Friday 25 May 2012

"Dinosaur Theory" - New book by Chris Tugwell

Chris Tugwell
Years ago I applied to the South Australian Film Corporation for funding. The specific application related to funding for the rewriting of my first screenplay, no other path forward being obvious to me at the time. 

No, I didn't receive the funding, and no, that film was never made—to my lasting gratitude... I was greener than grass at the time and, having contrived to (unwittingly) write a story with a parallel plot, had bitten off more than I could chew. We're not always as ready for the next step as we imagine ourselves to be.

I found the funding process bureaucratic and serpentine, but ultimately instructive in a number of unexpected ways. Among other things, it required that I locate and attach a script editor to the project, an educational exercise in it's own right. At the end of that process, I met Chris Tugwell.

Another child discovers
one of Adelaide's more
placid pigs.

He was—as Jim Carrey said of the man with the rubber glove —surprisingly gentle. He started with the opening image of my screenplay [a young couple, with a child, playing on one of the pigs in Rundle Mall ] and asked me what it might convey to a viewer in, say, Paris. I learned more from thinking about that question than I would have believed possible. I won't bore you with details, but there is a surprising amount going on with pigs in the world of symbolism.  

After working in the film industry for more than twenty years, and teaching screenwriting at the Adelaide College of the Arts, Chris has now written a book. 

Dinosaur Theory elevates him into a world of screenwriting theorists which include Brian McDonald, Bill Idelson, David Mamet, John Truby, William Froug, Howard Suber, and others, who question the paint-by-numbers schools of structuralist screenwriting teachers.
Each and every great screen story has a natural and seamless shape that lies within the script. That shape might be a journey, a task, a place or a time limit. 
In his book, Chris introduces a revolutionary step-by-step approach to the problem of uncovering your story's own singular shape.

Dinosaur Theory helps free writers from the tyranny of three-act structure. It reveals the shape hidden within a story, and shows how to use that shape to create a powerful and unique screenplay.

I haven't read it yet, but I can't wait. Get your copy here.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I'm still reading a previous recommendation!