Storytelling And Advertising: Skype

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In the future I am going to write more about storytelling as such, and also about cross media storytelling. This will include branded content and branded entertainment.

This is the first example: Sarah is born with an incomplete left arm. Sarah’s mum starts looking for children with a similar problem on the interne, and she finds Paige. The girls start skyping and become best friends. But Sarah lives inthe United States and Paige lives in New Zealand, so theyonly meet in “real life” 8 years later.

Of course this video is a tear jerker and you could call it even manipulative on an emotional level. But I like it, because I know that it is an ad for Skype and still it seems plausible and authentic in my opinion. And the brand stays in the background. In addition to that I like the idea with the projection and the photos to visualize the distance and closeness of the two girls before they meet.

The video is part of the “Family Portraits” series, where you can see more similar stories.

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InesStorytelling And Advertising: Skype

Book Review: On Directing Film

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While discussing our favorite scriptwriting literature on Facebook with some friends, I remembered that I wrote a long review about David Mamet’s book “On Directing Film” back in February 2013 for the newsletter of the Association Of Film- And TV Script Consultants (VeDra). This is the article:

 

The moments that shifted my perspectives on screenplays as a script consultant often happened when I was looking beyond my own nose – in the editing room, while repeating lines with an actor or while sitting next to the director on set.

Thus it is a book that has the word “Directing” as part of its title, that is one of my favorite books on scriptwriting since years: ON DIRECTING FILM is based on a series of lectures given by writer and director David Mamet in 1987 at Columbia University’s film school. The book is only 128 pages long, and it is polemic, radical and unorthodox, which makes reading it a very un-analytical pleasure.

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InesBook Review: On Directing Film

Viennale ’13: The Act Of Killing

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THE ACT OF KILLING by Josh Oppenheimer is a159 minutes long examination of perpetrators boasting about their killings. And it is one of the most powerful documentaries that I have seen in a long time.

The movie is about the men who killed more than 100.000 “communists” during the Sumatra massacres in 1965 (I have put communists in quotes because many were killed without reason). And a lot of these perpetrators live a completely normal live today and are boasting about their acts of killing. They are seen (and see themselves) as heroes.

The Act Of Killing

A few days before I saw the film at the Viennale Film festival, I attended a lecture hosted by EAVE, where producer Signe Byrge Sorensen talked about the long making and also about the unorthodox distribution of the movie (privately organized screenings in Indonesia to avoid censorship; the rethinking by the government about the perpetrators after the movie was released and so on).

The movie does not show the victims. But it stays wit the perpetrators until they start deconstructing themselves and their beliefs. The director does not only go along woth them during their everyday lives, but he offers them to reenact the scenes of their killings. For this movie about themselves they are acting as perpetrators and sometimes also as victims.

Somehow the film managed that I was never sympathizing with the protagonists, though I was really close to them for a long time. Even not in the end, when I got the feeling that at least one of them realized that he is guilty of murder.

I could write much more about this movie, as I kept thinking abut it for days. But I think you should simply watch it. This is the trailer:

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InesViennale ’13: The Act Of Killing

Viennale ’13: Gold

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Only few of my friends liked Thomas Arslan’s last movie IM SCHATTEN (IN THE SHADOW). I did, and somehow I did not mind the long scenes where almost nothing happens.

So I was looking forward to seeing GOLD, because I was eager to know how a genre movie would deal with slowness and gaps in the narration.

On the surface GOLD is a rather traditional western. But I think that it is actually a film about the surviving of humanity. Because we all now “man is a wolf to man”, especially in a group in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by unknown perils.

Gold

So far, so predictable. But also interesting, because the question is how a German arthouse writer/director would deal with the typical topoi of the Western genre.

Though I really wanted to like this film, I could not connect to it, especially to the characters. My biggest problems were the dialogs which I found rather stereotypical and staged. And I had the feeling that I had seen all this already in other movies. The narration was not focused enough and too conventional for my taste. I would have loved to see it executed in a lighter, playful and less predictable way.

But I missed especially one thing: The film tells the tale of a group of German immigrants looking for gold, money and happiness. This justifies why everyone is talking in German. But otherwise I missed the problem of “being German” in a foreign country full of possibilities and risks as a topic almost throughout the movie. There was the old couple, the young wild one, the macho looking for power and the greedy business man. And then there is the woman with a secret. But in the end it is a group of people fighting to survive. And it does not matter that they are German, as the characters did what I  would expect from any character in a Western movie.

Now this can mean two things: Either we are all the same, no matter where we come from. Or there were not enough ideas to visualize this aspect, though I read that the writer/director Thomas Arslan found it important that his characters are German.

Anyway, though I enjoyed seeing the vast landscapes, it was not exactly my cup of tea.

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InesViennale ’13: Gold

Viennale ’13: Like Father, Like Son

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Do you know that feeling when everything is happening at once? I mean, during the Viennale Film Festival. This year I had the presentation of Runtastic Story Running, and now I caught a nasty cold. But somehow I managed to watch three movies, so here is the first review.

I was really looking forward to LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (SOCHITE CHICHI NI NARU) by Koreeda Hirokazu. My relationship with the Asian movies I have seen so far is not always the best, but I loved Koreeda’s movie NOBODY KNOWS.

I am often fascinated by the simple premise of Koreeda’s stories. With NOBODY KNOWS it is only one sentence: A mother leaves her four kids behind, only leaving a letter and some money on the kitchen table. The whole story is then told only from the perspective of the eldest 12 year old brother. There are few movies that moves me so much by their simplicity as that one.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON has a likewise simple topic: Two married couples realize that their sons were switched at birth. Both come from very different social backgrounds, and both have the same question: What to do now?

Like father, like son.

Unfortunately the simplicity of the story did not really convince me this time. I found the storytelling a bit banal and a bit redundant. Maybe one reason was the plot: Normally you would do a melodramatic tv movie or a over the top comedy with this story material.

But this was exactly the reason why I was interested how Koreeda tackles the topic. I was expecting a sensitive and detailed observation, but to my mind it was a bit blunt and thus too obvious:
On one side you have the rich family with a father projecting his own ambitions onto his son, who might have difficulties to find his own personality. On the other hand you have the poor, but happy family, who is dealing with the son in a much more loving, personal way. I felt that I had seen this setup several times already, and I found it too predictable.

But as always when the content of a movie does not really touch me, my brain finds other things to do. Here it was the editing and the mis en scene which I thought were really well done. I notices especially the movements of and in front of the camera, which told their own stories without words. But altogether my start at the Viennale this year was rather so-so.

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InesViennale ’13: Like Father, Like Son

Runtastic Story Running

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The mystery of my latest project was revealed on Thursday at Pioneers Festival. It is called Runtastic Story Running. Story Running is a new feature of the Runtastic App. It tells you stories with a special Soundtrack while you are running.

runtastic-story-running-540

My job as a story consultant was planning the whole story development process, advising the writers during the development and partly directing voice actors at the sound recording. It was one of the most interesting and exciting projects I did in my script consulting carreer, because we entered uncharted storytelling territory. A big thank you to the great writers and the wonderful Runtastic team. (Here is an article including more infos and a photo of the presentation at Pioneers.)

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InesRuntastic Story Running

Welcome back

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As you can see, I have revamped and updated my website. You can find new services (like the HIGH NOON talk – perfect for writers in the early stages of the story development process), and I will try to keep the blog updated.

I am currently working on an exciting cross media project, which will be revealed on Thursday, so in the future you might find more posts on cross media storytelling in the blog as well.

Have a look and enjoy the new content of Scriptalicious!

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InesWelcome back

Long time no see

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Sorry for the long silence. But I finally have some great news, because I am currently in the process of revamping all my services.

Here is a teaser: Until now most of my services were for producers. With HIGH NOON – The Talk I will finally have a service that aims directly at you, the writers and filmmakers.

New at Scriptalicious: HIGH NOON

HIGH NOON is a 90 minute session for your specific questions about your current project. Maybe you have a rough cut of your latest short film, but something feels not right. Or you just completed your first research for a documentary, and now your are lost in the vast amount of possibilities. And you might have the perfect idea for a feature film – if only you had a clear story with interesting characters and some plot points to hold on to, so you can start writing an outline.

In our HIGH NOON session we will address your specific questions and work out answers so you can continue with writing, filming or editing your work. If it is not possible to talk in person we can meet on Video Skype. You can also record our session for future reference.

Stay tuned to this site so you will know when HIGH NOON will officially launch. If you have questions now, please contact me, I am happy to hear from you!

See you soon
at HIGH NOON!

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InesLong time no see

THE FIFTH SEASON at Venice

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The world premiere of THE FIFTH SEASON (Script/Directors: Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth) will be held on September 6 2012 at 10 p.m. in Salla Grande at Lido/Venice in the main competition of the International Film Festival of Venice.

I am going to be there from September 5 to 9. If you want to meet me for a coffee, call me on my mobile.

Also you can watch the trailer of THE FIFTH SEASON now on the website of the movie.

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InesTHE FIFTH SEASON at Venice