Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LA Story: Being vs Doing at Oracle?

The most important thing to take from Bob McKee’s story seminar is not a set of techniques, but an understanding of motivations. Why do people do what they do and how do they react when things go wrong?

Part of the weekend is given over to watching and analyzing Casablanca. The main character’s battle is best characterized not as a quest for love, but as a battle between Being and Doing. Being is pure love, constant and always, and Doing is duty and social demands. The hero must find in himself a way to reconcile the two.

When a writer can look more deeply and clearly at his or her characters' motivations they can rest a more solid story on their shoulders. I don’t see my columns and stories for Oracle taking on the weight or Being vs Doing. But I can think more clearly about the motivations of each actor in them and build a stronger narrative. The weekend was well worth it.

Warning if you go: Don’t let your phone or computer make any noise or he’ll charge you $10. My iPhone chirped with a meeting notice and I had to walk to the stage and hand him the money while the audience laughed. If you have an iPhone, clicking the silent mode isn’t enough, you must disable sound for meeting notices in the preferences.

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