Foul-Mouthed Screenwriting Coach Offers Lesson for Brands

My love for the movie, Adaptation, first led me to Robert McKee and his seminal book on screenwriting, Story. Anyone who has seen Adaptation will remember the scene based on the experience of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (played by Nicolas Cage) in the Story seminar with McKee (played by Brian Cox).Read the full article

"Adaptation." (2002) -- Screenplay Seminar Scene

This scene from 2002's "Adaptation." very well incorporates all clichés of the writing (or any creative) process: the urgent desire to express oneself, the inconfidence appearing when evaluating one's own work, and the apparently self-confident and emotionally strong "outside world": The amount of people gathered in this screenplay-writing seminar illustrates the masses of people wanting to "learn" to write in order to express their feelings - apparently a quite general human desire. The amount of people attending the seminar emphasizes the widespread desire and serves in its abundance to communicate the force of this need. Watch Nicholas Cage's slouched composure and body language, as he plays the humorously oversubscribed (screenplay) writer Charlie Kaufman - a man doubting every aspect of his own existence, and being extremely inconfident. This portrayal contrasts starkly with the (a few moments earlier) self-proclaimed "asshole" seminar teacher (Brian Cox playing screenplay writing guru Robert McKee). He shows much more self-confidence by his much louder voice, his body language (he only looks at the questioner every now and then while the Charlie Kaufman character needs to stare continuously at the teacher) and his improvisation of dramatical scenes. Excerpt from "Adaptation." with Nicholas Cage as Charlie Kaufman and Brian Cox as Robert McKee. Written by Charlie Kaufman (and Donald Kaufman), directed by Spike Jonze, released and copyrighted by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment 2002. See the trailer on YouTube and the distributor's information here (with links to buy the DVD and visit the movie's website)

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