Screenwriters: The Unsung Heroes

December 2, 2010

Our good friend Brian Mills brought up a very important point on our  community page about writers. In the New Hollywood, writers make Rodney Dangerfield look like the most respected man on the planet! Brian’s post also reminded me how critical screenwriters are and will be as we return to the Old Hollywood days when the people who were responsible for the written word were valued and even revered in the film industry. From Bringing Back The Old Hollywood:

The Majestic Power of Story

Together, writers, directors, and producers need to rediscover the majestic power of story telling that has been an essential aspect of the human heart and experience since our cave dweller days. At the dawn of humanity, people gathered around fires to listen enraptured to the stories of tribal leaders and shamans.

Those leaders and shamans passed on the myths (epic stories, not fabrications) of their culture through the magic of story telling.

Stories enrich our lives, fire our imaginations, and engage our hearts in a very special and uniquely human alchemy.

Filmmakers today are among the twenty-first century versions of those campfire storytellers from our distant past.

The light of the fire is now projected on a movie or television screen and is reflected in the yearning of our hearts to be reignited with hope.

While The New Hollywood uses technology to illuminate epic stories, The Old Hollywood should illuminate our humanity through traditional story telling that holds us in its thrall and makes our spirits soar.

For the last several years, HBO (The Sopranos, John Adams, etc.) has become the pre-eminent producer and distributor of quality, character-oriented, and story-based filmmaking. In fact, cable television has for the time being surpassed theatrical films as the most consistent delivery system for films about Acts Two and Three of life.

As a natural extension of the rebirth of story telling, character development, and a preference for our humanity, screenwriters should again be respected as the talented artists they are, directors need to rediscover the lost art of communicating with actors, and a whole new and mutually respectful synergy needs to be created among writers, producers, and directors.

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