organizing Campbell’s ideas into guidance for movie making. Vogler worked for Disney at the time. Vogler later turned his memo into a book “The Writer’s Journey.” I was bothered by Vogler’s claim for credit. He talked as if he were “the first one” to consider using Campbell’s ideas for movie making. He never mentioned that Lucas used them earlier. On Vogler’s website (mentioned below) he states “I had discovered the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell a few years earlier while studying cinema at the University of Southern California. I was sure I saw Campbells ideas being put to work in the first of the Star Wars movies and wrote a term paper for a class in which I attempted to identify the mythic patterns that made that film such a huge success.” This rubs me wrong. Lucas clearly stated that he used Campbell’s work when he wrote Star Wars. Vogler’s comments are pompous. My distaste is the reason I did not give this 5 stars. But the subject matter is excellent. Most of the examples are from three films: The Firm, Shrek, and Titanic. I was surprised that the speakers didn’t use Star Wars as an example.
This audiobook is a good way to learn about Campbell’s ideas. The authors talk about the hero’s outer journey, his inner journey, and major character types. Hauge defines four character types: hero, reflection (friend), nemesis, and romance character (or the object of hero’s pursuit). Vogler’s website (thewritersjourney com) has a helpful summary of the outer journey and eight character types. (My thoughts, not in the lecture: Since all plots are the same, it is critical to have unique, engaging, and fascinating characters. This seminar does not discuss that.)
A couple of Hauge comments. The inner journey is to find your essence. At the end of the workshop, Hauge summarizes with three arcs that consistently occur in American movies - three transformations the character needs to make.
1. risk being who you truly are
2. risk connecting to other people (romantically or other)
3. stand up and do what is right, the honest thing, to stand up for the truth.
He says “love encompasses all of these. All great movies are love stories.”
The narrators are the authors. Their voices were fine.
Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler have been perfecting their screenwriting methodologies for many years... This is the first time, that i know of, where they have combined their systems... Giving you two expert perspectives...
There are many books on screenwriting out there... This is one of the best... relatively simple explanations of the basic and advanced principles of writing stories for film. This book does not cover formatting, but story development...
If you've got an idea for a moive... but aren't sure... this book will help you find out...
Be the master of your fate; the captain of your soul.
I am nearly finished writing my first time 'non-fiction' book and I will be incorporating a lot of these points into it after first draft. Their advice doesn't just apply to fiction. Glad I bought it.
I give this a 2-star rating based on a parochial level of story analysis that can be found in any screenwriting basic-structure how-to manual. That being said, you do need to start somewhere and this could be helpful, but it is limited in examples and expanded explanations of approach, theory, and context. It also loses a star because the audio quality is almost unbearable, very poorly recorded. Vogler and Hauge are great at what they do, though.
Mr. Hauge's theory on Identity vs Essence really sparked a torrent of ideas on me - and now I want to know more.
Unfortunately, 2 of the 3 hours (seem to be) all Mr. Vogler and his application of the Hero's Journey. But once you 'know' about the Hero's Journey, I don't find there's much more here to gain.
Not sure the price is right however. But take it from me, Michael Hauge is where it's at if you want to write screenplays or novels.
This mini books captures two great teachers and like Vogler's Using Myth, I took notes all the way through. If you are learning to write fiction, run, don't walk, to get your copy. Kudos Audible and please do more of these as many of us can't get out to the conferences.
This is a great read for anybody who loves writing fiction. The lessons apply specifically to play/script writing, but can effortlessly be applied to any kind of story, no matter the scope. I would recomend this (and I have) to anyone who has an interest of writing any kind of fiction work. Period.
Very nice and compact presentation with LOTS of great take aways. I m going to be reading more about both presenters, they are masters at storytelling.