Fights, Seduction and Negotiations

Mike Nichols, the beloved director of stage and screen—from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and The Graduate, to Barefoot in the Park and Working Girl— died Nov. 19, 2014 at the age of 83. I was once sitting at a high class hotel bar in Houston Texas with my friend Steve Farr, and he leaned over to […]

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Former Pixar Story Artist, Emma Coats recently tweeted 21 story basics in 140 characters or less way back that Pixar uses for the essence of good storytelling. #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, […]

Sandwich Makers vs Spaghetti Sauce Makers

According to Academy Award winning film editor Walter Murch there are two different types of video editors: sandwich makers and spaghetti sauce makers. Sandwich makers build an edit one clip at a time… like making a sandwich. Put this sound bite here, add this image, and build up to a final edit. […]

Orson Welles – “F for Fake” by Mark Borchardt

Soon after I entered the wonderful world of filmmaking, I became aware of Orson Welles. I was entranced with his eclectic work and larger than life reputation. Of course it was his films that got me: The Stranger, Citizen Kane and The Trial were, most likely, the first ones I encountered. Orson Welles Something was […]

Ken Burns on Storytelling

Celebrated documentary filmmaker Ken Burns talks about what makes for an interesting story in this short film, “Ken Burns On Story” It’s always interesting to see what storytellers see as the building blocks of story, or even the X Factor for what separates an ordinary story from a great story.

Pixar’s Andrew Stanton on Storytelling

From his TED Talk, Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.


We enjoyed this YouTube mini-series with master storyteller Ira Glass of This American Life and would like to share it with you. It’s a great breakdown on what a story actually is — in it’s most primal form. Part 1: Ira speaks on avoiding everything you learned writing high school term papers and maintaining good story […]

JJ Abrams Ted Talk on “Mystery”

From his recent TED Talk, J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery – a passion thats evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias — back to its magical beginnings. Good storytelling advice here. And if you haven’t seen CLOVERFIELD yet, do so. It’s […]