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2007 Schedule

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James Bonnet’s Storymaking

The Master Class
The Quintessential Screenwriting
and Storymaking Seminar


Sunday and Monday, September 28-29


James Bonnet’s Storymaking:  The Master Class


The Quintessential Screenwriting and Storymaking Seminar


Storymaking is the ultimate creative adventure. Whether you are a professional or novice, this intensive state-of-the-art story seminar will take you beyond Classical Story Structure and The Hero’s Journey to a more complete understanding of the fundamentals and principles you need to create your own successful stories and story films.


A continuation of the work begun by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, James Bonnet puts forth new ideas concerning the nature and purpose of story, the meaning of metaphor and myth, the creative unconscious, and the art of storymaking. He will introduce you to an important new model of the human psyche called the Golden Paradigm which was brought to light by intriguing new patterns discovered hidden in great stories. These new patterns reveal all of the psychic dimensions, their structure, their hierarchy, their conflicts and their goals. These psychological models become story models when they are used to create new stories and will not only teach you how to create contemporary stories that are significantly more successful and real than stories currently are, they will reveal how the conscious and creative unconscious minds can interact to form a creative partnership which is applicable, not only to storymaking, but to many different art forms, and can bring powerful inner resources to light.


You will also be introduced to a new phenomenon called the Storywheel which brings all the different types of story together into one grand design. All great stories, ancient or modern, have a place on this wheel, and when taken all together in this way, they reveal their deeper, more amazing secrets, not the least of which are all of the life cycles we experience from birth to death. The archetypes, patterns of action and cycles of transformation revealed in story are the same archetypes, patterns and cycles which run through every individual and every group, and are being played out in all of life's important stages.  If you understand these patterns, you can understand the world, your place in the scheme, and the paths which can lead you to higher states of consciousness and success.


A knowledge of story and the act of storymaking are essential links in a creative process that can reconnect us to our lost or forgotten inner selves. An understanding of story leads inevitably to an understanding of these dormant inner states and to a perception of the path which can lead us back to who we were really meant to be. In short, a vast, unrealized potential exists within you which a knowledge of story and storymaking can help to make real.


The secrets of great stories, it turns out, are the secrets of the human mind. And the study of story is the study of this remarkable phenomenon. Every great story reveals some small piece of that magnificent mystery. Unlocking the secrets of story unlocks the secrets of the mind and awakens the power of story within you. 



WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Writers, Filmmakers, Mythologists, Psychologists and anyone else whose livelihood depends on knowing what makes a story great and successful.


PART ONE: A  review of basic concepts and important story patterns and an introduction to high concept storymaking and the creation of ideas that will be talked about, generate excitement and compel the right people  to get involved. 


       The Anatomy of a Great Idea

·         The Fascinating Subject

·         The Intriguing Title

·         The Inciting Action and The Hook


       The Structures of the  Whole Story     

·         The Entity Being Transformed       

·         The Nine Essential Characters

·         The Cycles of Transformation

·         The Upside and Darkside of the Passage

·         The Hero and The Antihero Compared

·         Character and Plot 

·         The Marvelous and Terrible Elements

·         The Whole Story, Frame Story, and Back Story




  The Structures of the Story Focus

·         The Structures of the Principle Action

·         Classical Structure and the Structure of

              Action in Real Life

·         Genre and the Entertainment Dimensions

·         The Creative Process

·         The Six Essential Creative Techniques

·         Choosing the Right Metaphor 


PART TWO: A step by step journey from the fascination to the final draft, including a thorough analysis of

The Lord of the Rings, The Sixth Sense, Gladiator, The Matrix, Harry Potter, Ordinary People, The Silence

of the Lambs, The Pianist, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, The Iliad, Shakespeare in Love, Shrek and many more.  


     Creating the High Concept Great Idea

·         Probing the Fascination

·         Finding the Subject

·         Finding the Problem of the Story

·         Finding the Entity  and the Threat

·         Finding the Inciting Action and the Hook

·         Finding the State of Misfortune and

             the Real Cause of the Problem


       Creating the Larger, Whole Story

·         Creating the Downside of the Cycle

·         Creating the Negative Characters

·         Creating the Hero and the Antihero

·         Making Your Characters Charismatic

            and Merchandisable

·         Creating the Marvelous Element

·         Creating the Upside of the Cycle

·         Creating the Positive Characters

·         Creating Character Chemistry

             and Conflict


                      Creating the Structures of the Story Focus

·         Creating the Structures of the

            Principal Action

·         Creating the Crisis: the True Middle

            of the Story

·         Creating the Scenes

·         Finding the Emotional Core of the Scenes

·         Imitations of Real Life

·         Creating Outstanding Dialogue


     Creating the Narrative Structure

·         Creating the Aesthetic and Technical Dimensions

·         Creating Excitement, Passion, Suspense, Magic

·         How to bring all the powerful dimensions

                  together to create one magnificent effect



There’s a revolution taking place in the world of storymaking and you can be a part of  it!



James Bonnet, www.storymaking.com,  was elected twice to the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America and has acted in or written more than forty television shows and features. The radical new ideas about story in his book Stealing Fire From The Gods: A Dynamic New Story Model For Writers And Filmmakers are having a major impact on writers in all media.


For the last twenty years Bonnet has been the director of Astoria Filmwrights, a research project studying all the significant story models and theories about story from around the world and their connection to the creative process, screenwriting, storymaking and film.  The culmination of this work is the breakthrough “unified” theory of the origin and nature of story. This important new knowledge is not available anywhere else and is relevant no matter what kind of story, true or fiction, you want to create for whatever medium.





What others say about Bonnet’s seminar and book


"James Bonnet’s tools will jump-start and intrigue you. Your connection to your craft will deepen, and your horizons will expand." Raymond Singer, screenwriter Disney's MULAN.


“Your  seminar was without a doubt the most valuable class I've ever taken on writing.” Jon Gindik, Cross Harp Press


“Stealing Fire is a book that needs to be read and reread and a seminar of great value to all writers.”  Gene Hines, Original Writer, Cliffhanger


"This book will certainly be a bible for writers." Jack Wiener, Producer, FX and FX2


"Anyone who is interested in structuring feeling and thought into words and story will find Stealing Fire stimulating and worthwhile. I recommend it." Elliott Gould, Actor, Academy Award Nominee


"Challenging and provocative." David Rintels, Emmy, Writers Guild and Peabody Award Winning Writer, Producer


“Bonnet has tapped into a wellspring of lost knowledge unlocking the natural storyteller that is encoded in each and every one of us." Bob Camp, Artist, Writer, Director, and Co‑creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show


“I recommend this book for every screenwriter. I also recommend it for producers, actors and directors with an eye toward Hollywood.”  Pi Ware, FILMMAKERS ALLIANCE