Two Hollywood memos: Vogler and Mamet

Something simple and straightforward for today; the texts of two key memos on narrative-focused storytelling.

First is story analyst Christopher Vogler's original memo that summarised Joseph Campbell's monomyth / hero's journey story archetype (and in so doing  launched Vogler's career as a story guru). You can find the memo here. It's a very handy introduction to Campbell's work.

In the video below, Vogler and collaborator Michael Hauge discuss aspects of the monomyth, relating their comments in part to the movie Erin Brockovich

Second is a memo from playwright and screenwriter David Mamet from his days as showrunner of the CBS military action series The Unit. This is great stuff: urgent and demanding on how to approach dialogue, on moving scenes forward, on dramatic tension, and much more.  It's towards the end of a lengthy handout with plenty more from Mamet on ways to approach drama. You can find that pdf here

And, finally, here's Mamet on suspension of disbelief in narrative, and other topics:


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