Beacon Studios: Introduction

 

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Beacon Studios – The Symbol of  the Old Hollywood

(In battle with the Symbol of the New Hollywood) 

Introduction

John Fraim

11:21 pm, 1/21/17

 

The world is filled with grand shifts in symbols that move on their own power and can do little about. These symbols are grand-archetype symbols of our time. Because they are so large, they always relate to the two grand symbols that wage a perpetual battle throughout the history of civilization. They are of course Feminine and Masculine, the emergence of the separate Ego out of the wholeness of the Mother. Equality (wholeness) and Freedom (separation). When one of the two is the dominant symbol in the grand cultural zeitgeist of a time, its magnetism or gravity bends time around it so everyone is surrounded with this symbol, like water around a fish.

The grand symbols ruled over the happenings in the Garden of Eden and were present at the creation of America as they have been in few other nations. This created a perpetual paradox in America that has been internalized. Equality and Freedom. Democrat and Republican. Globalism and Nationalism. Women and Men. The key symbols also have symbolic correspondences to many other symbols of the world. These symbols need to be placed into the structure of the story at particular points in the story for maximum effectiveness.

Exploration of this here by a screenwriter in Los Angeles working on a screenplay produced by one of Hollywood’s oldest studios.

* * *

I am what one might refer to as a modern bookworm.  My interest tends to go in particular areas and I search out the key books in this area and other relevant information. Books used to spread across my bookshelves but today articles and YouTube videos and podcasts are kept on my MacPro.

I grew up in LA in the 50s and my parents had a number of friends in the motion picture business. Maybe this is why that word “story” has always occupied a special place in my heart? Everybody had a story. The guys who worked as salesmen on my dad’s car lot in Pasadena all had stories. Many of them told these stories in various B films my dad’s car salesmen were in.

Through my career I have a lifelong interest and record of writing. File cases full of novels, non-manuscripts. Many stored in our basement right now. Most posted on our site on the web at midnightoilstudios.org.

Idea. A philosopher-screenwriter attempts to locate the new story forces controlling Hollywood. Everyone in Hollywood seems self-reflective for the first time in a long while. There has been a huge, surprise shift in the category of ruler in the nation. More than just a Republican fought a Democrat in this vicious battle of 2016. It seemed to be something else. What is it? Hollywood looks for new stories to tell. But the screenwriter feels the problem is that Hollywood stories needs a new structure to the stories they tell. At the same time, there is a key economic meeting in the world after the election of the new American President. The President of China at the meeting for th first time. Discussion of President with key filmmaker in China, billionaire Hung Yoa Po, owner of the largest film studio in China (the world) ready to take over Hollywood in buyouts as well as direct on competition.

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Chinese Billionaire Film Entrepreneur Hung Yoa Po

I confess to being a horder of screenplay theory books. And this has been one of my major problems. The more one reads on screenwriting the farther and farther one gets away from any natural story-telling abilities or gifts.

The problem was so bad I wrote a best-seller book on the problem a few years ago and couldn’t believe the response I got. I can attest to have taken perhaps every course from big Hollywood screenwriting gurus over the years. Now many are presented in places like Udemy and channels of YouTube.

I identified fifteen major screenwriting schools that fouight each other for the control over storytelling today. This is a battle that few see yet goes on behind so much in Hollywood today. With the emergence of Trump, the outlines of this symbol in Hollywood stand-out. The city is wondering if they are telling the w=right types of stories.

This is as far as the analysis can go.

The real question is do stories today possess the right structure.

palm-springs

Palm Springs Through A Telephoto Lens at the Top of the Tram

Story structure represents the largest battle in the screenwriting industry today.

While many screenwriting gurus can agree on elements within screenplays, few agree on structure of screenplays, or the sequence (chronology) of parts of them. The gurus suggest a structure of a screenplay from a high of around 22 steps (Truby) to a low of 3 steps (Field). So many books attempt to claim their territory within a particular step number: Blake Snyder at 15, the USC Seqence Method at 8, Joseph Campbell/Chris Vogler 15 Steps. Eric Edson 21 Steps.

This variation of steps led me back to my trustworthy Jungian materials. What is the true sequence of stories related to the most powerful elements of the psyche. Is there a direct relationship?

Dominant Hollywood symbol for these grand symbols in stories is Vogler’s A Writers Journey (based after Campbells Hero).

Yet in all of this, Jungian psychology and symbology is hardly present at all.

I think this is the time for a re-evaluation of story structure.

Rather than the structure proposed in Campbell’s Hero, it needs to be re-evaluated in light of Carl Jung’s greatest student Erich Neumann and his brilliant, little known, The Origins and History of Consciousness.

While Jung addressed a number of processes in psychology, he never truly progressed the grand progression through culture and life of his symbols. Jung was the great archeologist, discovery. But Neumann was the one that gave life to his discoveries. Providing a new template on how stories should be structured (under these times?) is one of his major contributions.

As I’ve written in notes and manuscript form, the true symbolism of the cross is the intersection between linear (horizontal bar of cross) and non-linear time (vertical bar of cross).

This should also serve as the true symbolism of modern symbolic stories based on the new structure.

In researching writing this book and working at a deadline on his screenplay for Beacon Studios, we hear his story.

The following notes for the story Beacon Studios carries things forward a little.

JF

 

(See Beacon Studios Story Outline in the Next Post From Midnight Oil)

https://midnightoilstudios.org/writing/.

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