brain teasers for interview

brain teasers for interview, brain, teasers, interview

Adam when did you fall in love withstorytelling good question my parents are both storytellers I grew up with mymom coming to school and telling stories you know bedtime stories reading it comefrom a large family so we’d all gather around my mom would read stories to usand I I would say you know ever since I was a kid like like most of us were allfascinated by stories we’re all engaged to my stories and I think it’s one ofthe literally being Homo Sapien means you know that we have wisdom andstorytelling is the central part it’s what separates us from all the othercreatures in the forest where there’s certain stories that you gravitatedtoward more than others I was a kid I mean like for the where the wild thingsare yeah absolutely yeah absolutely certain stories are gravitated I meanyou know I was a child when Star Wars came out so like most kids in mygeneration was obsessed with it which you know later got me into JosephCampbell and a lot of those other things that I was fascinated by the heroes herostructure you know when you’re a little kid for me I wanted to be Luke Skywalkerwhen I was little and then when I hit puberty I wanted to be Han Solo I wasuntil much later that I’d wanted to be a Princess Leia oh that’s good that’s coolI’ll have an opportunity to talk about that lateryeah yeah so currently you’re an author screenwriter story artist and directorwhich came first I would say a writer and a painter or a writer and an artistI was one of those kids that was constantly drawing my parents wouldbring home you know giant reams of computer paper they started out buyinglike sketch pads and things like that for me and I would fill up a sketch padin just a couple days so my dad would bring these you know in the old daysthey would have like these reams of paper with like the perforated edges sohe’ll just bring that home and I would just be drawing everything in sight Idraw flowers faces my hands anything that was in front of me kind ofobsessively in a way and at the same time I was drawing you know it’s likethey always say that like whatever art or skill you’re passionate about it’slike you’re married to and in that sense I’ve always been a little bit of aI missed because I love drawing as much as I love writing but both of them kindof been formed the same thing that it is visual storytelling and so visualstorytelling has been central to it like I had this one video that I am it’s afilm strip I made when I was a kid and literally it was just probably 16 framesand I could draw directly on the film strip and it was called drinky andblinky I had this really I was grew up in learning to speak in New York and Ihad this really bad accent a bit of a speech impediment so I always said WinkyWinky because I couldn’t say my arse or elles but so little by little was just Idid this story about these two aliens and the classic frame like I recordedthe sound and everything that went with it it was like this like I don’t know ifyou remember the old film strips you’d have to do a beep like little beep totwist it so anyways every time you do a beep to kind of signal moving forwardand so I recorded the entire audio track myself and it’s embarrassing but youknow I mean it showed that like literally at four years old I wasalready trying to invent stories except one of them was literally Twinkie andWinky sat bail it was ridiculous but uh but yeah I mean I guess I guess I’vealways been fascinated by adventure I think the more I matured as a writer Ibecame more interested in character and how adventure really becomes the pretextto explore a character and and then eventually I think a lot of I becamefascinated by philosophy and things like that like you know like many people thatare studying art and writing and I became fascinated by kind of the theconnection between the way we build our understanding of the world throughstories and now stories behind kind of become like a filter through which weinterpret our experience like for example my my video is called my videoseries is called anatomy of chaos and the reason is like people this is partof the issue of I’ve had with Anatomy of casts like they’re always asking likewhat it means and it starts off with this idealike the way our minds work is that we are we have the kind of subconscious isconstantly drawing in information from everywhere we are everywhere like youwalk into a room your subconscious is picking up all the details it’s readingevery single label on every single book

brain teasers for interviewpicking up all the details it’s readingevery single label on every single book it’s picking up like if this person’sshirt is wrinkled and then as our subconscious gathers information it hasa kind of filter through which we prioritize the information so it’s likewe’re swimming in the sea of chaos and we’re trying to make sense of everythingand ultimately our subconscious is kind of filtering into our conscious throughnarratives those narratives help us develop a value system which help usgive us meaning and that meaning is a kind of structure or an Anatomy so Irefer to it as the anatomy of chaos or in other words how we use story to makesense of the world around us and that’s ultimately where where the name camefrom the problem is is that the average person who’s looking up how to write astory is not looking for how anatomy of chaos you know I had a bunch of friendsthat were like you need to write how to write a story how to write screenplayswhich always seemed like the worst title for I mean it’s effective because itcomes to you know the algorithms when you’re like searching for forinteresting story or for for whatever you’re looking for but for me I tend tolean more towards the poetic than the practical so it’s it’s a big reason whyI like for example originally I released it and it was like it was called theanatomy of caste channel we’ve since changed it to the art of story so it’skind of more relevant to like the actual the actual thing that we’re like thatI’m the the disciplines that we’re teaching or discussing but it’s stillcalled the anatomy Cass series within that and you’re still narrating – goingback to Mary four years old and you’re still yeah I’m still that you’re rightyeah anybody watching this I highly recommend they check out your channel Imean yes twelve videos or eleven I have about 12 videos I’m working on the nextone okay in fact if we can discuss that please a new announcement weI’ve been getting a lot of requests to release the transcripts of the differentvideos and so what I’ve done is a friend of mine actually took the time totranscribe the entire series we formatted it we’re putting it into abook and this week we’re releasing it as a novel or as a book so you’ll be ableto buy you’ll be able to buy it’s called the lost art of story as in Lost TribeEntertainment which is my production company oh okay so it’s and it’s justthe transcripts of all of the videos so a lot of people have been wanting toread it as they go along or just look at the lecture itself I also have a lot oflike friends that are deaf that can’t the subtitles for example aren’t verygood with the algorithm so so the book will be available and you know BrianKoppelman once said that like every screenwriting book is bullshit every oneof them which is my mine is only five dollars so that’ll be coming out thisweek and it’ll be available on Amazon right now it’s just ebook but we’ll begetting into print later on great well I highly recommend to anyone watching thevideos because visually and if they are able to hear you have with the music andyou intercut your own audio with you know different scenes from movies it’sbeautifully done and I noticed that all the comments were like I’m shocked thatyou don’t have more subscribers and I was shocked too yeah so that actuallykind of goes back to the the fact that I tend to be more see here’s the thing sothe impetus or the the the history of the videos was that I went to CalArtsstudied film and I got hired to teach there now I had sold one screenplay toan independent production company and I got to work with great producers greatwriters got to work with David Trottier came on as a consultant and I learned aton and so when I was teaching the screenwriting herstory classic hell artsI was able to take all this information that I was learning and try and teach itto students which is that’s when you really start towhen you have to communicate to somebody else so I would teach I kind of set upthese curriculum with these lectures kind of talking like the basics of someof the different lessons that I had learned and I was kind of had that likein my reservoir or or my toolkit for things I could work with and you knowalso with writing it explores a lot of the the techniques that I use so yearslater when I was releasing my novel I was profit margin I wrote it andreleased it independently and in researching a lot of the promotions foryour books and stuff I everybody kept

brain teasers for interviewresearching a lot of the promotions foryour books and stuff I everybody kept recommending you should start building afollowing by doing videos and they recommended how-to videos and thingslike that and I was like well I mean I’ve got this experience teaching at oneof the top film schools so I was very lucky to have that and I’m like I’m justgonna take some of my lessons put them in these short discreet little videosand that will hopefully kind of draw attention to the novel which is funnybecause the videos have kind of taken out a little bit of life of their ownand now we’ve become their own book so it’s it’s kind of this funny full circlebut but yeah so it’s it’s basically it’s a college course for a major film schoolbut it’s completely free on YouTube or $5 if you buy the book I was gonna savethis question toward the end but I’m actually wanting to talk about this nowbecause you’re talking about your YouTube channel and so when I see thatchannel and some of the videos I watch I don’t just see somebody that’s puttingthem online just to build a following I mean you seem to put tremendous care atleast from my you know watching them when I see work like that I’m like wowyou know I wish I can be that talented do you feel satisfied with it it’s agood question thank you first of all just reminisce you to say I think I youknow I want to keep getting better at him i watch him and I see mostly justthe flaws like the special you know the first two videos it’s like one songlooping in the background and so lasts about a year and a half ago I broke myankle and it was a bad break and couldn’t walk for about four months andduring that time that I was healing I couldn’t do anything except work at thecomputer so and literally I took the four months off that I was like stayingat home so I started I was like well I just put up the book I can do thesevideos so the funny thing is is I was on percocet and vicodin the whole time Iwas recording so when you listen to the audio I kind of had this kind of that’snot just the professor or the the lecture tone I was a little bit highwhen I was recording okay I didn’t notice that but okay cool I’m I’m gladthat come it doesn’t come off too droney but but because of that like you knowI’ve been learning through the whole process like you know there’s lots ofaudio issues there’s some times where the music’s too high and I was never Iwas always self-conscious of my voice so I didn’t like the the way my voicesounded so there were times where I was like and consciously like I love thissong I’ll just put the song and then people are like can you drop the audio alittle bit more because we can’t quite hear it but now you can buy the book andyou get the actual you get the actual words on the page well let me somepeople are what if they say auditory learners others are visual so yeah forme I think I’m probably yeah maybe more visual but it’s an experience to watchthem so I know you’re working on it but I mean I think no I appreciate thatlike I hope that they’re I hope they’re compelling like my attention span movesvery quickly so I noticed that I was I tended to be drawn to videos that justhammering as much information as possible which is why I tend to justjump in as quickly as possible and that’s why they’re really dense like I Itook an hour lecture and condensed it into the bare essentials in eightminutes in the first few videos and so they’re dense but that’s also why Istructured them in such a way that it has this kind oflike a table of contents and it’s you know you can go back and re-watchdifferent sections if you just want to look up like like plot points what is aplot point and then you can just click on it it’ll take you exactly to thatsection of the video so that way it has like it has kind of a way to review itlike you’ll watch it you’re not it’s not intended to just watch once it’s it’syou know they’re there based on the lectures and the stuff that I wasteaching so I’m hoping the principles that people will revisit and it’ll helpthem in their techniques and disciplines well I know they say that’s a commonthat that’s the mark of a true artist is that they’re never finished withsomething but have you met someone where you were surprised to hear from theirown opinion about their work that they weren’t satisfied with it and it shockedyou because you were such you weren’t all of it yeah I mean you know that’sit’s it goes back to this thing I am Not

brain teasers for interview all of it yeah I mean you know that’sit’s it goes back to this thing I am Not

brain teasers for interviewall of it yeah I mean you know that’sit’s it goes back to this thing I am Not sure I’m not convinced I believe inmasters or mastery you know that’s that’s my video start off with thatquote from Hemingway that we’re all apprentices in a craft with no mastersthe idea with masters is this idea that it’s kind of this illusion that you havecomplete control of the work that you’re making and you know if you read thejournals of all of the people that we regard as masters great painters greatwriters all of them are they might be further along up the trail but they’restill wondering what’s over the next peak and so in in the end it’s all of usare on this journey together to try and find some sort of meaningful experienceso yeah I mean it’s true I’m especially when I finish a piece almost always thesecond I call it done I hate it I want to get away from it like I’ll finish afirst draft and I don’t even want to think about it for at least two good sixmonths or a painting or something I’ll do the noil painting and then as soon asI finish it all I’ll see is the flaws and then you know go back and revisitand rework it and stuff like that and the hardest thing for me is to letsomething go you know that’s why deadlines are really good for me if Ihave a deadline I’ll work my ass off to meet the deadline and that way I cankind of have more control of at least you know I have a point where I have tolet go so kill myself to meet the deadline and then just let it go whichhas taken time to get up you know the expression like you ohyou’re so hard on yourself do you see em yeah it’s guys I guessit’s I don’t know whatever but do you think that’s almost imperative for anartist because what if they’re so thrilled with their work then they don’tthey don’t work on it they don’t try to tweak it I don’t know I mean I think itreally depends on the artist I mean you look at some artists some of my favoriteartists love their work I do think that’s I know lots of artists that I’veworked with that they’re just like Oh everything I do is awful and they andthen you start wondering why are you doing here you hated that much I love myart I love the process of creating art I love the process of writing I lovelosing myself in story like I can’t stop and literally can’t turn it off butthere’s also a kind of self-awareness as hopefully there’s a kind of humilitythat goes along with that which is but I need to get better at it you know at thecore of storytelling I feel like at the core of art in general is this kind ofdesire to to excavate our own subconscious and drought the metaphorsthat mean something to us and then ultimately it’s like it’s like drawingwine from the grape from from the winepress that the subconscious is thewinepress so we have this amazing drink and then what we’re looking for isartists is the perfect glass to deliver it to somebody else so that they cantaste it and that glass is structure it’s you know it’s the it’s John rrahit’s the tropes that we use it’s ultimately about that’s that’s thevehicle we’re using to be able to communicate it to somebody else like foryou what’s art how do you define art mmm well something that has meaning for mesomething that I can be lost in someone else’s existence and then you can seeyour own and weigh it against it and say whether my life is better or worsewhatever it’s just we’re all sort of like these little things existing inthis world no one’s more sort of what no one’s experience is more tragic orincredible than another so we just kind of get lost in someone else’s world andto see it from another thing because I think we’re so in ourselves we can’t seeour own our own lives and how we do things or whatever well I know I meanthat’s weird I’m from the Bay Area it didn’t come across but I think just towatch for me in terms of film or reading a book so but but I that’s great I likethat metaphor the perfect glass to put the wine in so with art like I thinkthat’s beautiful and like some of the things you mentioned is kind of gettinglost or escaping something or engaging from a completely different perspectiveand I think that’s really at the core of of what art is for example art versusscience like my father’s a scientist he’s also you know aspiring artists buthe works as a scientist he grew up I he worked as a scientist I retired now ohwell he teaches now but the the distinction that I draw between art andscience

brain teasers for interviewdistinction that I draw between art andscience what is it zen and the art of motorcyclemaintenance I think I did actually yes there you go so they have thisdiscussion about like techne and how techne is the original word for art orthey what was it the is it a Latin root could be Greek no I think it’s Greek soit and that is technology was the same root as art so science is really theprocess of extracting information from reality and having some sort ofunderstanding art I believe is the process of taking that information andmaking it emotionally relevant and that emotional relevance helps us build valuesystems so really science is a way of gaining an understanding of the worldaround us art is a way of making it mean something as we internalize it so art isthe process of internalizing and story in whatever body it takes whether it bea painting whether it be a film or a novel all of these things are ways of ofingesting and emotionalizing information that informs our value system and yousaid grade art doesn’t necessarily have to be escapism is that right I mean I’mnot sure I don’t really buy into this skip is impairedI’m like in my video about entertainment I talked a little bit about that andentertainment tends to be a little bit denigrated like it’s like well you knowit’s it’s the lowest form of art if it’s just entertaining but the the disciplineof entertainment like I mentioned this in the video that the root of it comesfrom the Latin and today ten a day and today between ten a day to hold and soliterally entertainment means to hold your attention from moment to moment sowhen you’re looking at the art of entertainment you’re engaging someoneelse’s mind and inspiring them to begin to open it to ask questions to provokethem to project their attention forward in time and that that question of whathappens next is really what when you know if you get the audience to ask whathappens next then you’re engaging them and that means they’re searching formeaning and that’s when it’s open that’s that’s really when the art is happeningbecause what’s happening is they’re looking for an emotional value system tointernalize it into their own life and that to me is the magic of story whenwhen we’re finding a new way to look at the worldso the escapism side though I do think art can be escapist ultimately it’s kindof like it’s like a magic trick you’re getting everybody to look over hereisn’t this interesting look at this thing all sudden it disappears butwhat’s really happening internally is we’re finding a way to make meaning inour lives and and that’s true watching The Flintstones watching Spongebob allthose things it feels escapist because it’s not necessarily you don’t feel likeyou’re doing work necessarily but the truth of it is is great art is helpingyou expand your view of the world and find meaning in your life and andengaging something that you wouldn’t otherwise do that this whole paradigmthat I’m talking about Connick comes from this idea of like um are youfamiliar with the Emile Durkheim he’s a sociologist French sociologist okay sohe was he’s kind of the father of like modern sociology and he built up this hehe had this theory of the sacred and profane and in and this is this is whereI get in trouble but I I think he was one of the great early thinkers aboutthe way we develop value systems and he was largely talking about religion andhow with religion its defined by a group of people coming together and circlingaround sacred objects what he called totems and totems were essentiallymetaphors or though they didn’t believe they were metaphors but they’remetaphors they binded people together and and the other counterpoint to thatwas the profane the profane lake so the sacred was that which was removedaccording to Durkheim and then the profane was that like the normaleveryday mundane life so like an example would be the sacred would be walking upto a sculpture that embodies a God and lighting candles and have a veryconscious ritual experience and the mundane would be doing dishes and doinglaundry so that would be the profane versus the sacred now there’s very introuble I think it’s he was looking at evidencesor things that relate to the sacred and the profanebut he didn’t it’s not an adequate definition of it the way I defined asacred in the profane as the sacred is that which is vital to your survival andthe profane is anything that threatens that hmm and we develop our valuesystems internally from there now you might be asking what does this have todo a story and at the core at the core it’s we find meaning by that which weprioritize right and we prioritize based on our emotions so our our internalvalue system is our emotional structure or our emotional makeup that’s kind ofthe map of the emotions and and those directly inform our moral values andwhat story does is help us to engage those moral values through an emotionalexperience which is why an effective story is innately emotionaland for example a scientific narrative is largely just this therefore thistherefore this so a great artist to me great art isn’t necessarily escapist ornot it’s essentially defines itself by tapping into truths that resonate withmultiple generations the way you look at metaphor is similarview is is that it’s a I see it as the basic unit of a story it’s the basicunit of it’s basically a representation of something or a concept with emotionalvalue and that’s controversial because a lot of people would disagree with thatand I’d love to have that conversation you know yeah exactly but all of us allperception is based on this idea that when we have a concept like have youever heard of Lisa Feldman Barrett yeah she wrote this book called how emotionsare made it’s fantastic I I actually refer to her as her holiness LisaFeldman oh man he’s so amazing I’ve learned a lot from her um then she wrotethis great book and she talked a lot about like the nakhon the contemporaryidea of how we developed concepts and concepts are largely defined by ourgoals or objectives like for example this is a glass because it holdssomething and we can drink from it so my objective is to drink from it soanything that is can we can hold liquid and drink from is a kind of glass orreceptacle or Cup or something like that so that’s how we define things that’s aconcept but it’s not until it has an emotional significance that we’veassigned an emotional significance internally that it becomes a metaphorand I believe that’s true with any kind of representation as soon as it has anemotional connection in your subconscious then its metaphoric so whenyou know earlier I mentioned that a story is about excavating or searchingyour unconscious for the metaphors that means something to you what we’re reallytrying to do is all of us dream all of us try to find we’re constantly adaptingto the world around us which means our value systems are shifting like as weadapt if there’s some sort of massive trauma it causes a dramatic shift in inthe way we interpret the world around us story in many ways is a way of engagingtraumas so you that’s why you’re literallytaking a character putting them through a trauma and forcing a kind of shift intheir value system that’s how we get into character arc and that’s ultimatelywhat a theme is a theme is basically saying that the life is going to imposecertain traumas on you and we have to adapt to itand that’s that’s ultimately like where we find meaning so when I say meaninglike what is meaning a to you well for an example I think meaning can becontagious so let’s say I went into donut shop this actually happened to bea donut shop near downtown LA they were watchingis it a telenovela or yeah so they what and I don’t you know just a little bitof Spanish there but everyone was riveted they were saying in this donutshop even the girl behind the counter and so because of that I was like wowwhat is it so that gave me some meaning for what I was watching even though Ibarely understood what was being said and it was fascinated by the actressesreaction what was happening I guess a man was breaking into her her home andno just watching up everybody wasn’t even paying attention to the coffee anddoughnuts they were all about what was up on that screen that’s so that’s alittle bit of a tangent but then that became the meaning became contagious tome now because I’m fascinated by no I don’t follow the show I’m not sure whothe actress is but I’m fascinated Wyatt why do they invest this money do youremember the scene yes it was an actress attractive actress was somewhere in herhome and there was a man outside breaking in and the camera keptswitching to her being scared inside and the man outside and almost seemed likethe man knew her hmm but that’s the meaning I gave it if then you didn’tunderstand the language so you’re just drawn into that and I was drawn into howthe people yeah so you saw everyone around you expressing high priorityattention that’s what attention is is you’re giving priority mental a kind ofmental loan to do that subject matter and that’s that actually gets into thewhat I think is the most interesting part of story is that it is contagiousit’s story is about building group values ultimatelywhich is where you know we get back to to Durkheim again is that ultimately weare building a kind of consensus a kind of it’s not Universal it’s it’s usuallygroup specific kind of value systems that connect to this group like so thesemetaphors become very important like this girl who felt threatened and shewas trapped in her apartment everybody had invested in her so theyhad the concept of the girl and then the emotional attachment to her but it’slike Joseph Campbell says like tragedy is how they say that tragedy is theattachment to forms and the shattering of that attachment and then comedy iswhat is it the effortless kind of disregard or detachment from things andI think at the core that’s that’s ultimately where we’re talking about theemotionality of something also like with Pilar Alessandra she’s a friend of mineas well okay and yes she’s great she always says that stories an event plusemotion a room event plus emotion equals story shows position as an equation Ilove that because it’s exactly true without the emotion it’s not a storyit’s just a series of events I’ll albeit logical but it’s not it’snot until it’s emotional that it means something so for me early we’re talkingabout meaning and meaning is the the resonance with that central value systemthat we all develop that each of us developed that’s sacred and the profaneand then all the priorities that proliferate from there when we tell astory we’re entering into a contract with the audiencehmm oh no from the video okay yeah can when you talk about that what’s thiscontract can we get out of the contract um sureyou pay a price for it so basically when you’re saying when you sit down and sayI’m going to tell you a story you are promising something and and you know I’min the video I draw a comparison I use the metaphor of your taking out a loanfrom somebody and what you’re promising is that you’re gonna pay back the loanand that they will get interest for their investment of attention andattention is the currency that they’re at thespending it’s actually the probably most important currency like real-worldcurrency that we’re dealing with is the currency of attention especially withthe internet especially the fact especially in the entertainment industryliterally entertainment is the the industry of pain getting people to payattention so what you’re doing is you’re promising that it’s gonna be worth itthere’s gonna be worth putting their time into it so your job as the artistsis not only to present the conflict in an interesting way but to make it meansomething to them and that’s that’s where it gets very subjective that’s whyyou can have some of the great storytelling and only a few people willget it because it’s it’s relative to like whatever psychological dynamics orwhatever values resonate with them can you give me an example of a story thatdoes pay off where the contract is fulfilled and someone’s obligation ispaid off and then maybe one that it’s not fulfilled hmm that’s a good simpleone back to the future will he get back to the futureright there you’re making a promise with that title usually the the contractyou’re making with the audience is right in the titles right with the trailerwill you get back to the future you’re you’re promising that in some way notonly are you gonna answer the question but that you’re going to enjoy the rideand then it’s gonna mean something when he gets there and I do think that that’syou know ultimately he goes to this whole journey it’s Michael J Fox who’sendlessly entertaining and then was it Zemeckis who’s just brilliant like it’sit’s perfectly directed it’s so much fun and it’s the movie that everybody’s seenso it’s like I would always use it as like the perfect example of just likeentertaining movie like it’s just a completely entertaining movie so I dothink it completely fulfilled a contract you’re entertaining the entire time andyou’re and then in the end he gives you exactly what you want in a way that youdon’t expect and it’s fun you know you enjoyed it but along the way you’re alsolearning little themes like about you know this high school teenager who’slearning to appreciate his family and learning what his parentswent through and shit like that that actually kind of resonates on kind of amore subconscious level where it’s like you know he he begins to develop anappreciation for the different generations and then how he that storycontinues on his own life he’s almost reliving his dad’sexperience yeah in some sense he’s becoming like because he sees that hisdad was you know not the most popular guy in high school and was bullied andthen he’s experiencing itself cuz he stands up to Biff so yeah so then foranother example that I think is is actually a really interesting examplelook at No Country for Old Men now the thing I love about the Coen brothers isthat they’re constantly subverting their own the audience’s expectations they’rethey’re playing with it they they play with the contract constantly which iswhere that alienates a lot of people but the people who are willing to take thejourney with them they find something incredibly like much more rewarding sowith no country for old men I don’t know if you read the novel as well okaythat’s love Cormac McCarthy he’s one of my favorite writers I was compared tolike a if Hemingway and Faulkner had a baby but he he so Llewellyn Moss he’skind of the hero he’s the underdog in the story and you’re following thiswhole journey and the whole contract is is it gonna mean something that the wellLlewellyn Moss is gonna find this bag full of millions of dollars go on ajourney and change his life and everything’s gonna be awesome after thatum we’re gonna get into spoilers here so okay spoiler alert spoiler alert so whenhe he goes to this entire journey and in the novel they also did this as well hegets to a point and the sheriff Tommy Lee Jones character is following himaround and you think you’re waiting for this whole thing to build up to this bigexplosive climactic payoff where it’s Anton Chigurh and Llewellyn Moss andthese they’re both well matched and they’re there’s this hero and thisvillain and you’re waiting for the big standoff and it doesn’t come and insteadTommy Lee Jones drives up to a hotel he sees just barely the periphery ofsome standoff and well Moss is dead and we never even saw it we just see thedead body and immediately when I first read it I had to go back and reread itI’m like did I miss something because it felt like I felt at first my firstresponse was I just got cheated they got me to invest in Lamaze he’s making thishuge sacrifice why did he do this but it was the fact that he did subvert thatcontract that he did subvert our expectations and then when you see it inthe movie they adapted it perfectly where it’s also it’s anticlimactic butit’s the fact that you’re expecting the climax that created the meaningfulresonance afterward okay the after that when you start looking atlike what did it mean that Llewellyn Moss just died and it wasn’t a standoffin fact his wife ends up having to pay the price as well she ends up gettingmurdered by Anton Chigurh as well and ultimately it’s this question you knowit goes back to the theme that is this No Country for Old Men like is this isthis some evil that’s ancient that that takes out that has like no mercy for forgoodness or kind people so ultimately it really comes down to when you’re payingoff a contract you’re trying to engage their attention and if you do break ityou have to have a good reason for it so and you know art is a bridge you knowyou’re you’re trying to build across the waters to the to somebody else’s mindand so ultimately you know every single artist has different builds theirbridges differently you know Michael Bay will build his bridge all the way acrossso people can just kind of step on and have a conveyor belt across and thenKubrick will build this bridge halfway across and the audience has to buildtheir bridge all the way halfway across and they meet in the middle and thenyou’ll get someone like in vendors or someone that youit takes you on a journey and you don’t know where it’s going and you’re prettymuch building a bridge to where he’s at you know but it you know and everybodyeverybody decides every artist decides how far they want to build a bridgeacross the water don’t you think though every writer thinks that there thatthere is a payoff they make sense to them but unfortunately to an outsideview they may not see that payoff no I can’t speak for other writers um I sureI do think that there is you know the basic economy of story if you promisesomething give it in a way that give the you know the old adages give theaudience what they want anyway they don’t expect but it really comes down tothe needs of the story what are you trying to convey with your story youknow and I don’t like imposing too much of like to me what’s really interestingis when like finding the exception of those rules until it actually till itactually means something new you know can you give us an overview of your fouract story structure so what one of my favorite instructors that I worked withhis name is Ron Mita he taught a class over in Valencia and he wrote SWAT andthen I think he sold some stuff he developed robots for blue sky orsomething really good guy and very practical great writer very cool guysamazing for pitching as well and he had this he was the one that introduced meto this idea of just twenty-four plot points and and he said just you knowliterally just write down 24 just 24 numbers and just put PP plot point plotby plot point and then break it down into you know the first acts and thenyou know most people say first second and third but everybody divides it atthe midpoint now it really comes down to how do you define an act and inresearching when I was working on the videos I was trying to come up with agood definition for act and you know I looked at Robert McKee Truby Trottiera lot of the greats and I couldn’t find a very clear specific definition of anact so I you know I’m ridiculously pedantic so I really tried to come downto this boil it down to its essence I try to be as precise as I can with theterms and definitions like for example inciting incident that words always thatterms always bothered me just because technically every single sequence has aninciting incident has an incident that’s inciting the next behavior a Snyder willrefer to as the catalyst a catalyst is where you take two elements a chemicalreaction that’s already going to happen and a catalyst speeds it up so whatyou’re saying is that the catalyst is going to take something that’sinevitable and enhances it that’s why I call it the impetus and impetus is aforce that moves that motivates movement and that’s which is a very specificthing that happens once in the screenplayso that and that’s you know that’s my terminology that I use I think whatevermetaphor helps people make sense of this story and take care of the centralelements that’s fine so Ron Mitas approach was basically put the 24 plotpoints plot point six is end of Act one plot point twelve is a midpoint plotpoint eighteen is your low point and then plot point I think it was twentyone is your climax and then after that’s falling action very simple and it’s likewe would we would literally just sit there and plot out a story in an hourand it’s it’s super pragmatic so from there it really came down to trying tounderstand all right if we keep dividing everything in themidpoint like Pilar for example should use act a 2a and 2b and it kept onbegging this question what is an act so in your mind what is an act how wouldyou define one what is an act okay well it’s not really a scene but it time itsets you up for one part of the journey okay so let’s just say there’s a storyof someone going to college and maybe there are a fish out of water and theyget a scholarship and they don’t we belong in this world and so the firstact or the second act it more than others say the second act would showthem arriving with their stuff at the campus and knowing how they’re out ofplace knowing how they’re not gonna fit in with the culture and so you see themkind of scared with their box of stuff maybe being brushed aside by busy peoplehmm and so that’s establishing the world ofthat college and they don’t feel like they fit in and they kind of know theydon’t and everybody else knows they don’t fit in either but somehow they’vebeen able to go there so that’s the long winded way of setting up maybe thatwould be the second act I don’t know it could be I’m jumping ahead too much butno I mean I think you just described two acts okay okay so where would you divideit that’s the big question and when everybody said you know there’s peoplelike like Dave and Friends Oni he came to Cal er to gave one of my favoritelectures on story ever and he was like fuck 3x structure there’s no such thingas ax you just understand story you get into character and you throw conflict atthem and they pursue their objectives and don’t worry about ax and that’s finenow if that works for you that’s awesome I don’t like to me all of its modularall of it is use it as assets that help you write and anything that’s holdingyou back from writing let it go you know has this kind of it to me I like tounderstand his things as thoroughly as I can I learn very slowly and thoroughlyand then let go whenever the story needs to take its own direction so the way Ilook at an act is essentially defined by strategies so a character the the firstact as a character has a specific strategy which is their normal dailylife this is the value systems that they that have gotten them to this point inlife so when the impetus comes in and throws their life out of balance theyfind suddenly that they have to they start to negotiate it and try and belike well I don’t want to change my life I don’t want to do anything but thesecond they cross that threshold and begin to shift into a new strategy thenthey’ve crossed into a new act so what I’ve found every single time is that- for example you usually have a character that’s you know tryingsomething new like Tootsie you know I watched that as a kid it’s so great Ithink is brilliant so you have was Michael Dorsey who’sdressed as Dorothy Michaels and he’s having success and everything he’s doingis bring him more and more success and it looks like hey this new strategy isworking before that a strategy was I’m gonna be a difficult actor until no onewill work with him so he hits his breaking pointalright I’m gonna just as a woman and commit completely to the role and and hesees nothing but success until he at the midpoint when everything that he’s doingfeels like it’s paying off but ultimately betrays his authenticity soit’s at the midpoint where basically you feel like you’re getting everything youwant and this can is completely subjective to the needs of the storythis is just generally how the how the structure tends to go but when you hitthe midpoint often you’re you learn that you are as far away from your originalobjective as you could be thinking that you’re just about to achieve itgenerally speaking and that realization whatever that is the introduction of anew conflict or something like that creates a kind of shift in strategy andusually that strategy is very like frantic and coping and so all the valuesystems that had informed that earlier strategy of hey everything’s gonna workyou hit the midpoint and it’s failing and you just come tumbling down themountain so you get down to the low point because all that the first twoacts are all about set up and then the second two are all about payoff sothat’s second that that third what I define is an act with what is to be butI just go back three it’s easier that way is really just a strategy ofcollapsing down the hill until you get to the low point so all of those choicesare paying off but for the bad what do you think a lot of new writers kind ofnot go wrong but have trouble with the line in terms of maybe two and three theline when sort of that that moment where youthink that they’re going to achieve this payoff that they came to see the moviefor mm-hmm but it actually that’s the beginning of a new set of issues and nowit’s going to take you in a brand new direction what do you think a lot ofwriters have trouble when it comes to is it is it setting up the first act is itis it where it’s not compelling enough or it’s too much drama in the first actand we need a little bit of a build I we’d almost have to take that acase-by-case scenario I’m generally speaking I’m not really sure like whereso many people hit the same problems but a lot of it comes down to generallyspeaking yeah if you’re paying attention if you’ve invested the most importantthing is if you’ve invested in a character and you care about what thecharacter wants you understand what the character wants and you understandwhat’s at stake if they don’t get it you’re free to do anything you want youcan play with start to throw away structure altogetheras long as you have that like Sorkin says worshipping at the altar of intentand conflict is that actually a might quote sound a little better but it’s itreally comes down to understanding the nature of character every scene has tohave a kind of emotional motivation and if it’s not emotional then we’re notwe’re going to disengage it’s not just it’s not just conflict it should beconflict that’s increasing as we’re going along so I mean you know I see a Isee a lot of television a movie I mean right now is a great time for writersthere’s so much good writing there’s so much really strong writing a lot of itcomes down to pacing a lot of it comes down to really making sure that theaudience is with the main character and that their choices are making sense andthat that you care about how this is going to affect the way they’re movingforward but I think if you’re tracking that and most you know most writerswe’re all you know we’re delving into ourselves to try and pull out thismeaning a lot of it like for example working with with producers most of thenotes that I’ll get tend to be kind of you know just tracking like does it makesense that this character would do this at this timeyou know and it’s about trying to project and project yourself into thecharacter and understand the intentions and if that’s consistent with youroverall character profile I have a quote here and that is from William Goldmanfrom his book which lie did I tell and he says you have to protect your writingtime you have to protect it to the death so are you protective of your creativetime and how so yes okayso I’ve never I’m not one of those people that have a difficulty withmotivation I’m like a slingshot I have a my rubber band as always yeah my rubberband is always drawn tight like I’m for me it’s not a question of will I bemotivated to do it it’s it’s a question of when can I get to it so I’m I’m alittle bit obsessive too so I don’t really follow I don’t have much ofwriter’s block is a real thing I don’t believe writer’s block has anything todo with motivation or anything like that a lot of it just has to do with likebaking your metaphors in your in your subconscious untilthey’re ready to come out and present themselves as a meaningful experience sofor me I don’t write everyday I write a lot I’m very prolific but I spend mostof my time in Storyville you know like I spend most of my time kind of in thismeditation or concentration like for example I you know while I’m paintingand drawing it’s like one part of my brain can be focused on painting drawingworking on storyboards or something like that and then the other part of my brainis sitting there plotting out the next scene and connecting all these differentthings so a lot of it comes down to I’m constantly thinking about story I’mconstantly coming up with stories I’ve have a list of more than a hundreddifferent like novels screenplays comic books short stories that I’m workright now I’m you know juggling three different two features and the twopilots that I’m writing actively one in particular that I’m really excited aboutso as far as protecting my time arts always been my priority like probablysome friends aides they might be a little bit of an unhealthy attachment tomy heart because I tend to be a little obsessive and but you know it’s whatbrings me meaning it’s it makes nothing makes me happier than sitting down andwriting a great scene and then having somebody read it and then making itbetter you know and it’s it’s also making a beautiful painting or shootingan amazing scene that like just nails exactly what I’m going for or cuttingthe pieces together like editing and stuff it’s just the process of art ismagical to me so for me it’s I find so much fulfillment from it that it’s mostof the time I can’t wait to get to the cafe and write or I can’t wait to get tomy chair and write or I can’t wait to get to the computer and draw our paintso it’s but I I know that like a lot of people do struggle with that I justhaven’t been one of those people that do I think it’s great at least you’re notmaking someone else your higher power I mean you’re making your art in somesense yeah I think that’s actually great because that’s something that’s withinyou and you’re not depending on another person for it so actually I think that’shealthy but has there ever been a time when you feel like you you’re notspending enough time on creating something whether it’s painting writingand you’re like I need to defend my time to do it and I need to make room for it well like I said before in the in thesense of like I love painting I love drawing I love working on designingcomic books I love designing characters modeling things like that but I made theconsciousness or choice that right now the best thing I can do is invest in mywriting I spent a lot of my career working on other people’s stories andother people’s like you know I get to work on Kung Fu Panda legends ofAwesomeness and monsters vs. aliens and like that and it’s been amazing I loveworking in the story Department I love collaborating with producers and otherwriters and stuff but um I’ve made a very conscious effort to for exampleI’ve made a very conscious effort to make sure that I’m focusing mydiscipline where it’s going to pay off so so for example right now I’m workingon a television show I’ve been working I wrote a pilot he’s read it flipped overit we’re working together and we’re currently shopping it around and we’revery excited about it but uh you know what I want to pitch itto you I’m gonna hear it okay sure cool do you want me to pretend I’m assistantor okay well actually this can tie into a little bit about how the like okay sothe biggest thing we’re looking for when we’re when we’re writing is that we’retrying to you know pull the metaphors from ourself and make it mean somethingto somebody else and ultimately that’s talking about theme theme tends to be essentially moral in nature now a lot ofpeople like for example Robert McKee he he calls it the controlling idea and Ilike that he approaches it that way because what do you like especiallyduring that time there was kind of this tendency to be like we don’t want tomoralize stories because when you try and use a story to convey a moral itstarts coming off as preachy and then you disengage from it and then you don’tbuy into it so it’s it’s good to have that kind of removal but at its core itreally is a kind of moral experience and by moral I mean something that hassurvival value a principle a principle of the way the world works with survivalvalue so for example if you lie it ends up biting you in the ass so that’s aclaim about the way the world works or the way universe works so if you tellthis if you tell this lie people find out about it and then it catches up toyou so what we’re doing essentially is every single story isessentially expressing a kind of moral value that moral value is the theme sothe character is essentially there to experience the rules of the universe andthen adapt to whatever that moral theme is so let me see if I understand thisI’m gonna take the example pay the consequence of the morality right okaylike Norma Rae I just re-watched that Norma Rae Sally Field you have to sayokay darn I was gonna say it has so many themes in it it’s not just like thisfeminist sort of movie there’s also the theme of sort of like xenophobia I don’tknow if that’s actually a theme but this union organizer comes to this small townwhere they need that mill that’s where all the jobs have been for years that’swhere everyone’s families worked they don’t want to rock the boatwith the owners if they try to like strike out and get better wages dipbetter working conditions it’s gonna bite them because they they’ll just beexpendable so I guess I’m trying to say is the theme of that movie we wouldthink is more about her standing up her standing up to her father her standingup to some of these men that if maybe use or whatever she’s willingly allowedthat but it’s also about seeing a world that’s outside of this small littlemicrocosm that you’ve been in yeah you know she’s only seen this little smalltown this this hard mill working life where the conditions are bad I’m tryingto think of what the name of the theme would be as you said it’s it’s a moraltheme is about sort of morals yeah so what’s immoral to you more well is itabout values is it about I consider stealing wrong let’s say I see somethingof my neighbors that’s out there that’s accidentally there does that mean thatit’s okay for me to take no mm-hmm even if I don’t like the person I don’t wantto take it because it’s wrong why would it be wrong because it doesn’t belong tome I didn’t pay for it and what are the consequences of doing that maybe nothingbut I would know about it and I think that’s where that might formthe way you see the world and your behavior and how I look in the mirrormyself yeah because then I feel like I don’t know if I can justify that tomyself taking something so it might carry on certain individual consequencesand then you pay a certain price for that even if this person didn’t know itgood yeah so I defined more of morality as the rules of survival right and atheme is a rule of the universe so what we’re constantly trying to do ashomo sapiens is we’re trying to find out how the universe works and the best wayto navigate it and it’s through narratives that we learn these valuesystems that’s why we’re constantly sharing these news stories because we’reconstantly every single day trying to find out how the world has changed sothat we can adapt to it and it’s always been this constant rate of change and weend story is the mechanism for adaptation that’s why you really don’tbuy into this escapist approach so so theme being these rules on the universelike every story has multiple themes to it but I would say that a verycompelling story tends to have a clear hierarchy of themes so what’s a goodexample we’ll start with the Back to the Future okay it’s simple like what arewhat are what can we extrapolate from Back to the Future like what what whatare the rules of survival that we can learn from Back to the Future oh there’sso many um it sounds like some of it’s about familyprotecting family mmm and then learning your history mmm okay having a betterunderstanding of yourself through your history and then it is another sort of afish-out-of-water scenario yeah not understanding the social mores and rulesof that time frame of that area cool so you’re pulling a whole bunch ofdifferent rules of the universe that he had to deal with the Marty McFly had todeal with you essentially start out with a character who’s always late he’s has alittle bit of an inferiority complex he’s seen as a loser by the principaland all this stuff and so he’s in a bit of this shifting identity he’s hisidentity is like why is my life so miserable how come I don’t haveeverything I want which we all identify SAR and then byhim going back in time he starts to learn that it was the choices of hisparents that directly affected he was and by throwing himself in themiddle of that those choices begin to shift and evolved and then you know hegets to have a fantasy of like what it would be like if things were differentso at the core of it usually what we’re looking for is one central theme thatinforms everything I that’s usually defined by what I would call the moralimperative which is the rule the rule of survival that informs the entire story so ultimately he learns that heshouldn’t fuck with time or time will or they’ll have to have to pay theconsequence but ultimately through the civil experience he learns that bygetting to know his parents in a completely different way by identifyingwith them at the same age where he was he sees that they had an opportunity tobecome to be people he would actually care about rather than just being kindof his parents and they’re boring they’re actually people that he wouldhave interacted with and cared a great deal for and then when he comes back hesees how different everything is which always has a little bit of an irony toit I know but you see how they were setting these roles and how he just sawthem as one way when they were sort of these tragic roles in yeah you know butwhat do you think his relation to doc is what’s the theme there I was alwaysfascinated by doc yeah what do you think that is where we fascinated by muchbecause he was this sort of brilliant guy that no one understood and peoplewere sort of afraid of him like him he was almost evil but he wasn’t he was hewas misunderstood you know they people always say oh he’s not a bad person he’sjust misunderstood yeah but it doesn’t really seem like a bad person I I mean Ilove Christopher Lloyd but I always felt like Doc was a bit of a device like hewas I mean what was their interaction I mean it eventually over the sequels andstuff they started to care about each other but ultimately you’re alwayswondering like why is this teenager hip hanging out with this doc but it worksfor the story you know if you just you just buy itinvest in it but um but yeah ultimately with stories we’re looking for a centraltheme that informs all the other themes like for example the Royal Tenenbaumsyou know essentially it’s about learning to love people like learning to letpeople live their own lives and still love them regardless because Roy wasalways trying to control the way everybody behaved and that ended upcausing this massive identity crisis for his entire family until everyone’smiserable depressed and separated from each other so it’s when they come backand he’s like tries to reconnect with all of them that he starts to impose hisold value system he tries to manipulate people because he doesn’t trust them tolove him so it’s not until he learns if I just love them for who they are if Ijust let my son and adopted daughter fall in love with each other and withoutjudgment then they then they’re gonna figure it out for themselves and they’lllove me regardless and that was like that was the core lesson that he neededto learn which is that you know accept people for who they are and then thenyou can love them for who they are without trying to change them intosomething else and so that I would say that’s the central theme and then everyother story after that like for example Luke Wilson’s characterRicky Tannenbaum anyway Luke Wilson’s character the ten Imams he his centraltheme was he felt extremely imposed upon by his parents values that’s why youknow he wore the headband like his identity of success or his identity wasbeing a successful tennis player and so he always felt like he was carryingaround the baggage of his parents expectations which directly informs hishis deeper inner desire which was that he was in love with Margo and so it wasthrough this process of learning to just let go to let his heart be broken andthen eventually the royal learned to love him for who he was that he wouldthat they were able to let go of this baggage and so that would be kind of asupporting theme that ties into the central theme which is letting people bewho they are and then loving him regardless do you outline every story that youwrite yeah I’m yeah I’m pretty thorough with my outlining I tend to I’ll spendquite a bit of time outlining before I even write the fold like I usually havea complete full outline and then jump into the story so I’ll have a reallyspecific idea of the objective of every single scene and ultimately it saves metime when I first started writing I was anti outline I kind of had the attitudeyou know it’s the young attitude of just like you know I’m just gonna write andmy my guts gonna tell me what’s right and what it’s meaningful and stuff likethat and that works for a lot of writers but I noticed that I would hit a lot ofdead ends and I became emotionally attached to those dead ends and then itbecame really hard to rewrite until I just drove my stories off the cliff andso little by little the more I you know honestly that Ron Media 24-point thingwas huge because it was so simple you can literally sit there and just plotout a story in an hour and you’d have a really good idea of where I was goingand then from there you’re you know that’s to me that’s when you go fromlike you know discovering your story to actually becoming craftsman or a classperson where you’re working on the story and taking control of it and then youstart to take a step back and then you know it’s almost like a render machineyou’re rendering your story before you ever sit down and write it so then thescript really just becomes kind of a secondary artifact of all the work thatyou’ve put into it so yeah I spend a lot of time outlining it it’s and it’s youknow a lot of people feel like it takes away from the creative process usuallythat’s kind of the writer saying well I want to be in the audience too and Iwant to experience and be surprised by it but outline who doesn’t take awayfrom that because what happens when you sit down like you’ve outlined you’ve gotyour outline right here and then when you’re writing you put yourself in themoment you’re you’re in the skin of the writer or the character and you you’reexperiencing it and then if your gut tells you to try something different trysomething different see where it goes so you’re still you know the wholeGardner versus architect the pan servers a plotter kind of thing I call it whatis it the bee assassin versus the Berserker basically the idea that likethe the planner versus the person that just sees what happens next and I thinkit’s important to to understand the consequences of the choices you’remaking but the whole process of writing is an experiment art is an experimentand the out the only thing that rules it is do we make it emotionally resonantfor somebody else and as artists we get to decide how much that is like how howwe build that relationship if we want to do it is a little like for a living thenwe become responsible to those people that are investing in us and that’sthat’s when you want to be able to to have control of your craft that’s whenyou want to be able to you know climb the mountain know how you’re gonna getup there cuz you gotta meet a deadline you know it’s there aren’t a lot ofproducers that are gonna be like alright you know we needed this three months agoand you’re still just kind of wandering in the weeds but a lot of the process ofwriting is experimenting in the weeds going into the weeds and then steppingback and the trick is just not not panicking when you’re in the weeds andsaying okay this is part of the process let’s step back and look at the let’slook at the outline and see if this is gonna work so for me it feels like it’slike like a map you’re zooming in and you know you can do the the street viewwhere you’re in the character and you’re just driving along and you’re like yeahI feel this I’m going through this Street and that’s when you’re writingbut then you pull back you zoom out and you see the overview of where you’regoing and that’s the outline so do you think with without an outline a writerbacks themselves into a corner a little bit I mean we’re all vulnerable to thateven with an outline where were vulnerable to itbut again I don’t believe in any right or wrong like there’s this one writerBob signs he’s amazing he says he doesn’t outline he’s successful writesgreat stuff he just wrote extra-curricular and itfantastic I read the script it’s so good and he he does an outline but he knowshow to write he gets he gets where he needs to go and he knows how to tell astory so it’s like it’s right what works for you is fine the important thing isto be able to to sell it to the producers to engage the people that itthat that need to be engaged you’re writing for readers largely so you wantto learn to the language of what they expect but within that you know it’sit’s whatever gets you there I don’t think you have any obligation butgenerally speaking the average person would benefit from taking the time toplan out where their story’s gonna go have a good idea of how it’s going toend and then you know work toward that in the past have you introduced thattwenty four point system to some of your students and yes surprised yeah actuallymy first in my first video I introduced the 20 for plot points and then theybreak it down into acts and the sequences and then scenes and everythinglike that so it’s um it’s just a really simple simple kind of like a lot ofpeople they’ll stare at the blank page I’ve never understood the staring at theblank page because by the time I’m ready to write a scene I’ve already had likepages of writing I can’t it’s like the slingshot you’re just like slowly likepreparing like getting all the scenes getting the character getting the plotthe conflict you know what every character wants so when you sit downyou’re ready to write you let go and you’re just flying you know but it’s butit really comes down to everybody discovering their own process you knowand I’m not a purist like lots of people don’t outline and they’re very goodwriters are very successful and a lot of that’s the intuition or their experiencethat informs it we talk about text subtext and context what does each itemmean yeah well that’s a big subject text subtext in context so ultimately it isabout a character wanting something right every story’s about a characterwants them wanting something and then facing a conflict to get it whether theyget it or not so when they want something they have adesire that desire is expressed through subtext if I want this glass of waterI’m going to take the action right so the subtext is that you can infer I’mthirsty or I’m looking for some sort of like physical distraction to keep myhands busy or something like that and the gulping is part of that too maybethere’s I’m about to confront you on something yes sir you know or I’m yourboss or you know whatever I’m an ex-girlfriend me there’s just so manythings and you’re like you know yeah exactly she’s gonna say to me so a lotof that is about interpreting we we are guessing what a character wants from thebehaviors they’re exhibiting right now the context is simply the worldview thesituation they’re dealing with right so we’re sitting in a room right now wehave we all have different objectives and so that this the when the characterso the context is literally just like the plate that you’re serving everythingon like I compare it like visually it came up with the metaphor of cremebrulee just use a visual metaphor where you’ve got the plate as the context andthen you’ve got the brulee or the the creme the cream as the subtext and thenthe the top layer that’s burned and scorched brûléed is the text oh that’sgreat so the idea is basically what we’re seeing is words right and thosewords often are in complete contradiction of actual intention but insome way were interpreting those words as a kind of behavior so most of thetime like for example it’s part of the reason when I’m writing the last thing Ido is write dialogue that was another thing I learned from Ron Mita you wantto be able to well do whatever you want but for me I like to have the charactersintentions very clear and the conflict that they’re gonna be facing very clearand what we’re constantly trying to do is there’s this one there’s a one bookcalled character and viewpoint where it talks about how essentially youknow we’re all like chimpanzees in the wild and when they’re in when they’re inthe jungle and they sense that there’s a threat they run away and the first thingthey do as soon as they feel like they’re safethe very first thing they do is they stop they turn around to see where thesource of danger is so that’s when they’re completely engaged the wholechimpanzee metaphor is basically that we’re trying to interpret the intentionof things that are around us so we’re we’re we’re projecting what we thinkthat person wants by the way it’s behaving so we’re trying to determinewhether it’s a threat or whether it’s safe whether it’s one on our side oragainst us that kind of thing so ultimately what we’re looking for withlike with with dialogue is we’re trying to see if we can believe them and themost interesting characters are completely unaware of what’s actuallydriving them you know like they’re the whole time like Indiana Jones is goingthrough all of these ridiculous Hoops not really like the whole time we werewondering like why is he taking on these Nazis why is it being dragged by a chairjust so that like some something and make it into a museum ultimately he hasthis really you know stuff that depends how deep you want to go with IndianaJones but he has this kind of drive to its genuinely emotionally upsetting tohim that there would be some betrayal some misrepresentation of the truth andthat’s what’s interesting is so like the whole time he’s making all these reallybold choices you think he’s kind of this glib sarcastic professor but um whathe’s really doing is he’s trying to unearth truth and he’s trying like he’sliterally putting his body under all this brutality because he wants to thetruth to be revealed and that’s you know and every single choice you know thatbecause every single choice whether he admits it or not has led toward himexposing the truth for what it is so which is better subtext or contextbecause we know the less you sort of tell it’s like saying which is betterthe trigger or the bullet okay all right okay so maybe which which is the best tofocus on maybe I’m misunderstanding some of what what because text I get subtextyeah it makes sense when you said you took you went to take the drink wellthen I can infer that maybe you’re thirsty or maybe you’re using it as abuffer yes subtext is an expression of the desire okay right and the text isit’s only one means of expressing that desire sure instead of saying I’mthirsty and then you but by doing it it’s much more believable or I realizethat you’re needing that glass for some reason but then the context I think iswhere I’m like just trying to figure that out a little bit more so thecontext would be okay so for example okay take a simple line go ahead drinkit right so go ahead drink it is the textokay we can add different subtext to it so if I say go ahead drink it there’s adifferent subtext I’m sure maybe threatening you right I say go aheaddrink it right I’m saying I don’t really care what you do if I say go aheadfucking drink it right I change the text a little bit but the subtext is totallydifferent now so that’s text than subtext context is we’re sitting in abus I’m holding a gun this is a clumsy way I’m holding a gun and you’re holdingpoison and I’m holding your child so now the context is extremely loaded and thenthe choice that you’re about to make is implicit and I’m saying if you don’tdrink it I’m gonna shoot your baby so I say go ahead drink it see the context hehas this story the context is a situation you’redealing with we can come up with a much better that’sjust that comes you know kinda makes but the idea is that basically like the textis the ironically because writers tend to overemphasize dialogues so much thetext tends to get too much importance the most important stuff is the contextand the subtext because the subtext is the intention the context is theconflict that you’re dealing with the situation you’re trying to deal with soif we’re in space and we’re flying toward the moon and we know that that’sgravity I don’t know as we go if we’re flying toward the moon and we know thatthis is that the only thing that’s going to save us is this little serum and itcould either boil our blood or it might save our lives and we’ve just given upand we’ve been through this whole journey and we’re about to open thehatch and I say go ahead drink it then we open the hatch it totally changes thewhole context so that the context is about the situation you’re dealing withsubtext is intention text is just the artifacts it’s one expression of thatdesire you would reference the movie thank you for smoking um in at least oneof your videos forgive me I haven’t seen it but I want to make a point to see itand I’ve heard from many people actually it looked amazingyeah and there were so many he’s so charismatic in it you know yeah exactlyand how he said he has sort of this BA and what was it what was his exact samepublic relations okay Oh BA bullshit yes yeah right and he’sthe guy that can talk the girl into anything kind of thing yeah and so whatwhat what in that movie how would you break down the text the subtext in thecontext and how much do you think that relates to the entertainment business inthe sense that they’re trying to make it seem that smoking is okay they’rethey’re trying to portray that it’s actually okay that see what I think isinteresting I mean ultimately that’s what I love that movie because it’s apolemic it’s it’s presented as morally it’s it’s about moral ambiguity you knowit there’s this larger theme which isbasically saying like culture this is this is a really complex breakdown it’sa complex movement I fucking love it it’s one of my favorites but at its coreit’s it’s it’s about this guy who’s trying to sell smoking but what he’sreally trying to do I mean it’s it’s an exercise in rhetoric but what he’sreally trying to do is say I don’t want people to determine my life for me Iwanted to take control of my own life and I would get to decide if I wantthroat cancer or not which is why at the very end you’re like if my kid wants tosmoke I’m gonna light it up for him because it’s not really about him sayinglike it’s okay to smoke what he’s really the whole story is this journey of himfacing these you know largely it’s one of the things that’s really close to mewhich is large tribal groups trying to impose their values on individuals andhis individuality coming back and saying no fuck you I’m gonna do what I want todo and you’re kind of a villain for trying to impose that on other peopleand I and it doesn’t in such a clever polemic way and smoking is really just apretext that gets us into it because it’s something that you know most peoplelargely condemn I don’t smoke and it’s not it’s not healthy but at the sametime who are you to decide that for other people and that’s what that movieis asking about but from from a great rhetorical position you know so wouldyou say in some sense there’s themes in terms of story the entertainmentindustry and how we view what’s acceptable to watch I think like whatRob Lowe plays the studio executive he’s like pitching up site yeah I thinkthat’s suddenly he’s like he names to me like yes how he sees the world is justyeah what what you know blockbuster is a sort of I don’t know I’ve been thinkingabout like especially the entertainment industry and like a lot of a lot ofpeople like especially on your channel of the interviews you guys are doinglots of discussion about you know what are the best rules for survival in theentertainment industry and for me there’s a metaphor that just kind ofdescribes it simply which is that the entertainment industryis like a harbor and we have a constantly shifting tide the water isgoing up and down and that tide is the amount of tension that people arewilling to pay to things now the industry does the best they can andwe’re talking by industry specifically we’re talking about studios distributedistributors production companies they’re trying to understand which waythe water is going where it’s moving and most of the time like you know as awriter you’re trying to swim in these choppy seas because you’re you you’vebuilt your craft and you’re trying to dock in the harbor now the studios Ihave these docks and they’re through the harbor right and because the water isconstantly shifting the best you can do is make your craft is adaptable towhatever the needs of the harbor are so they’re they’re looking for whatever isgoing to draw in the water as much as possible this metaphor might break downa little bit if we could take specific but um but the idea is basicallyeverybody has to adapt to the shifting tide then the studios especially theyhave the most at stake so they’re looking for stories orwriters crafts persons that have built crafts that are adaptable to theshifting tides and you know there’s some studios that have built these massivemega harbors and your little dinghy comes up and it’s just gonna get beat upagainst the water because it’ll be swallowed up because it because thewaters changing so much now especially with the changing of like streaming anddistribution models are radically shifting and indie film is shifting andyou know people are making movies for less than a million dollars the harboris dramatically different than it was five years ago ten years agoso when it comes to the industry all you’re trying to do is find your path inthe best thing you can do is focus on developing your craft as much aspossible making as adaptable as possible which is really just the process ofbeing able to delve into your metaphors and really work on being able to tellthe stories that are compelling to other people and that’s that’s a no one hasthe right answer to that we’re all just figuring that outit’s interesting the other day I went to uh I went to this bookstore this is coolexperience I had yesterday there’s one actually left I know right there’s thislittle independent used bookstore beautiful is over in Atwater Village andI walked in and I saw these beautiful typewriters and these Remington’s thatwere reconstructed and painted and beautiful and I was drawn into it andthere was this woman there that was she was writing on it I was like these arebeautiful I wanted to buy one but I was checking it out – goes oh these are mymy typewriters like oh are they on exhibit she goes yeah they’re uh exhibitand she said I’m actually a poet I’m doing a kind of a exhibit and I’m likewhat kind of poet are you in she goes well I do this thing where I look intoyour eyes you can tell me a word or a theme or something and tell me somethingthat’s relevant to you and then I’ll write a poem for youand you can just pay me whatever you think it’s worth I was like that’samazing I have to do this yeah it was very cool so there was this phrase thatwas going through my head earlier in the day the outrunning ghosts it’s just aninteresting idea and so I mentioned that and she she looked at me for a littlebit and I could see the wheels turning and there’s this kind of uniqueconnection and then she turns around it’s a small slip of paper into the theRemington and she starts typing and she starts out with the first runnin ghostsof love she wrote and then she started braidingthis poem I just flowed out of her and it like she almost ran out of space andshe says that rarely happens because something connected and I just workedshe pulled it out and she said can I read it to you I was like yes of courseit’s even better so she read it to me and I was surprised that genuinely movedme and I’m I love poetry most poetry’s awful and so I’m a little skeptical whenit comes to poetry but I wanted to hear it and she came from such an emotionallyopen place when she wrote about it so she started writing this thing thatgenuinely moved me and you know my eyes teared up and she realized and she gotemotional from it as well and what was what was amazing was that she wasactually tapping into something that was deeply relevant to me personally and Ithink that right there is the core of great writing which is that she openedherself up emotionally and she delved into her own subconscious in a way thatshe was able to extract this metaphors that resonated with me in a very verydeep way we don’t know each other at all her name is Jacqueline Susskind and Ijust remember because it she assigned it and put her name at the bottom of thepoem and it was this beautiful experience where just by engaging themetaphors that were relevant to her she spoke to something that I needed tolearn an experience and that to me is at the core of what what it means to be awriter it’s at the core would it mean to be an artist to engage those metaphorsand so what we’re trying to do as writers screenwriters novelistsstorytellers short stories whatever we’re trying to delve into thatmeaningful place that vulnerable place and in some way diagnose or identify oreven just express some conflict through the metaphors we’re engaging and that’swhere we find the meaning the anatomy of chaos this I mean so doyou think she’s like an empathic poet is that definitely she was showing pureempathy um I don’t like I’m skeptical when it comes to you know supernaturalthings and things like that but um whatever whatever metaphor she wasdealing with or that she was drawing on spoke directly to me in a reallybeautiful way and and I think great writers can do that I think very youknow and when I say great writers I mean I think everybody should be writing itmakes us all better so like Vonnegut says go write a poem it’ll make you abetter person but great writers are able to tap into that that subconscious insuch a way that they’ll speak to a human experience that connects to all of us interesting you said ghosts cuz I justfinished every love story is a ghost story I think about David Foster Wallaceoh so it’s about his life I couldn’t read the end breaks my heart it’s toosad and I started to get angry in sometimes because he was so talentedyeah and and I felt like it was it was such a waste and I was very upset and Icouldn’t read the end but I read the beginning in the middle and it’s just aninteresting concept of ghosts as well because because in some sense is thatall we’re seeking is is this like just how she wrote this poem just like thisempathic experience through what we what we watched what we read are we lookingfor what we’re watching to basically tell us about ourselves yeah and so Iwas just wondering and you brought up the ghosts so that was just interestingbecause I had just finished that but yeah yeah that’s beautiful yeah DavidFoster Wallace yeah with your videos I again I keep going back to these videosbut they are amazing and I see that you have almost all positive feedback howdoes that make you feel it feels great I mean make you want to keep going with itor yeah like people are really generous with the compliments it’s beenvery nice originally I was saying things that I thought people would findprovocative I thought people are gonna be angry at the way I defined act orimpetus and just because I’m ridiculously pedantic and stuff aboutthat but um it’s it’s motivating because you know because people want like itactually helps them in their process and that’s you know it just feels goodI recently released this one video that I worked for a long time on did you seethe one about religion and story I I saw some of it I noticed he got strongreactions yeah and I was curious about that forgive me I didn’t watch that oneno that’s okay yeah it’s it’s it’s the longest one it’s 35 minutes and it’sprobably one of the more controversial ones just because I’m making very boldclaims about the the nature and definition of religion but the coolthing is is it’s been getting some really interesting attention from I wascontacted I had sent it to David Sloan Wilson who is the president of theevolution Institute and he he contacted me and he’s like this is some reallyinteresting work I think we should submit this for peer review and what I’dlike to talk to you about some of your ideas and how you think this is andinforming the conversation so right now there’s you know I I made a few verybold I claims about what the nature of religion basically that I definereligion in very broad but specific terms which is that it’s it’s a strategyfor survival that informs the narratives we tell ourselves and the consequence ofthat is that it draws people together and it’s and ultimately it’s defined bythose those values of the sacred and the profane so the it this is a conversationI’ve been fascinated by this you know a lot of the secular movements and likethe culture wars going on between you know for example religion and atheismand and then looking at like other other aspects of culture war of the culturewars there going on and I think at the core of it it is ifwe’re able to be honest about the way we interpret information the way we developour loyalties we’ll actually be able to critically evaluate our sacred totemsare our metaphors and then begin to deconstruct whether those metaphors areaccurate to reality I think ultimately if we look at the paradigm of healthhealth is just about being able to respond proportionately to threats andopportunities so I think if we can begin to look at religion not as just thiskind of bizarre a lot of metaphors is that it’s a kind of a virus thatovertakes the mind but instead it’s the way we develop value systems throughmetaphors and you know being someone who’s deeply invested in story and theway we develop narratives to develop value systems I think we we need tounderstand that process and that’s why I’m so specific and trying to understandlike what art is versus science and how those two relate because we can’t haveone without the other I mean as soon as we try to representsomething it’s a form of art as soon as it becomes an emotional experience thenthat informs our values so so it’s it’s really exciting it’s been an honor justto start talking with with David and I’m really curious to see what it comes upwith because it’s it’s a controversial it’s controversial claims but I thinkit’s the conversation that needs to happen and that’s what I’m reallyinterested in and engaging Plus you know I have a lot to say I have a lot ofthings I care about a lot of things I’m passionate about and all of that goesinto my writing all that goes into the stories you know it’s interesting thatwe have to have this like subcategory or whatever for faith-based scripts mmm Idon’t know I just find that interesting I mean you know if you look at it fromlike a you know a scale or a line and you have on one end a cult and then onthe other end would just be an openness to something that’s greater thanourselves you know and then we could just kind of go in the middle but itjust seems like a lot of that can he talks about even if it’s not if it’slike Nam nondenominational like it just it seems like no one can really havethat in a screenplay without it being okay well this is a faith-based scriptit’s got to be that category you know I mean ultimately the that comes on todistribution and marketing you know and most of distribution of marketing isabout responding to kind of axiomatic ideas connotative beliefs of what mostpeople think of something like when you say faith-based you know there’s a lotof argument about like belief versus knowledge and how some people don’tbelieve anything but the truth of it is is everybody has belief belief is justwhen you internalized information and accept it is true but you know when yousay something is faith-based you know that’s it those are that’s jargon thatis designed to gear toward a very specific genre and I don’t know somesomeone that has you know being someone that has a kind of a skeptical viewtoward a lot of traditional narratives I’m still fascinated by it you knowbeing raised religious I was fascinated by all the metaphors but I think thatultimately helped me to begin to engage story on a different level looking athow those metaphors exists how they work and how we internalize them we talkabout check-offs gun so basically the Chekhov’s gun is that the axiom is ifthere’s a gun on the wall and you mention it you have to use it if the gundoesn’t go off then you’ve set up an expectation that you didn’t deliver onand it’s a good principle and again it’s one of those principles where it’s likegenerally speaking you want to obey it but again look at No Country for Old Menthey Llewellyn Moss is a loaded gun on the wall and in the end he fails and itdoesn’t we don’t get what we expected but it meant something to the story soit’s like every principle it it helps us to understand like that thegeneral principle is that if you’re going to talk about something no detailin any store should ever be wasted your especially with screenwriting you haveyou want to be as sparse as possible you want to be as specific as possible sowhen you’re writing something you’re not just throwing stuff out there it all hasto be you should regard every single word as a kind of setup that you nowhave a debt to resolve but that said if you are going to break that rule have areally good reason for it no country for old men is the perfectreason because it bill directly contributed to the interpretation of thetheme so even like if you just want to paint you know it like in novels hmm Ithink are we much more apt to someone an author is gonna paint a world and maybeadd little details but in a screenplay no you’re saying don’t don’t do too muchof that world because it’s it’s just I would say using to a novel writing ohreally yeah because I mean it really comes downto you know the the voice the language and a lot of the times when you’resetting something up you’re trying to plant seeds of something that you don’twant the kit the audience to be paying attention to because later it pays offand comes through and you’re like oh I didn’t even see that coming but if youdidn’t set it up beforehand then it feels like a cheat when it’s suddenlyintroduced it really just comes down to really knowing the craft it’s superspecific to the needs of your story and a lot of that will depend on you knowget in front of other people see if it feels like a cheap see if it feels likeyou’re setting something up sometimes if you say you know the laser gun sittingon the table you’re gonna be like wait laser gun are we in the future you knowand those are things you need to pay attention to and a lot of that is youknow fine-tooth comb in your script and getting other people to read it andgauging their expectations and getting getting as much feedback as you can youtalked earlier about adapting your videos into a book but you also have anovel that she wrote yeah that has to do with the entertainment industry yeah andreligion it’s got a lot of just interesting stuff and you made a booktrailer yeah which I watched was that something that someone advised you to door you knew all along because you’re so visual as well that you wanted to it’s acool trailer by the way thank you I appreciate that I had a lot of fun withit yeah I mean it is something like you know in researching releasing a bookindependently I was looking at everything you know they’re like you gotto do a book trailer you should start doing videos that engage an audience andall of these things anatomy of chaos this book trailer all these things arekind of my attempt at doing these things and so with with the the trailer Iwanted to do a scene like most trailers kind of have these light you know in aworld with it and then it’s like these flowing like kind of animated titles orpictures or montage which some of them are cool there’s a few that are donewell but I’m like so the novel I had originally written as a season as aminiseries and here’s the quick pitch basically a reality show producer takesa hipster from Silver Lake and through a bunch of trickery and Industrial Lightand Magic creates a profit and online profit hesays this is going to be a new religion so using like all this tricks in theentertainment industry and the reality shows he’s like I’m gonna make this anew religion the thing that is is it takes off and it turns into a legitimatereligion a kind of a cult a weird religion and along the way the Prophetbegins to believe or may actually be an actual prophet and certain things startto happen we’re always with the main characters names Tommy Knoxreality show producer he’s cynical skeptical sarcastic glib he’s hilariouscharacter and and the whole story is these is these two characters one thiscynical sarcastic person and one a completelysincere devout person and the the incredible conflict that they come to itat the core of it I was really fascinated by the idea of what if thereis this religious movement that took the world by storm but it was invented by acynical asshole which i think is so funny and interesting and then theplaces that it goes is this really dark interesting polemic that I wanted totell so I structured it in such a way likeoriginally I can see that as a feature years ago the more I explored it themore I was like there’s so much good interesting stuff here with thecharacters with entertainment and religion and the overlap of the two itturned into I want to do a miniseries out of this so I wrote the novel so eachchapter is like a an episode and you know and so it’s 24 chapters will be 24episodes and I’ve adapted a pilot that you know we’re also I’m talking to a fewdifferent producers that they’re they’re taking some interest in and but I hadadapted the novel so it reads like an HBO series or a Netflix series and it’sit’s hilarious it’s a comedy it’s completely different from cereal but I’dlike to think that it has the same level of sophistication and and some of thecharacters and it’s a lot of the complex characters that are engaging in thestory so yeah it took you four months to writeyes how many pages it’s a hundred or pages I don’t know it’s a hundred eightythousand words so it depends I however reformat it which is the average firstnovel you want it to be around between ninety to a hundred thousand wordsmine’s almost twice that because of what I wanted to do I wanted to have first ofall it’s it’s a story that’s been in me it’s the issues that I care deeply aboutentertainment art religiosity and the way we build metaphors as groups ofpeople it’s really interesting to me and there was so much interesting fodderand places that it could go that I really wanted to take the time and I’mself-publishing it so you know I hired some editors to toand I’m really proud of it I think it’s great the the pilots getting really goodattention and now we have a complete template for a whole miniseries for itbut yeah it is it is something that’s it’s a meaty tome but it reads verysparse very smooth so it’s available now on Amazon it is available now in factwe’re we’re looking at it having adapting it to audiobook oh wow yeahwhich is great I’m really excited about that that we don’t have an officialannouncement like when it’s gonna be coming out but the book right now isavailable you can buy either ebook or print as well and the cover is reallycool you yeah I painted it I designed it and painted it so yeah that’s that’s agood example of some of the painting I do I have a classical background inclassical artworks I painted and I used to teach oil painting at CalArts I livedin Mexico for a few years and painting murals and made a few tricks or made aTrek to Italy and all that stuff so so yeah that’s a huge part of what’sinteresting to me about it I did publishers appreciate your artwork someof them I’ve been approached by a couple different publishers and you know eachpublisher wants to put their brand in their approach to it and yeah overallI’ve had a really good response my original idea was to publish the thenovel independently largely to get it to it adapted to television I I do thinkit’s a strong book that stands on its own I think it’s I think it’sentertaining but you know I’m – my own horn but but I’ve been getting greatreaction from it have you approached any bookstores to try to get I mean I didthe few that are left to try to get it on the shelves I’ll occasionally dosignings and things like that oh but yeah and I you know try to makeit interesting and exciting and stuff but honestly it’s largely an onlinething like most of most of the book sales especially now are largely onlineand so I I tend and this is part of my problem I tend to focus more on just thewriting and right now with the stuff I’mdeveloping and the attention we’re getting with with the stuff that some ofthe stuff we’re shopping around that’s kind of my main boilerplate but profitmargin is you know we’re we’re keeping that going we’re keeping that flame laidwhat do people ask you at these signings I always think that it’s such asinteresting it’s kind of just like this weird meet and greet and yeah seems likeit could be uncomfortable but it’s on at the same time I like meeting people Imean I’m a social person so I enjoy it yeah I’ve had a few people that are whatare they ask you I don’t know maybe they ask you for your phone number orsomething else there’s that there’s uh okay so profit margin I will give thisaway there’s a secret narrative and some people have tapped into that and there’scertain clues that I’ve written along the way if you if you read it and youcome to the end there’s a there’s two potential ways of interpreting theending and not to give too much away but a lot of people ask me questions aboutlike so this character Michelangelo that’s a clue right there if you startto unravel were like what these characters want what they’re doing andwhat they mean to the story you can actually start to see what the secretnarrative is so there’s two different ways of interpreting the same book so alot of it is like some people are arguing about like what what the storyactually means which is great because that’s what I wanted it to be a polemicI wanted it to be a conversation starter this is a story within a story or areyou leaving clues I’m leaving clues so basically it’s by double narrative Imean you’re you’re ideally you’re reading it trying to figure how to saythis without giving away too much you’re reading it in such a way that you’reyou’re interpreting it as okay so for example there are some miracles thathappen and as you’re reading it some people read it they’re like wow thesemiracles are amazing and the other people are reading it saying oh theseare productions this is Tommy Knox working his productions and he’s workingbehind the scenes to make this look like a miracle and so then the questionbecomes is this guy is the character he creates is he your prophet or not andthe answer to that question is within the hidden narrative and I don’t want togive that away okay which is why the book is called profitmargin so with profit margin did you do the same thing with the screenwritingand you added the dialogue later I’m sure there’s heavy dialogue and there isnothing yeah I mean it’s been really interesting adapting it so years ago Ihad written a feature version of it and then when I went back to revisit it itwas like there’s so much here I’m gonna write I’m literally just gonna write theentire season as a novel so then after writing the entire novel Iwas like I’m gonna go back and just adapt the pilot I’d love that I’m reallyproud of the pilot and I’ve gotten really good responses from it but indoing that the pilot has a very different function than for example likea first chapter in a novel so like for example there were certain characters Ineeded to flush out to kind of imply that this is gonna be a journey ofseveral different characters the novel was written largely from just theperspective of Tommy Knox for the pilot we want to see that there’s some othercharacters that have really strong narrative so I adapted some scenes thatare in the pilot that are not in the novel and that’s largely – – like with apilot you want to set up an engine that these characters will will you want toget a strong sense of the kind of conflicts and kind of character andemotional dynamics you’re going to be dealing with in a pilot that will extenditself through the whole season and so a lot of a lot of that like a novel youhave time to kind of build and explore and weave things and with with the pilotand to be very concise very specific do a lot of trimming killing a lot ofdarlings which you know so but the dialogue the nice thing is is like Ilike this is about a slick producer he’s good with sales he’s very sarcasticcharismatic so he’s fun to write his dialogue is somuch fun to write so a lot of it was taken straight from the book and andthen you know from there I just kind of had to adapt it to the needs of thepilot you know it’s like I would have a scene that would go on for you know five10 pages in a novel and I’d have to trim it down to half a page or two pages andthat’s you know that’s that’s what the the needs for the for the format arewhere did you find these editors did you find them online and you just lookedyeah I talked to other novelists and other writers that I trust and checkedreferences and yeah and it’s it’s just the process of like what I would I woulddo like a there’s some services where you can sign up and you’ll ask forpetitions for editors and I think I had like something like 80 different editorsthat we’re interested in the project and then from there I just had him just do aquick edit of just like the ten page sequence and just to see what theirnotes were and then from there I boiled it down to three editors and then I gotin the phone they had a discussion about like what I intended to do and whattheir experience was and what their expectations were and yeah it was it wasa it was a cool process so are they looking at it not just for you knowpunctuation and grammar things like that but also the structure and and how itreads yeah so what I did I went for the full package so I the copy editors whichare looking at the punctuation making sure that you know send structure andall that stuff is good and then there’s content editors and thecontent editors I went with a content editor first because you want to thoseare the ones that are interested in structure character that they need to bevery familiar with with how story works and it’s that second pair of eyes I meana good editor is invaluable especially for someone like me who lovesto just write and loves to go in the deep end and I can just spend all dayswim in the deep end I need someone to say all right it’s time to get out ofthe water so yeah so a content editor what really helps with with making surethat all of the story dynamics are work that like you know those things wetalked about that my intention was to do this I just need to make sure it’scoming across and yeah I found a great content editor and then after that Ihired a copy editor to just go through and make sure all the commas are in theright place and no books perfect and every time I read it I still find one ortwo mistakes but or maybe probably more than one or two but um but yeah it’s I’mreally proud of it I think it’s a it’s a fun read and it reads really smoothanything it’s hilarious well it’s been such a dream of so many people I feellike not so much of this generation but of you know Generation X and before towrite this great American novel you know and a lot of that seems to be I guessit’s not going away but it seems like less and less because now everybody whowants to be a youtuber or whatever sort of live this you know influencerlifestyle and and some of that feels like it’s gone away a little no I don’tmix at all I think I think story’s never been more powerful like Imean there’s definitely like you know they talked about the democratization ofdistribution of publishing of writing and producing and making films andeverything so I more people are writing more people are publishing putting theirstuff out there it also means that you have a lot more maybe lower qualitystuff some writers they’re their main goal is to put out as much as they canwithout necessarily spending as much time on the quality which is a strategyfor me I’m you know I want to make it as good as I possibly can so I spent I meanI wrote it quickly in four months but that four months was the product of tenyears of preparation beforehand so you know I wrote in four months and thenspent the next year working with the editor getting it to a place where weboth felt like it was ready to publish so it’s I mean there’s so many writersand now this is you know like youtubers and things like that that’s a new it’s anewer phenomenon but it’s great because it’s more voicesand I still believe that you know people that are putting out good contentattract the kind of attention that and their that merits it you know it’s it’sthe cream always rises to the top and you know it probably means that there’slike a higher ratio of just total shit that’s out there but you know butultimately it’s the good stuff still comes through and you know it can happennaturally or virally I know a distributors are working really hard attrying to market stuff but you know if it’s shit it’s shit and if it’s not thenit gets some attention when you finished profit margin did you feel almost saddid you feel a depression like a postpartum depression we were talkingabout yeah like yeah your baby’s out there and graduated and well the firstthing that happened is I fucking hated it because I finished it and I was likeI just wasted I’ve been I love this story for so long I finished it and thenI was like that’s all it was it’s something personal every project assoon as I finish it I got to get away from it because I’m like sick of itright and I think like oh that’s all it was because it’s you know in your mindyou build it up and it’s gonna do all these different thingsso the I did you know the right thing is I got away from it and I just put itaway and then a couple months later I went back and I’m like alright you’re alittle bit fresh now reread it there’s a lot of good stuff and so you knowstarted the rewrites and stuff like that and then took it through a few differentrewrites and then got it to the editor shortly after that but yeah like youknow you you begin to develop a relationship with the characters and themore effort and energy you put into the story the more it means to you so youknow like Tommy Knox he’s a fun character right and nava who’s theprofit in the character he’s really interesting and nig matic characterthere’s the whole dynamic the world is fun to write but that’s true with everyevery story I write when I’m done with it it’s I put it away and they’re justkind of this I don’t know but I mean at the same timeI I tend to be juggling a lot of projects so I’ll put one away hate thatproject and then fall in love with this new project and it’s you know it’s likethat one cat’s cradle Kurt Vonnegut book where the the scientist is like he justgets distracted by turtles and like the Defense Department is like we reallyneed him to work on this bomb again and he’s like yeah but he’s trying to figureout what the nature of turtles are you know it’s like you I’m endlessly seekingout new fascination and they but that’s just how my mind works I’m constantlyinterested in new ideas and then I’m interested in taking those ideas andmaking them building emotional narratives around themin what ways can a screenwriter ruin a scene it’s almost easier to ask whichway they can fix it because there’s so many ways to ruin it I mean there’s lotsof ways to do something badly you know some of the most typical ways are justyou know exposition just using like straight I’m going to explain exactlywhat I want often if the dialogue dialogue is if thedialogue is directly proportionate to the desires like somebody that walksaround and says I want this glass of water I want to shake your handI want you know they’re when their action is directly proportionate to whatthey’re saying it gets it tends to get bad it tends to get you’re not you’renot revealing anything about the character and you’re not exposing andyou’re not emotionally engaging although there was a really interesting exceptionto that like did you see the killing of a sacred deer no I wanted to I waswatching the trailer and and I think I missed the window at the Laemmle and Iwanted to see it it’s so I loved it I mean it looks like filmmaker but he didthis he did this thing where he’s breaking all the rules and there’s norules whatever it but um but you know this assumption of like havingcharacters say exactly what they want saying exactly what’s on their mindand delivering it in this kind of deadpan way and it does it in such a waythat’s incredibly intriguing and I still can’t wrap my brain around I’m stillkind of trying to understand why it was so effective but I couldn’t take my eyesoff of it like it’s it’s you know Colin Farrell walking around with this kidtalking about watches and the importance of just you know this this I think Ishould get a new wristband and it’s important and there’s they’re verymatter-of-fact and it feels just left of normal conversation like it doesn’t itfeels very contrived and stilted and it’s for some reason you just slowly getdrawn into this kind of rhythm and cadence and then before you know ityou’re like oh these people are they’re not talking about their watches they’retalking about what these what their relationships actually mean to eachother and it’s it’s so well done I loved it I really want to see that yeah it’sreally darkly funny like there are a few movies this last year that where theyfelt like these kind of dark dramas but they were so funny they were written inthis great absurdist way like mother I thought mother was hilarious good tosee that looks really intriguing because you couldn’t really figure out from thetrailer what it was about it wasn’t really clear yeah I’m actually planningon doing a video where I want to talk about allegory and I think mother ismuch more interesting than a lot of people are giving it credit for it justbecause of it’s cool to see a filmmaker who’s deliberately engaging allegory andallegorical tropes in a way the very few are so it’s and it will be fun I don’tput that be forthcoming must be a tease I’m not sure if this relates to contrastbut to say that the audience loves contrast I think you talked about in oneof your videos if a character comes in angry then they need to leave with someresolve or or happy something but if they come in happy then they need toleave the scene angry there needs to be some kind of a contrast yeah that’sthat’s a principle I learned from you know just reading Robert McKee basicallythat the idea is that a scene turns on the emotional state of the character orcharacters and basically the idea is that bycontrast the whole point of stories to get us to engage emotionally so whatwhen we’re tracking something you know the logic should be as it should be aslogical as it needs to be so that we can emotionally invest in something sosomething needs to be logical if it within the confines of the world justenough so that we can care about what the care because what we really areinterested in is what is the emotional state of these characters so and thebest way to know if a scene is turned is if the character comes in with this youknow positive emotion they experience some conflict and the results shitcauses a shift if they come in happy and they leave happygenerally speaking nothing significant has happened and so what we’re whatwe’re looking for when we’re structuring our scenes or what I’m looking for whenI’m structure my scenes is some sort of emotionally significant experience thatchanges the way they’re seeing their situation and then from there usingtheir strategy they adapt to two new conflicts is that the one where you usedGlengarry Glen Ross I think you use some of that maybe it wasn’t that oneyou know mammoth screed is what does the character want why now and what happensif they don’t get it you know so it’s asking those three questions which firmform a kind of litmus tests to whether the scene is worth it and then fromthere you know taking McKee’s principle of of turning the scene from a positiveto a negative or negative to a positive and the idea of contrast is basicallywhat I was trying to say is that we want to pace out of film and it shouldn’t bejust ridiculous jumps and contrasts if she comes in like if a main charactercomes in and she’s just exploding with joy and then hits the depths of sorrowthat’s melodrama and we begin to disengage or just you know I meanthere’s plenty of exceptions to this but but ultimately what we’re looking for isa kind of journey which means we’re we’re we’re following the emotionaljourney that they’re going through with ups and downs and usually some shiftsand then sometimes it drops out from under you so a lot of that is aboutunderstanding the way you can pace out and establish a rhythm of differentscenes and you start to develop certain stakes and then you drop it and raisethe stakes and things like that so it’s all about playing with the expectationsand getting the audience to guess what’s gonna happen next so are those the threequestions sometimes you’ll ask with your care avy even supporting characters andnot just the protagonist or the antagonist but just some of thesupporting ones yeah so a lot of thing about about structure especially islargely to do with rewriting although that does inform outlining as wellthat’s all the principles inform each other a lot of the story structuretheory like for example especially like scene dynamics that that video waslargely due to kind of like almost like checklist of once you’ve already writtena scene these are some ways to know if it’s working or not so I took Mamet’sMamet’s Creed and I took Robert maki’s principle of like turning from theemotions up to positive negative and vice versa and then I came up with alist of like essential scene dynamics and a lot of that just it’s kind of likea checklist of something that I’ll be reading something I’ll I’ll make surethat each scene that I write has these elements and if they don’t have theelements then it’s then usually I can diagnose exactly what’s what’s wrongwith it what’s not working with it there’s certain films that you’ve cometo later in life like you watched it the first time I know we talked about howwhen I first came to LA that Glengarry Glen Ross was just the talk of the townand then I couldn’t appreciate it at that age but then I watched it later andI just saw how brilliant it was yes certain films that first time you sawthem and then you realize like how incredible something was later okaya Clockwork Orange I saw that when I was maybe 13 years old and I couldn’t finishit I was so bothered by it it made me angry it made me upset there was thatscene that horrible scene where they break into that family’s house and it’sand it made me it just bothered me and people were always talking about howbrilliant it was and I was just genius film and I couldn’t finish it and thenyears later when I was at film school I watched it and I was like oh it wasbecause I was so emotionally impacted that that showed the power of the film Ijust wasn’t at a place level of maturity where I could kind of appreciate it forthe art that it was and now I think it’s it’s brilliant it’s still brutal but totry and understand like what Kubrick was doing like this there was just endlessamounts of lessons and it’s just a brilliant piece of film but there’sthere’s a ton of films like that um Reservoir Dogs first that was anotherone I stopped it I stopped it right when he was torturing the cop I couldn’t takeit I was just like this is too much this is too dark and then of course rightafter that scene there’s the big reveal no spoilers but there’s the big revealso I started watching that again when I was like 14 years old I’m like this isjust too dark it’s too brutal and years later I watched the entire thing I’mlike oh there’s so much more to it so though having those few experiences waslike okay I need to sit through a film and let the let let the filmmaker takeme on the journey you know it’s and there’s you know and there’s movies likeum I was the Antichrist then I wanted to get out of that film because it was sobrutal it’s still one of the most horrifying movies I’ve ever seenbut you see that one I’m thinking of platoon I think I sawthat with a bunch of people and it was just I couldn’t wait for it to I was toobrutal for me yeah by that I mean now it’s I mean now I’m just like I try tolike just be open to it I still don’t like you know torture porn is doesn’tdoesn’t do much work ironically because this you know I’m working on a show thathas elements of well it’s largely psychological horror but it does likethere would be some some people would over have some overlap with like sometorture scenes but ultimately it’s it’s about how this is impacting thememotionally but yeah a lot of the is about you know you don’t have to sit andsit through anything you don’t have to go experience art it’s just the more youdo the more rewarding it is to you I know you’re a fan of Joseph Campbell thehero’s journey yeah and most people are I there’s not really any criticism ofyes sir well I think like I learned so much from Joseph Campbell I like Idiscovered him pretty young I was like maybe 16 or 17 when I started readinghim and I was you know amazed by it and of course the thing that was nice abouthim was he was kind of a foray into young and like you know the theory ofarchetypes and things like that so it was you know it’s it well wellCampbell’s dense you know it’s it’s a totally different thing to delve intoJung and Freud and all those things and what a part of the issue like I knowthat like for example the hero and the hero’s journey and people regard thehero is like one of the the central architects are the character but a thisI think Joseph Campbell illuminated certaininsights in this story that I that were incredibly helpful but I don’t thinkit’s enough of a complete theory and I plan on doing a video about this laterto kind of get more specific but just to give a teaser I mean ultimately you knowwhen we look at a hero here is a very specific it’s a specific kind ofcharacter that’s why I tend to refer to things as a protagonist versus a hero ahero’s is someone that exhibits certain virtues and values thatare considered and ideal and usually the story is about them testing their mettlebut a story can be so much more than just a kind of vulgar propaganda on onexhibiting ideal virtues and that’s why I like the hero’s journey I think isbrilliant it’s fantastic one thing that I liked about Joseph Campbell was thathe was exploring the way the universality of certain story structuresbut I don’t think it’s enough of a complete paradigm because when we lookat why we tell stories it it doesn’t quite account for the initiation of thetribe or into the tribe and that’s that’s what I think is that’s somethingthat’s very fascinating to me is that like my next video is about tribalismactually I’m in the process of talking about tribalism I’d set up therelationship between a really religion and story in one video and I’m going totie into tribalism and I’m defining tribalism in a very specific way we’regonna go into the kind of biological imperatives that inform tribalism butbasically I and this little teaser but um I find groups there are differentgroups of people that define themselves according to what their objectives areso for example a community is a group of people with a common interests amovement is a group of people with a common cause a tribe is a group ofpeople with a common enemy hmm so and they have very very different ways offunctioning if you have an enemy that creates a kind of usually creates a kindof loyalty becomes very important it’s a virtues it’s a virtue within atribe within a community of broad open interests you don’t necessarily needloyalty in order to function you can just have voluntary interactionwith tribalism because it defines itself primarily by its enemy and it presentspresents it as a threat and therefore hierarchy becomes very important and alot of stories throughout most of history most of the history of humanitywere designed to help create those hierarchies so because most tribes weresurviving in the context of a lot of a lot of constant threat perpetual threatwhich means they had to live in very rigid communities or really rigid groupsof people so the narratives and the stories they would tell were alwaysabout hero structures they were there designed to help people incorporatethese values and these virtues as vital to survival and so because of that thethis hero’s journey was ultimately a kind of propaganda because it wasdesigned to to drive people’s behavior and value system to be subject and loyalto the tribe and that’s why I think stories that are more engaged in moralambiguity have much more interesting things that to tell because they’re notjust interested in imposing or propagating specific narrow values thatemphasize loyalty but instead will actually explore the nature of the humancondition and that’s what I think is a much more interesting thing if we canunderstand the way that story is a kind of exploration of values rather thanjust a propagation of values then I think we actually have more meaningfuldiscourse in an understanding story and in humanity I think I asked you earlierif you’d seen the movie margin call and I just recently saw that one late too Ithink it was 2010 or whatever but I think that’s a great when you’re talkingabout groups of people and some of the the the rules of sort of the let me trythat again we talked about the movie margin calljust watched it I think you – yeah I’m wondering who is the hero inthat film is a Stanley Tucci’s character we’ll see that’s what I think is sointeresting about it margin call is a great exploration ofmoral ambiguity so it’s a perfect example of breaking this concept of thehero’s journey it’s about a phenomena that happened it’s about people who werewho were willing to make certain moral concessions in order to achieve certainadvantages and in that way we began to explore this this whole new world likethrough margin call we began to explore this whole world of finance and andcollusion corruption without necessarily condemning or or dismissing it as justthis I mean yes it’s a it’s a it’s a disturbing thing that happened but itexplored it in such a way that was trying to say like we’re trying to lookat the psychological mechanisms that were active to create this situationbecause we’re still trying to wrap our head around that recession we’re stilltrying to wrap our head around like all the consequences and how we got thereand the whole point of story is really to help us to build meaning so that wecan avoid falling in those pits and margin calls a perfect example ofexploring that without trying to impose virtues but instead engage a deeperunderstanding of what were the causes and that to me is really interestingstorytelling I mean I still enjoy heroes during stories like you know Star Warsis like the original three were some of my favorite movies when I was a kid butmargin call was was designed to be critical and arrive at a certainunderstanding it wasn’t trying to say these are the good guys these are thebad guys and that’s why I think it was a much more sophisticated interestingstory yeah that was a brilliant film and it was done I think with very few crewmembers and yeah I think I was hearing that maybe there were so few crewmembers that people were when they saw some of the townin the film like it was such an open set that it was hard to keep onlookers awaybecause there was not it was not a lot of security which is really such a smallproduction yeah it’s a pretty tained but with with the so you would saythough that maybe Stanley Tucci’s character and margin call wasn’t thehero but he was a protagonist obviously yes I mean he was definitely somebodythat represented a certain moral that we aspired to and it’s kind of sick thereis the the kind of implication of like if we had just had his but I mean he wassomebody that wasn’t able to to prevent it either you know so it’s like he’ssomebody that’s that’s behaving nobly and with integrity in several charactersor but but ultimately it wasn’t it wasn’t just this simple this is how tobehave to solve this problem it’s an exploration of like what are thepsychological dynamics which is to me that’s so much more interestinglet’s take spotlight for a moment you saw spotlight okay so who is there ahero and that is Mark Ruffalo’s character the hero sort of exposing someof this stuff that’s a you bring up several that’s another one that Iwouldn’t say is propaganda because it’s notit wasn’t about trying to impose a value system it’s about exploring the causesand I think a lot of the great stuff is trying to explore the causes of what howwe get in the situation and spotlight ultimately that’s what was so greatabout um what’s his name Birdman oh right how was Michael Keaton yeah that’swhat’s so great about Michael Keaton’s character was they had that moment wherehe was where he realized that he was the one that closed down the story like herealized that he was contributing to some of the cover-upnot because he was deliberately corrupted or colluding but that’s whatthe story is about is about the fact that we’re not looking in the rightdirection when it comes to certain things that are harming us and it asksthe question why are we looking past these things why aren’t we seeing thesepredatory behaviors for what they are and that’s why I think it’s a greatmovie because it’s it’s about how slowly culture or dilates the spotlight tofocus on the things that we need to and then the balance becomes you know how dowe focus on it without a witch hunt and that’s that’s another interesting themeall right and then you talked about tribes and community and so tribe issomething that has a common enemy yeah right and then community I mean we’veall anybody who has had a corporate job where you know you have to sort ofthere’s politics goes unspoken politics and then there’s spoken and and that’sthe thing about margin call was that was presented in a way where a lot of timeswe have to look the other way for things and we don’t want to but we know if wewant to keep a job yeah kind of have to sell out and that’s that was sobrilliantly portrayed in that film never had a Seth Godin book tribe I have not Ithink I’ve watched some videos where he’s talked about it okay but I thinkhas amazing library of books that he’s written so he’s it’s interesting becausewhat he defines his tribe I would define more as a community hmm largely becausewhat he’s saying is we need tribal leaders we want you to find people thatlike we need people that are passionate that are interested that are engaged totake up their mantle and explore things that they’re interested in and that’sgood that’s all healthy to me it becomes tribalism when you introduce an enemybecause then immediate because what he’s describing is voluntary interactions ofpassionate people and that’s a good healthy thing that’s a robust communitybut with a tribe it turns into it turns into this is our enemy right this is howwe’re and that’s when a lot of the thinking becomes disproportionate that’swhen we begin to interpret everything as a threat and it’s great at creatingloyalties it’s a I mean if you look at the political landscape we’re looking atit was all about people doing everything they could to portray the person theydisagreed with as an enemy yeah and therefore we have triballoyalties it it’s a great way to like short-circuitpeople submitting to or complying with things that they would never comply withotherwise so I think ultimately tribalism has its place like you look atthe military it’s a deeply tribal culture and it should be because itneeds to be able to respond to threats that’s the purpose of it but generallyspeaking as as like a nation as a country tribalism is rarely the rightanswer just because most of the time we don’thave these threats we don’t have these enemies we mostly have causes that wewant to resolve issues that we want to resolve and collaborate and ideallymostly we have common interests that we voluntarily interact with so and that’ssomething I’m going to be talking about in my interview and in the nexttribalism video so I don’t want to give too much of a cheap give you a oh mygood company and also to the the the as you said without getting too deep intospecifics of the political landscape that it’s made some people who weren’ttribal members parts of new tribes yeah and and and and people that have beenfriends for years yeah basically turn on each otherthat’s radicalized everybody mmm-hmm right not everybody I mean I think mostpeople are like this is just silly it’s just getting ridiculous but but yeah Imean you know you have these people behaving radically which creates a lotof strong emotional reactions and that strong emotional reaction just breedscondemnation condemnation breeds fear and which ultimately breeds loyalty andseparation so you know a big thing that I’m a big theme that were it works itgoes through almost all of my stories is this idea of how do groups work and howdo they develop value systems versus the individual how the individual developsvalue systems and so a lot of my stories are all about a person slowly coming torealize and this is true from my own personal life story somebody who’s verymuch wrapped up in the narratives of a group becoming aware of how those valuesystems have failed them and then begin to engage the work ofdeconstructing that in their own life and then overcoming it that’s that’ssomething that’s probably a big theme in almost all of all the stories that Iwrite but I also think it that resonates with a lot of other people too who isthe author that said men go mad in crowds forgive me I should know I don’tknow it’s a great quote though it’s a it’s a famous I think I said it I’llclaim it okay that sounds good yeah you see that or otherwise um men go mad incrowds story is the act of dreaming while youare awake yeah so I think that’s at the core of what the function of dream isand what this function of story is and that’s why I’ve repeated it severaltimes throughout the series and you know the process of dreaming is the the waywe internalize the information from the day into our value system so we’re allcomposed of these sub conscious and subconscious is constantly absorbinginformation now we have to learn to prioritize that information or we won’tsurvive we can’t even navigate the world around us it’s a kind of psychologicalequilibrium so when we dream what we’re doing is the where we’re going throughthe process of taking this information connecting it to emotional values andweaving that into our subconscious and that right there is the fertile groundof metaphor that’s where we’re planting our metaphors and that’s where they growfrom so the dream is the render machine for our lives and so what we what we doand we’re telling stories is we’re allowing ourselves to experience certainthings where we’re watching a series of events but that have emotional resonanceto us which is why it has such powerful effects on a culture when when you tella story to a million people that’s that’s imposing its offering up a newway to look at the world and then if we internalize it emotionally if wesympathetically connect with it and we allow it into our subconscious and if itaffects the way we develop our our internal value systems are sacred andprofane then then it completely changes the way we see the world and that’s areally powerful thing so ultimately when we’re when we’re telling stories wereallowing ourselves we’re trying to engage that subconscious part of youof us and draw it into the conscious and change the way we have our value systems can storytellers change the publicconsciousness through manufacturing new stories or do you think it has to be inthe public space and re-enacted in film and TV can we manipulate let’s let’ssuppose society is on a downward spiral in certain ways hmmwhether it’s a new breed of terrorism whether it’s whatever people’s isolationthrough social media and being online all the timecan we not in fact because that sounds like a negative connotation but injectnew stories that could change certain things or it has to follow what’salready out there in sort of the ether I mean I’m I’m a pretty positive person Ithink like the truth of it is is the world is amazing right nowI mean politically speaking it seems like it’s this awful place and yespeople are behaving really badly but the truth of it is if you look at the trendsare you familiar with Steven Pinker enlightenment now so like read Pinkerread Chomsky compare both of them compare contrasts you know I don’t haveyour oil teas either way but there’s really good information in both of theirwritings generally speaking we have a long way to go before we’re genuinelyhealthy robust communities that said we’re doing really well and asstorytellers it’s an opportunity like we we have opportunities every single dayeven just in facebook posts or even in writing samples or even in gettingonline and talking about your situation profoundly affects other peopleemotionally so you know this is honestly this is the time where we are inundatedwith endless amounts of stories it’s the the image has never been powerful it’sinteresting because like since the internet you know I remember being askedby this one student like you know do you think illustration is dead is art deadbecause you know it’s all online and it’s all about film and animation I’mlike it the image has never been more powerful like think a hundred years agolike how how difficult it was to share just a printed image now you can beconstantly producing stuff like you know when I was a kid I dreamed of the daywhere I could just find out about all these artists that were pulling fromdifferent stuff or reading all these things like experiences that I had noaccess to I’d have to go to a library or something like that and I’d have to lookthrough endless amounts of books that’s kind of find stuff now go on Instagramor go on Facebook or look at different artists and stuff and so I think thetruth of it is we’re in a really good place people who are panicking becausethey’re always panicking it always feels like the end of the world because we’reliving on the edge of eternity like we’re right at the edge looking overlooking over having no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow that’s just the humancondition but the reality is we’re doing really well and we’re learning a lot andultimately as storytellers as writers we’re doing everything we can togenerate new metaphors to help us to go into the dark night that’s not a cornybut I see what you’re saying I mean it because not only that is thepreservation of images because like for me I wanted to look up an old shoppingmall that was in the bay area that I used to go to as a teenager and I thinkhad been demolished it was there it was part of the it malls of the 80s thatwere and I didn’t realize there was an entire Pinterest group dedicated to oryou know so and I could relive these memories that would be long lost becauseit brought out oh I remember this spot I remember going to this Sears I rememberall these different things all of that people had preserved them they had putthem up someone had a blog about you know and and all of that so in somesense that’s great because some of that would be lost yeah you know and but yeahI mean I’m not trying to paint it in such a dark way but I just wonder you’reso pessimist yeah well sorry we’re how can we can we how can we manipulatethings in a good way not spin things in a bad waywe’re I’m gonna skip you know current news events where stuff could be spun tomake you think a certain way but what if we were able to spin things almost likethank you for smoking but in a great way not not and I realize it’s about me nothat is that’s largely what rhetoric is rhetoric is about presenting informationin a way that persuades people to comply with you but you know to me what reallygreat art is and what we what everybody decides what they want to do with theirart and what they want to do with with their stories and I don’t think peopleshould be telling other people what to write or what not to write you get todecide how you’re going to engage the market and the market gets to decidewhether you’re relevant or not but um but ultimately the stories that are youknow asking important questions that are challenging important questions Ibelieve you know bringing truth challenging existing beliefs challengingvalues is one of the most powerful things we can do and and we can do thatthrough entertainment entertainment is the way that we engage other people’sminds and by by exploring stories that challenge us that excite us that inspireus then we find I think ultimately then we find a more healthy way of looking atthe world because you know one of the biggest battles we have in humanity isto overcome our own biases and I think story is the perfect mechanism to dothat but you know and it really just comes down to everybody just followingyour passions you know Campbell the schedules follow your bliss I’m moreinterested in finding my fascination and following the fascination when peopletalk about writer’s block and stuff like that a lot of that is about like youknow letting the metaphor bake long enough so it’s ready but part of thatalso is keying in to your fascination like what is it that fascinates youabout a hitman or a serial killer or you knowa woman that’s leading a March or something like that like that’s thoseare some sort of historical experience once you engage the fascination then ifyou’re being completely honest with yourself you’re going to find a way totell the story that that’s meaningful to you