I had the great pleasure of attending Robert McKee’s Story Seminar this past weekend – four super intensive days of lecture by story master Robert McKee. No joke, this man is a pro (you may remember him from as the role Brian Cox portrayed in Adaptation. The seminar wasn’t about how to sell your script in Hollywood or how to put this event on that page – it was about the fundamentals of story and why the audience feels emotions when certain events take place. I highly recommend anyone interested in screenwriting or any narrative art at the very least read his book and seriously consider taking his seminar if you get a chance.
Now, for the sake of my memory (and entertainment), here is my list of 15 movies to see or books to read coming out of the seminar:
4. The Big Chill – After landing his first job rewriting The Empire Strikes Back, Larry Kasdan went on to write Raiders of the Lost Ark, Body Heat and Return of the Jedi before penning this film widely considered his finest work. IMDB | Amazon
8. The Ragman’s Son – After penning this highly respected autobiography, Kirk Douglas turned to Robert McKee to give him the knowledge of story needed to continue his new career as a novelist… at age 73! Amazon
9. Leaving Las Vegas – The only film on the list I have previously seen, Mike Figgis’s 1995 masterpiece deserves a rewatch for the ways it uses characters around the protagonist to drive the story forward even though Cage’s character’s desires never change. IMDB | Amazon
12. The Art of Fiction – Henry James’s collected thoughts on writing. Amazon
One final quick shout out for a book that has influenced me greatly (as many of you know). I’ll continue to read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art all through my life. McKee actually wrote the book’s forward and recommends it just as whole heartedly as I do. If you are looking for inspiration to put behind you all life’s distractions and focus on what you really want to do, read this book! Amazon