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Old October 20th, 2003, 03:03 AM   #1
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Book: Developing Story Ideas by Michael Rabiger

Developing Story Ideas (click here)

Paperback: 224 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.47 x 9.25 x 6.02
Publisher: Focal Press; (March 2000)
ISBN: 0240803981

If you're looking for a book that helps you develop your creative side this book hits the mark. It's concerned with the ideas, themes, and impulses behind the stories we tell and delves into the psychological underpinnings of why you would want to write a story and what stories you would tell the best.

The first half of the book helps you develop an artistic profile of yourself by having you write about yourself. These exercises are very powerful at uncovering your real interests and the stories that really move you. The exercises start with your past and then guide you through stories about your childhood, dreams, important events, and tales from your family & culture.

When I was through with that first half I was very surprised at how easy it became to find my direction through a story. I went through some half-written script outlines that I'd filed away and was able to see immediately, what I was subconsciously trying to express, in other words, where I was really coming from. Those stories went from being 30% done to 90% done.

The second half of the book builds on the first half by having you write and analyze your own short story, news story, documentary subject, 30 minute short, and finally a full feature film!

If somebody asks me where they should they start if they want to make movies? I would give them this book - it's done more for my movie making than all the other books I have, and I've got quite a library.


* The author is an NYU film instructor and the book is designed for his class. There are some exercises you can't do because they're designed for a class environment.

He also wrote another book in the same vein on directing:
Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics
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Old October 20th, 2003, 10:18 AM   #2
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Thanks very much for this review, Michael. Well done.

So much of our attention, at least here, is often focused on technical tweaky materail. Perhaps because that part of the creation process is a -relatively- easily acquired set of vocational skills and judgements.

Imagination and creativity, the atoms of the filmmaking process, are not so easily acquired (as evidenced by most of what we see produced today).
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