And, why not? It’s the single most-powerful medium for communication, persuasion and transformation in human history.
I’ve been obsessed with the blend of science, structure and art that crafts the perfect story for a long time. So, when I got the chance to spend 90-minutes talking story with Robert McKee, the world’s foremost authority on the structure of story, I jumped.
Before we get to the first of 6 videos that comprise this series, though, I’ve got to share a story about the moment McKee and I met…
The interview took place in a private apartment in Manhattan. I was interviewing him for a series on storytelling to appear on my blog and elsewhere and he was interviewing me about storytelling in the digital world for his online venture Storylogue.
Preparing for the day, I threw my two Flip HD video cameras, my Olympus LS-10 voice recorder, a mini-tripod and a fill-sized tripod into my bag.
For a blogger, that’s a pretty high-level production set-up. I was feeling pretty confident.
Two hours later, I knock on the apartment door and stride in. McKee and his team greet me warmly, then walk me into a living room that’s been transformed into a TV studio.
Wires running everywhere, three big, broadcast-quality cameras positioned strategically around the room for a 3-shot edit, a teleprompter, lights, sound board, mics and furniture arranged like a TV interview set.
First reaction, wow, this is insane. How cool.
Second reaction, I’ve got a $149 Flip video camera in my backpack. Feelings of meekness ensue. Sweat begins to bead.
Still, I need my recording. So, I begin to set up my tripod, whip out my Flip and screw it on top. I swear I could literally see it cowering before the broadcast camera and teleprompter to it’s side.
And, I’m not sure how to say this any other way, but I felt like the guy with the smallest cojones in the room.
I turned to their cinematographer and media guy, waited a beat and was saved when he offered, “hey, why don’t you just let us shoot this and we’ll send you a copy of the final interview.”
Nods were passed, smiles were flashed and, with that, I took my seat and this series took flight.
This series is a wide-ranging, long interview (that’s why it’s split into 6 parts) that covers everything from McKee’s career in theater, film and his ascendance as the world’s storytelling-master to the use of story in books, film, TV, blogging, business, marketing and selling.
McKee is frank, not all that concerned about being PC, immensely generous with his knowledge and insights and tells some incredible stories. Be sure to tune in to the future session where he tells how he met Kirk Douglas. And, he even puts me on the spot to improv a provocative headline and gets me to talk about why I rarely publicly share my dark-side in my writing. Enjoy…
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