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2014 Early Bird Session



Early Bird: Thursday, September 25, 2014

8:00 am - 1:00 pm: Grand Ballroom ABC (Fourth Floor)

Chris Vogler

ESSENCE OF STORY Veteran Hollywood story consultant Christopher Vogler will open a thought-provoking discussion of what stories really are and why they have so much power in our society. After analyzing thousands of stories for Hollywood clients he has identified 18 story elements that are essential for connecting your audience to your hero, and will present them along with his core material, the 12-stage Hero’s Journey structural concept based on the patterns of myth and folklore, and the 8 Archetypes that are the necessary building blocks of character.

The workshop will also cover new research into how the brain and the organs of the body cooperate when we enjoy a good story, and how storytellers can trigger emotional responses using time-tested tools like sympathy, polarity and catharsis.  Drawing on sources as varied as vaudeville, early Greek plays and Russian fairy tales, this will be a morning to open your mind to the infinite possibilities of inspired storytelling.

Chris Vogler

Christopher Vogler is a veteran story consultant for major Hollywood film companies and a teacher of filmmakers and writers around the globe.  His book “The Writer’s Journey”, applying the ancient patterns of myth to modern story-telling, has helped to shape the way people in movies, TV, publishing and the games industry think about stories and is required reading at many film schools, literature programs and production companies.  He has influenced the screenplays of movies from THE LION KING to FIGHT CLUB to THE THIN RED LINE.  Recently he wrote the first installment of RAVENSKULL, a Japanese-style manga or graphic novel.  He was the executive producer of the feature film P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD and screenwriter of the animated feature JESTER TILL.

A native of St. Louis and a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Vogler served as a U. S. Air Force officer and made documentary films on the military space program before doing graduate work at the University of Southern California film school.  He started in the film industry as a story analyst for Twentieth Century Fox and went on to work for most of the major studios.  At Disney he joined the staff of the feature animation division, influencing the development of THE LION KING, ALADDIN, HERCULES, FANTASIA 2000 and MU-LAN. 

Writers Journey

His book “The Writer’s Journey” grew out of a short memo he wrote while at Disney, pointing out the usefulness of Joseph Campbell’s concept of the “Hero’s Journey”.  The memo was influential and became part of Hollywood story lore, while the book is a standard text for literature students and storytellers in all media.  In 1995 Vogler joined the Fox 2000 unit at 20th Century Fox as a development executive, working on COURAGE UNDER FIRE, VOLCANO, ANNA AND THE KING, FIGHT CLUB and THE THIN RED LINE.  Now he is an independent consultant, working on films such as 10,000 BC, HANCOCK, I AM LEGEND, Darren Aronofsky’s THE WRESTLER, the KARATE KID remake, Helen Hunt’s directorial debut THEN SHE FOUND ME, Academy Award-nominated THE FIGHTER, and Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH soon to be released.  His latest book, co-written with Columbia University film professor David McKenna, is “MEMO FROM THE STORY DEPARTMENT:  Secrets of Structure and Character”, published by Michael Wiese Productions.

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August 20, 2015: Late Registration rates in effect. - September 1, 2015: Walk-in registration rates go into effect.