Saturday, March 26, 2011

Robert McKee insights

Those of you who know me, know that there are certain "shoulders" I feel we all stand on as lifelong students.  We refine and deepen our own knowledge of our areas of expertise as we pursue our craft and subject.  Meta-story™ is built on the solid, historic foundations of how humans tell and accept stories.

Robert McKee is broadly considered to be one of the foremost experts on screenplays and story structure.  I am including a link in this post to share with you some segments of an interview he has done with  In this interview, Mr. McKee speaks of a number of perspectives and truths, as he sees them, that are relevant to the Meta-story™ discussion.

In this interview "writing is about conflict," he speaks about the key differences in how conflict occurs in TV, Novel and Motion Picture.  Conflict is one of several key factors that a Meta-story™ creator has to understand how it changes in each media format.  Since, of his own admission, Mr. McKee's area of expertise is within screenplays, he doesn't offer thoughts on how conflict is uniquely different in various gaming forms, product forms (such as toys) and even in the social media formats.  Those too are key to understand for good Meta-story™ crafting for certain I.P.

Robert McKee

There is an excellent point raised in this interview by Mr. McKee about creators and writers discovering how they naturally write or create and finding the media format that best fits your talents and propensities.

This helps to bring into focus one of the key challenges in a Transmedia world.  If I am a creator and want to create for the bigger canvas of Meta-story™, do I have to write and create all the different forms my story will see expression within?

I can just feel the stomach aches, sinking feelings, therapy sessions and wholesale dismissal of the broader concept of Meta-story™ that could get rolling if the answer to this question was "yes."

Thankfully and practically the answer is emphatically "No!!"  It would be absurd to expect any creator to perform such an endless task.  What Meta-story™ craft does is to allow any creator to understand how to create his or her narrative, world, characters, themes, meaning and empowerment to be able to become as expansive as possible.  That creator(s) could singularly work in any  of the different key media as their chosen field and still be the creator of a powerful Meta-story™ that then becomes Transmedia.

I will address the structures and practicalities of how the Meta-story™ can powerfully expand into the other media forms and remain vision-led in future posts and in the lectures and seminars later this year.

 (As a note: I do not subscribe to some of the strong opinions about other artists and creators expressed by Mr. McKee in some of his other interview segments but that does not lessen my appreciation of his skill as a master of screenwriting art and craft.)

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