Story Logic

A great story doesn’t just grab your attention. It also makes logical sense.

On today’s episode, we’ll talk about the two different layers in a story: how it makes sense in the moment and how it makes sense in terms of overall plot.

Sometimes an exciting story falls apart as soon as you stop and think about what is happening. Sometimes a thoughtful well planned out story just isn’t interesting. How do you find that balance? How can a story make sense but also keep the audience’s interest?

Listen to Episode 31 – MP3 iTunesStitcher

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Marc and Churro’s Top 10 Movies of 2015

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The year is almost over! We’ve had some incredible films come out this year so let’s take a look back at some of the best ones. Joining me today on the podcast is movie lover and special guest Churro Moreno.

Thanks for listening!

Why Feedback Is Absolutely Necessary

pictureHave you ever been so involved in a project that you can’t see the big picture?

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the details and the familiarity with your work that you just get lost in the complexity of it all?

When it comes to any creative endeavor, it’s easy to lose perspective. You can get lost. But there’s one reliable way to claw your way back out: feedback.

On today’s episode, we’re talking about the necessity of seeking out other people’s opinions on your work. Feedback is perhaps one of the most underrated aspect of writing stories. You need it early and you need it often.

Often times our greatest resource is actually other people who can give us an objective opinion about our work and help us get unstuck when we hit a snag.

Topics of discussion include:

  • The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
  • Pixar’s Braintrust
  • Actual feedback that Marc has received on his writing
  • The limitations of feedback
  • How to give good feedback

You can listen to the episode here:

Two Short Film Projects You Should Check Out

I’m constantly amazed by the sheer amount of creativity on display here in the Bay Area. Seems like everyone I meet is working on some incredible project or the other. It’s a little intimidating at times!

But today I want to highlight two short films that are absolutely worth your time and your attention.

Over My Dead Body

Just when you thought the zombie genre had been beaten to death, here comes a heartwarming story tinged with horror about two people trying to connect in the aftermath of the apocalypse. And one of them just happens to be a zombie.

I recently watched this film with a live audience and it was so cool to experience their laughter and the feedback afterward. I also got a chance to meet the filmmakers, Timothy Plain and Alrik Bursell, who are both really cool guys. Every Monday they put out a very informative podcast about the daily challenges of making movies.

Take 5 minutes, watch their film, and share it with a friend!

Neighbor

This short film is currently raising funds, but it tells the story of a homeless man who witnesses a kidnapping. Director Tony Gapastione hopes the film will raise awareness about human trafficking and highlight real ways people can make a difference.

Tony is the real deal, a swell guy with a big heart for enabling people and their creative pursuits. Let’s spread the word and help him out!

You can watch the promo for the video below and learn more about how to support the project here.

What Is Theme?

creekTheme is not an easy thing to pin down. You might be tempted to think that theme doesn’t matter, but theme can be a helpful tool in finding out exactly what it is you want your story to focus on.

On today’s episode we look at how theme can become a driving force in a story. It can and should be the big unifying idea that brings all the disparate elements of a story together.

Listen below or download it on iTunes.

Poverty & Technology with Dr. Kweku Opoku-Agyemang

Kweku_picture_jmOn today’s episode we talk with Dr. Kweku Opoku-Agyemang, a post-doctoral fellow from the Blum Center for Developing Economies. His research focuses on applying emerging technology to help alleviate global poverty. Among other topics, this episode looks at how mobile phones are creating new opportunities for people in Ghana and Kenya.

Listen to the interview below:

Learn more at Dr. Opoku-Agyemang’s Website or follow him on Twitter at @Kweku_OA

Why Spoilers Aren’t So Bad

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Can you spot the influence character?

I have two new episodes up on the podcast just dying for you to listen to them.

Episode 21 – Influence Characters

The best way to challenge your main character is not necessarily through plot. It’s actually through another character. In this episode we discuss how to bring out the best from your protagonist by bringing them into contact with a conflicting worldview embodied in another character.

Episode 22 – Spoilers Are Overrated

The internet was made specifically for spoilers. But what if spoilers aren’t really that bad? What if good stories can’t actually be spoiled? On this episode we talk about why spoilers don’t matter as much as we think they do.