Film Courage: How Movies Work has now changed its name?
Peter Russell, screenwriter/script doctor: Yes, we are now University of Story because of TV. Because we used to just teach movies and we realized that was limiting. So when we made the transition we brought all of our genre tools into showing how these same things work in television. For instance BREAKING BAD is a thriller so all the rules thrillers that you may have had in a mystery (like LA CONFIDENTIAL) and by the way…TRUE DETECTIVE is a mystery/thriller too. So all the rules of not showing the villain, of good news/bad news, of ticking clocks…all the genre tools that we use in mystery/thrillers (three plots, one plot is hidden behind the other) all of that stuff applies to TRUE DETECTIVE. All the thriller rules of suspense and making an antihero sympathetic by making everyone around him worse, all of that applies to BREAKING BAD.
You just stretch the form and use the tools. So we can no longer say it’s How Movies Work. We thought Well this is just not how TV works either, it’s how story works. And by the way, all of these things we teach work in novels too. They work in books. They work anywhere there’s a narrative form.
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