Eric Edson: These comments that flow into things…actually I think it was on one of your clips [via Youtube] and somebody down there [commenting below the video] was saying “I Hate Plot!”…you know…”I Want Story!” and that poor person is obviously not educated about these things because plot and story are the same bloody thing. The story is plot. Plot is story. Maybe we can get there in a minute or two. But make those mistakes and that’s just ignorance. You can get educated. You can learn the tools and how to use them.
To be out there and say “I’m going to create this beautiful, big, intricate thing” and not know the pieces of it is like saying “I’m going to create this big, beautiful house and I know absolutely nothing about cement, electrical cabling, roofing shingles, glass”…you’ve got to know all of these things before you can build a house and I believe the same is true for really good screenwriting.
For instance…I’ll throw out some of the silly but useful stuff. Did you know (for instance) that there are only 4 viable goals in all of narrative screenwriting?
Film Courage: And those goals are?
Eric Edson: Win, stop, escape and retrieve! So okay…you’ve got an idea for a character, your hero or heroine. Great! You’ve got an idea and now what is it that you want? They’ve got to have a goal to pursue. Well it has to fall into the category of win, stop, escape or retrieve! Now these are big categories and there are many versions of each one. Many permutations of each one. So it’s not like it’s that cut and dry. But it will appear to a lot of people like “It’s too cut and dry for me!” (Watch the video here on Youtube here)
BUY THE BOOK – THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take
MORE VIDEOS WITH ERIC EDSON
About Professor Eric Edson:
Eric Edson has written seventeen feature screenplays on assignment. His produced script credits include PASSION’S WEB for Showtime, and he co-wrote and co-executive produced the NBC Movie of the Week LETHAL VOWS starring John Ritter and Marg Helgenberger. Other films include THE ROSE AND THE JACKAL starring Christopher Reeve, THE SOGGY BOTTOM GANG starring Don Johnson, and DIVING IN starring Kristy Swanson. Eric has also written for episodic television.
Professor Edson’s new book “THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take,” published by Michael Wiese Productions, uncovers for the first time the 23 Hero Goal Sequences® used in every successful motion picture to create dynamic, three dimensional heroes and link together all plot development from first page to last (Read more here).
Lazar works as a ‘decoy’ or ‘bait’ who distracts the police and oversees the transfer of illegal immigrants across the border with the EU. Intelligent and discreet, he lives under the patronage of a local mobster and is able to support his family with the money he makes from trafficking. He falls in love with a young student, a stranger to his world, and contemplates changing his life. One night, his brother Toni is responsible for the drowning of one of the immigrants. Lazar is called to help and is faced with an impossible decision.
The Cyclotron is a thriller that takes place at the end of the Second World War. Simone, a spy working for the Allies, is entrusted with the mission to find and execute Emil, a scrupulous Berlin scientist who discovered before the Americans the way to build an atomic bomb, and is fleeing with his secret. Simone finds him on a night train speeding towards Switzerland. German soldiers, led by König, a German scientist, who want to arrest Emil and make him talk before he leaves the country, are also chasing him. Things get complicated when memories of love and quantum mechanics get intertwined in the pursuit.
BNB Hell tells the story of a young woman’s hunt for her missing sister ends at a rundown bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills run by an ill-tempered woman called Mommy. Disturbing messages left by former guests suggest unsettling secrets lay buried there.
Show Business is an American comedy that follows screenwriter Guy Franklin as he moves from NYC to LA with his fiancé. It should be a great gig but Guy soon realizes that being in Show Business and balancing his life love is easier said than done – a movie by Composer/Filmmaker Alexander Tovar