ROBERT MCKEE – STORY – PART 1/2 | London Real

Is teaching us when life is? To prepare [us] to equip us and That the deepest pleasure of the theater is learning without being taught What makes a great screenwriter somebody with something to say? You have to make sense out of life And this is why most people can’t do it because they can’t make that sense out of life let alone make sense out of life And then express it in writing Telling Story beautifully Is Meaningful because it makes life a little less painful? It makes life, just a little more livable So people who want to write on their champion? And I would do my best to help them understand what they’re up to because I know that without them life would be unlivable [I] Noticed your mug here. It says journey Journey is a euphemism for the struggle of Life Life is an uphill battle [its] sisyphus pushing that rock okay is not a journey This week on the [show] we have Robert mcKee who is a legend in Hollywood He’s been teaching people how to write screenplays for the past 30 years 50,000 students over 60 of them have won academy awards over 140 of them have won Emmy awards He really is the godfather of this business with people like Peter Jackson of the Hobbit Kirk Douglas and the entire pixar team Saying that he is the man and we had him in studio I’m actually attending his course this weekend as well because story is so important in our lives because it helps us Explain this reality called life and the suffering that we go through as humans and if you can understand how to create story You can understand a life better business better everything and look Robert is the [og] He’s 76 years old, and he’s still touring like a Madman London La Berlin, New York City he is teaching students on a regular basis, and he was actually featured in the movie adaptation with Nicolas cage as a guy who was Swearing on stage and really beating the heck out of people that want to be writers I really enjoyed my time [with] Robert, and I know you’re going to enjoy this very special interview He does not sit [down] with many people for very long and he really drops science about trump about what it takes to be a writer about what story is all about and even Wants to change the [tagline] of London real from it’s about the Journey – it’s about the struggle and I Appreciate that from Robert and if you want to get involved in some more struggle Join us for the life accelerator program which is finishing on Friday jump in for six weeks of training Rahmatu t [-] about mindfulness Mindset your diet your movement patterns relationships and how to be successful for the rest of the year It’s an amazing course so jump in now inside the academy and now I leave you with an amazing story by Robert mcKee This is London real I am brian [rose] my guest today is Robert mcKee who has lectured on storytelling for three decades And whose [books] story is the bible for screenwriters TV writers and entertainment executives like myself? Your former students include 63 academy award winners 164 Emmy Award winners and 30 writers guild of America Award winners with names like Peter Jackson The Hobbit Trilogy The Actor Kirk Douglas the Author Steven Pressfield and the entire team at Pixar singing your praises You were famously played by Brian cox in the film adaptation [when] nicolas cage and have also appeared on the simpsons your book dialogue The art of verbal actions per page stage and screen was released last year to critical acclaim and your book character is coming soon I hope I will be attending your three-day story seminar this weekend in London I’ve got my casablanca screenplay printed out Robert welcome to London Thank you Brian remember you are no [stranger] to this city And I was wondering if you could tell us about the time you spent here and what london means to story [theater] everything all my my love affair with London goes back the mid-60s, [I] was artist-in-residence at the national theatre when it was a at the old vic and Olivier was artistic director and I remember [I] flew we used to call icelandic Airlines and storm door company we flew from from New York to Maine to Helsinki and I mean to a Iceland and then on to London [and] Just to get here. Yeah just to get here and I got in a cab and I was driving into the city and I was I was bouncing up and down In the back seat [of] the cab screaming at the driver things like is that the thames? Is that the thames is the actual actual thames? You know is that big ben’s happy you know and I realized I was supposed building could have been more more electrified by it and and then Some years later. I moved here and I lived in London, and then I bought a place in a boss castle Cornwall and I had for a [decade]. I had a the ideal life of City country going back and forth Two weeks one plays two weeks [in] the next And it was a beautiful life and that the reason you know I would want to live in London if I would do it again if I if it were possible is the theater its I grew up in the theatre I spent my first half of my professional life on stage and directing dear and The theatre in London is just the best in the world New York is fine. I’m sure Paris is fine, but it’s just there’s look virtually no comparison and when I go to plays in New York, this is really fat Peevish, but it’s fact I understand 60 70 percent of what is said from the stage? Because American actors known about [your] Mantini sign and when I come [to] London people pronounce their final consonants you you know English is a Consonant language, and so you can understand. What is being said? and because they’re trained and and the acting over overall is always great, so I love this town. It’s the most I think it’s I Think London is is beautiful Physically beautiful. I know this you know sounds blasphemous, but I think London is far more [beautiful] than Paris [Paris] is repetitious. I mean everything Emma street looks like every other street after a while. I mean and in London is Especially when it’s up lit at night it’s just breathtaking and the change from the neighborhood the neighborhood from is is as rich and history of all Kinds [and] Modern and English architects are superb and The new Buildings are beautiful. So I have a Laundry list of reasons why if I could I would live here? And we’ll speak to your wife and get you over here half a year Do you think the history of theater here produces different kinds of actors then when it comes? Do you know it used to it used to but it’s not true anymore when I was working in the [theatre] here in the 60s There was clearly rada Lamda trained actors had the voice you know and and it was difficult for them in many cases to work on screen because they just couldn’t get Small enough couldn’t clean it down. You know because of that [I] mean both actors start with the same. They bring a character to Life within but the stage actor Gathers up that creation and projects it into the audience the film actor creates within and then invites the camera toward them to look inside and As a film actor [you] don’t want to do anything Would push the camera away from you Whereas in the theater, it’s the opposite And a lot of butts when I was here in the 60s, just didn’t know how to throw the switch, but not anymore Yeah, the [the] quality of acting in The world certainly in the English-speaking world is breathtaking I Think I mean one you know when you go to sit in a play [or] a new TV series comes on And they’re wonderful. Hey who are these people you know and they come from the same line a hundred deep at every audition and They are so beautifully prepared to Act roles that will never be written for them immediately the art of writing is Decades behind the art of acting and and I know you know and that these wonderful actors Thanks to the development of long-form television when I saw your game of thrones and the Vikings right I Looked through those casts, and I thought all those guys who thought they were retired right all those old men the veterans of the stage and [then] Now you know playing all these wonderful characters in these these series and so on [I] I do my best to try [to] [to] keep the quality of writing Progressively building over over the time and and and thanks to [long-form] television now the number of really fine characters available to actors is multiplying and so because the writing and long-form television is just Excellent. There’s a lot of crack – but the best of the best is just breathtakingly wonderful stuff I mean from the wire to breaking bad to Game of thrones indeed and all that and so so I’m very optimistic because I think regarding the future of writing Because I think long-form television is going to do there they’re already doing it they’re going to these writers are building the cathedrals of the 21st century a hundred hours of you know when I do Television day which I go there is a couple days from here from now We look at breaking bad as 26 story lines Between the 26 story lines there are 205 acts. [I] Mean that’s 205 at work. All right [the] magnitude is just astounding and [Na] what and that was breaking bad these 86 hours So I mean a novel even a you know [900,000] page novel might be one season and now you have seven eight ten seasons of you know often [really] superb quality writing and This I think is going to from hoping will invite really ambitious writers with visions of able to encompass massive works like that Will inspire them to? to want to write Because I know you know writing a novel There’s a lot of work and and Iffy Writing for the stage again it if he writing for a screen you make make more money if you sell but you know How many you know most screenwriters who? [are] really good and really busy are getting something to the screen like once every five years? Let’s you know. It’s hard hard to survive on hard to survive, and they’re hard to keep your [lover], but if the enthusiasm [line] the Writers gilded a study once That that for every [twenty] screenplays for which serious money is paid to Option the screen rights only one ever gets me There’s a lot of writers. I was one of them in Hollywood for years living on option money Selling what you write regularly, but then watching it perish for various reasons which must crush you in the writer it not be made yeah, it does but There’s [a] bunch [screen] [glass] old five times [so] I think this a wonderful business you get to sell things and keep them but The people did love [this] script, and it never gets made last time. It was sold a couple years ago Optioned I called my lawyer I said They want to want to got another deal. He said not. I want I see yeah. [I] said damn you know People read it they [come] all over it, but nobody ever gets pregnant Well said so is this an unheard-of time in human history when it comes to this Long-Form are I think sorry [I] three so we’ve never written or even early told [always] ever Attempted that kind of magnitude before there’s a bible compared to say breaking boundaries so the Bible is a bunch of short stories and There’s no through light it keeps changing authors every twenty pages, so Now it’s a it said. It’s of a magnitude nobody’s ever imagined before and consequently there’s a What’s what’s essential in long-form television is complexity of character? what keeps an audience watching a TV series is one of two things either characters are being revealed as Human beings of a kind we never saw in the last three [years] you know long Sunday character does something you realize my God that is true to character But we’ve never seen that quality that that trait in that character before They’re being revealed and or changed Characters arcing better or descending into some degenerating state or whatever, but they’re changing for better for worse [and] as long as the characters are being revealed and Land or changed because not all characters [change], but those who do or fascinated it really isn’t the storytelling that pulls people through a hundred hours [of] the long-form television, I mean the storytelling is wonderful, but you know but [the] Sopranos for example you know ends with him his family sitting in a restaurant because he’s been totally revealed Tony’s never going to change the tonys of this world never changed and and everything knowable about him is known [there] end of series right you called that exhaustion That’s the character exhaustion and and you at you said that kind of revealed you a new way of ending something. Yeah Until [the] Sopranos I never realized that When it gets to this kind of length this kind of complexity? complication that [um] What we’re really watching for is character. I Think [this] is true many novels [to] okay. I mean a lot on our last chapter is not a real true Climax it’s a sort of fade out and The characters [are] exhausted and so when I saw some problems I realized That’s another way to end ascribe. Just on just just their emptied out. Thank you very much man. Wonderful knowing you Goodbye, and when I think about breaking bad, I mean walter white you’re constantly seeing these new aspects of his character He’s changing and Jesse’s changing and his relationship with his [wife] And you’re saying that’s what pulls us along not the next drug deal not the next miss of that not much no I mean there are arcs and that in fact it gets so complicated in Long-Form TV that as I said there’s [205] acts So after a while an Act is important But not that important so I had to devise a new term and I called movements which is is an act is a major turning point a Story Climax is an absolute turning point so between the Act and the and the story climax Created a movement. Which is a massive turning point Which usually means some kind of compound not only did the character survive life and death but he’s now the kingpin of whatever and is found love and I mean a movement Climax is a is a soul is More powerful than an act usually because it compounds change So it’s not just One kind of change two or three different kinds of change all happening in the [same] event and so it becomes a movement So I broke [breaking] bad into four movements In order to make sense out of this because Like I said 26 [storylines] and 205 acts you get lost in the forest of it literally And this is something you saw coming. I think 10 or 15 years ago when you look at the state of screenwriting and you said Evil is the thing that hasn’t really been explored about people and I know a lot of your students went on to write some of These things like [spawn] on the wire and some of these other things am I summarizing it well. That’s true It’s true me know you can’t have complexity of character necessary to sustain 80 90 Hundred hours of storytelling without Moral Contradiction I Mean if people are just you know good [people] versus bad people that’s not going to last very long I mean, that’s a feature film that [star] [wars]. Yeah, exactly It’s you need people characters with tremendous inner conflicts and there’s various kinds [of] inner conflicts, but the most compelling are Moral conflicts of course and I I don’t know it’s a chicken and egg thing whether characters with deep Moral conflicts led to the development of [long-form] Or [long-form] developed characters with compound Moral conflicts because they needed Complex characters, so I move them back to the wire the wire is two worlds [of] police in the criminals, and you don’t know who the good guys are and definitely that you know the bad guys turned good every every would you least expect it so the the complexity of those characters and their moral contradictions Were multiple and so they became real and the cast of that good after the wire was fantastic men came 16-under and bad men and so forth and characters like don draper and mad men is a profoundly complicated self contradictory Moral Mess who’s trying to figure out you’ve gone through that what we called existential crisis traffic out the Point of it all is and who he is and he’s and he’s capable of telling any line and breaking Betraying anybody and on it goes and so and what fascinated that because deep down inside. We know that’s something Maybe like us that why we tune in oh? We wouldn’t tune in from day one if we didn’t recognize that. I mean that’s empathy and that’s absolute in principle characters It happens without thought. I mean sound like an audience since they’re thinking that that characters somehow Human like me and So I want him to have whatever he wants because you know if I were that character in those circumstances I want the same thing that means I like that They just sent something That this is a human being and it’s amazing how You know another somebody else walks in the room, and you don’t not me [I]? mean surely you’re not going to empathize with that character and I Could lecture about it and I could define [it] and I can give examples But from character to character from story to story Why readers of audiences find a particular character empathetic? And someone else not is is there’s some kind of One of one off going on between the character and the petite your present the particular Person in the open it was reading into watching it what went to sensitive intelligent people Watch the same film and have two entirely opposite reactions It’s got nothing to do with the film or the novel or whatever it is everything to do with Empathy The one who liked it empathized the one who didn’t didn’t Why one did one didn’t who can say? But but it’s it’s it’s that it’s empathy so that has to hook them you know from the pilot episode From the first [10-15] minutes of the film the first chapter of a novel you [have] to feel there’s a shared humanity Must have empathy to have a successful Anything any type [of] story? Well yeah there are exceptions. I don’t think there’s any empathy and agatha Christie I Mean we sympathize with the miss marples and the Sherlock holmes as a master detectives. You know are Sympathetic characters, but you don’t actually empathize with the Master detective because they’re superhuman They never screw up. They always get you know, [whoever] and And so they’re beyond empathy, but they’re charming Sympathetic you like them, but you don’t empathize with them so there’s always an exception, but but generally yeah without empathy There are films, or books that you might read to the end just To get the answer to the question how does this turn out? Certainly certain thrillers or crime stories. You know you may or may not empathize. I’m mature curiosity gets you to turn the pages And so there’s always exceptions but generally You know without empathy there’s no involvement and in in in something serial like a television series present they’re not going to be back next week and From season [two] season, they’re certainly not going to be back next year Without empathy, [I] mean I can’t wait for for game of thrones [to] you know [get] back and so I can because I we don’t watch them wanted on a week, and we click them We do what it must know I’d sure like we wait till the season on them be binge right? Oh there must be 1520 Characters in game of Thrones I empathize with practically No one there. I doubt it guys live you know same thing in the [Michael] herstal marvellous series of the viking vikings Again is a multitude of empathetic characters on both sides of the of the battles and people people get because of empathy is so powerful and It builds in [long-form] in a film you empathize for two hours in silver, right? Damn, and long-form season after season these people become your friends you worry about them you think about? The more than you do your friends nothing Strange out there so uh so yeah, yes, it’s Primal I was like you can talk to The basics of story because a lot of people watch this and say I’m not a screenwriter I’m not an author story not important to me and yet Story, I believe affects Everything about the human experience, and I was boring if you could explain that concept because when I read your book story Yeah, which is [the] German [Jersey]? There’s this ancient and False dichotomy between story and character You know and aristotle did both poetics? He said story number one is the most creative most difficult aspect of the work character number two But then by the end of the 19th [century] people who had an inverted no characters number one [stories] number, two? The truth is there’s no difference character is story story is character because The way in which you come to understand a character and feel empathy [and] involvement is By watching will make choices under pressure to take one action versus the many different actions they could have taken but they choose particular action as A tactic [an] effort to get what they want at that moment and overall what they want out [of] life when they take an action And they get a reaction from their world we call that an event And so characters take actions in the world reacts to them that story story is the actions that the characters choose to take and the consequences of those actions and so story is character character is story and And so when somebody [says] story is not important to me Character is well. That’s what they’re not aware of is in fact. They’re gripped by the story Because they’re fascinated by the character who makes those kind of choices in those circumstances and takes those actions and suffers the consequences Or benefits, whatever and as they watch this character in life interact that story but you know often the difference is that Often these actions and reactions are within a character They act and react within themselves Then why did I do that? [great] [away], and And it’s not a car crash the car crash happened inside of the character, so to speak right When when it’s internalized like that people? Tend to think that’s not story that’s character because it’s going on inside of the character But of course it’s story taking place inside of a character and all great writers in Virginia Woolf and James Joyce and the great stream of Conscious writers understood that the stream of consciousness is a Dynamic of choices and action like it’s all happening within the mind of a character, okay? And why is that story important to us? I mean
you know you’ve probably quoted John Lawson saying storing is created when the Subjective the objective realm collide and that this is actually like equipment for living but a lot of humans I don’t think realize it’s not important that they do okay It’s not important [but] I found it fascinating when you broke it down in the first [half] for the writers really That this kind of this [is] a technique And this is theory, and this is you know understanding the art form which is important to writers but you don’t need audiences or readers turning pages or sitting in the theater, [but] analyzing the action reaction sub and the subtextual behaviors of characters versus their Textual it set you know that’ll hurt the story literally they were [doubts] every story there is their experience okay like story itself makes us who we are as humans create? [snape] movements that whole idea of a fictional universe makes us do the things that help us cooperate with each other things like [that] right well yes because Story telling a story is a metaphor for life as well as Kenneth burke you quoted who said stories are equipment for living it’s a story on one level Is teaching us One life is? To prepare us to equip us so that when the sort of thing that happens to that character happens to me I have some sense of what that is about in fact This is as old as the time in the aristotle Aristotle in the poetics talked about the the rational experience of a play and the emotional experience of a play [he] Separated them the emotional experience. He called Catharsis, and it’s and and that’s what everybody’s written about But he also said there’s a rational experience and that the deepest pleasure of the theater is learning without being taught And you go to a great play Shakespeare Eugene O’neill you go to a great play a great film read a great novel and you are learning What life is so these characters in these circumstances? without being taught [your] absorbing life through these stories so that you can be a hopefully a little wiser a little more temperate or more civilized and a little more prepared for the catastrophes which will come and And so without storytelling, I mean we would be utterly uncivilized So that there you know the the subject matter His life right now in my country here – in England, but in my country the Tensions the absolutely did the performance? the the Suspicions between people I mean every [time] I pull into a garage. I think oh, there’s a guy who voted for trump You know and he sees me coming in my jag, and he goes. There’s a guy who voted for Hillary Christ [and] [were] already enemies and he hasn’t even filled my tank up yet, right? And so the stresses is really compounding and I gave a little some time ago And I said that’s one way to look at it But not it puts in your belly every morning when you read the New York times the other way to look at it is subject matter Because I was talking to a room full of writers So I said just get yourselves together you don’t have to write politically, but this is going to affect families It’s going to affect loves relationships. It’s going to affect children. It’s going to affect Boss-employee you relate everything is going to be affected whether but if we do we now have a Madman in the presidency and and therefore experiencing in the Americas it’s going to be Unlike it’s ever been [its] subject matter for comedy with drama for whatever. I said so you don’t just get out there and Take advantage of it right, and it’s important work now more than ever exactly somebody’s got to tell the truth hump a good storyteller No, he’s not a good story not even if he’s president where people get these ideas. He’s a bullshitter That’s not storytelling. It’s bullshitting okay? He’s a bullshitter. Are you know he’s he’s is ink from the pen? Someone buying it he’s on the business world real estate business. You know you know look [at] any TV commercial is A compound of two things bragging and promising [we’re] the biggest were the best when the newest to the shiny that we’re going to do this for you Industry, you’re going to get sick of how happy you’re going to be right? I mean, it’s bragging and promising. That’s a TV commercial He is a walking television commercial he brags any promises brags any promises. That’s not storytelling that’s Bullshitting the story is [mezes]. It’s you know his feet in the in the clay of truth You know I mean, it’s sliding through the swamps of what is it okay, but someone’s buying it, but somebody’s vibrational and the Story a narrative of his life whether interesting [between] by commercials But the narrative of his life story which he wrote in rewrote there is something there that people See I think yes, but it’s bullshit Probably yes, it was yes. He wasn’t he was born rich his father was a multimillionaire a real estate guy and his [the] only thing important that parent ever happened to trump was his older brother became an [alcoholic] [and] go himself the boots, right That was a lesson and so he’s a teetotaler, [and] [I] just wish he’d get drunk once a while She feel maybe it would you know stir some? some incited because there is you know in vino veritas, but he doesn’t know truth, so Yes, [anyway], it’s you know. It’s terrible in France like it’s like the tail the two cities the best of times in the works the [times] right and if it is terrible But good worth of them and may [be] good for for business when it comes to writing and then we need it yes, right, your books is called story, but It’s for screenwriters is that correct and can you talk about? well While you wrote it some of [things] I’ll be learning this weekend, and really the basis of why it’s so popular um I Had a fight with [my] publisher over the title My publisher was judith, Regan Colusa Queen of the bestsellers and she wanted to call it screenwriting and I said no put screenwriting in the subtitle Will call it story because even though The majority of examples are [taken] from film. There’s an occasional play or novel The TV show that gets mentioned excuse me the piece, but it is primarily for screenwriters Technically, but the substance of it is true for everybody documentary I mean you mentioned all the awards of my Students of one but they’ve also won booker’s in pew letters and So yeah the the reason it uses examples Primarily from screenwriting is because that’s what everybody knows and if ice if I try to write a book called story, but you know subtitle you know the Substance the structure and style the art of playwriting and all of my examples were Tennessee Williams and John osborne is somebody no, one’s seen them exactly so but [now] I’ve done the book on dialogue is out and that is four page stage and screen and from now on Everything I write is going to be multi-confessional that way I’ll take examples from from all the media a storytelling Character will certainly be all the Media and Because I [think] these I’ve always felt this when I was teaching at universities That there was something really artificial about a fear [department] in English Literature Department a film department that they’re all these people should be talking together. They should be working together and and helping inspire each other’s work and and that it’s all story at the end [of] the day and and Then they separate when they buy medium when they go to put it on stage, or put in front of a camera But the heart and soul of it is the same and In how the story you know gets to the world is [its] look you know filtered and influenced by the medium it’s in and And certain stories are stronger on page than they are on screen Whatever there are differences But at the heart it’s all the same and so I’m not going to let those Academic Departments Determine what I do anymore And so every book I’m going to write. I’m going to want a comedy [or] do one love stories and Every book I write in the future will be for all three what makes a good screenwriter my favorite screenwriter is in Marburg minh, and that there’s there’s been ever since aristotle is but a debate about form and content and The form is critically important because without it. You can’t express the content And today, I think generally the storytelling is good Certainly tentative certainly these these masterpieces on long form TV are great. It’s a blood films now on them, but even then The problem is content today writers just don’t have anything to say and They still want to write and so they copy other people’s pieces and They look for a trend in Genre. Why not and just sort of redo thrillers again and again again, whatever What makes a great screenwriter somebody with something to say? Which is the same thing for a novel or a play? because what difference does it make how technically good you are as a screenwriter if your Material is bay now and your characters of Abaddon’s you said an author has to write ten things that fail But what [is] at least probably 20s more fruit [20] like entire? Novels screenplay, yeah, well you know it’s going to take generally when you look at the careers of most people who actually got no Success or not that we would know their name [it] took them 10 [years] from their Early 20s to the early 30s maybe or more when – they finally got a novel published or play if They were working hard as they must be during those 10 years, and if it takes six months To write a quality play or novel or screenplay that’s 20 If if they and I’m one of those writers are [write] slowly if they write slowly, it’s one a year That’s 10 failed works that nobody wants but It’s hard for people But they’ll get it once once they do it It’s hard for people to realize is that the first thing you write will be the worst thing you will ever write? Because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and so it’s you know. You’re struggling in your ton weeks, whatever and You know it hopefully is good enough that you will not put [a] gun to your head that you do project You know novel number [two] play number two? And keep going, but it’s going to take ten failures to learn the [Matt] to Master this craft Now there are people who make it sooner [than] that you know congratulations but But ten years ten five works as normal. It’s normal Because this is not a hobby It’s a it’s an art form and a profession then you have to give your life [to] it so you’ve got to be willing to put in a decade of failure and And hard works of the chip at least one major if not two major works every year It gets better and better and better man I’m always troubled by people who come to my lectures, and they have this one script they want to write I suppose very nice You know your uncle’s adventures in world war two though very interesting But if it doesn’t get made, what are you going to do next? What’s your next project, and they get their eyes will blink? There is no next project which means if it doesn’t happen then never write again which means they’re a dilettante They really should be leave this should leave the room you’ve mentioned explain that the art of themselves of themselves in the art Stanislavski santosky said that what did he mean by that? There’s two kinds of people in the arts Those who love themselves in the art they want to be in the theater? They want [to] be literary they want to be in the movies Let me keep whatever. They have a desire to be in this and one of these art forms because it’s romantic and it’s exciting And they want to be in the art, and then are people who are fascinated by the art in themselves Who just have this monster inside [of] them? called Talent and The monster eats pages, and if they’re [not] feeding that beef [day-in] [day-out]. They’re miserable and and they’re they’re obsessed with making sense out of life and Foremost they’re fascinated by people not Genres people whether end up writing comedy or action or or in education [plots] we call it some story about Somebody struggling to find meaning whatever it’s about That that what got him into it they discovered [the] story But me because what got him into the writing with characters. They [suck] they they had an imagination they saw something on the street Something triggered and they just observe people that and they have great self-knowledge – the truth is for [everywhere] every person the only person [who] ever [knows] yourself And everybody else you know At a distance and that’s why you need to maturity and experience right the great whereas Chekhov one study said everything I know about human nature I learned from me And see if they have self-awareness penetrate the mysteries of your humanity Observe the people around you and great [writers] are fascinated by people [then] they find them in situations And story they make choices things happen to them and they respond to that and story begins grow. I mean that I’m that I Can’t know the numbers But that’s the majority that’s 80% of writing it starts with a character relationship and develops it into a story there are writers who go who start with an ending or Inciting incident or great scene and then they build a fine characters and build story backwards and forwards from that inspiration whatever it was and the inspiration was something that happened rather than Who this person is and at the end of the day they end up with fascinating characters as well? So it’s the order in which things happen is not important but but I Think those writers from Sustain a career And get better and better with everything they write are people fascinated with people Continue watching this fascinating conversation for free by [clicking] on the link below to visit our website, and I’ll see you on the inside the quality of the storytelling in the world is getting [better] by Far and That that will balance the scale of the happening politically and then that somehow we keep a balance and that the the writers the journalists their storytellers to will step in and to save

Comments 57

  • Chapters yes please. Thanks for that.

  • Damnit what an interview, watching someone with passion for storytelling answering questions from someone with passion for lisning to great minds. Thanks alot Brian!

  • What is the Music Score used in the trailer?

  • this one is very cool I'm gonna watch later all your interviews make my life happiness more and more accessible at every second of any possibility that's my goal. I am the king of strength, to lift the world and growth is my Divine path some day I will make it my path to guide others to their goal I'm very me nothing can stop me make a world full of kings and queens what a interesting thought thanks to you I know how to make my dreams reality and balance is key

  • is there a choice book list from London real

  • brian, what di you think abaut 2018 recession ?

  • 27:00 – Admit it people. You worry about your favourite character getting killed on Game of Thrones than you do about your friends.

  • Fantastic!

  • Hahaha, I think the interviewer was getting nervous that he wouldn't say what he wanted him to say. That's what happens when you go into an interview with an agenda.

  • Where's Part 2/2?

  • Story is dependent upon character. The decisions, behaviour and actions that the character chooses depends on the circumstances and the events that unfold around them.

  • Where is the 2 part?

  • ¿Someone can subtitle the interview in Spanish? Thanks

  • I am finished with McKee and everyone promoting him like you. I heard him speak years ago and for no reason when on a tangent against the Right. I do not need a thing the POS has to say. Oh and SCREW YOU LONDON REAL!!!

  • I respect McKee's book as a storywriting bible. i didn't realise that when it comes to the real world the guy is a fool. The reason people supported Trump was because he promised to "clean the swamp", stop America invading foreign countries and make peace with Russia. If Clinton was elected she had promised to confront Russia in Syria by establishing a "No Fly Zone". This was to promise the world a WW3. Russia's intervention was DEFENSIVE. It was about preventing the west from projecting their Islamic assets into Russia.
    Stick to the virtual world, Robert. Trump's "personality" was never the issue here. Looks like he has fallen to the swamp but ….it could have been worse. judging politicians on their personalities is to desire the most plausible con-man. The best UK Prime Minister was a boring little man, Clement Attlee, who had no personality but gave this country its greatest thing, the NHS.

  • 2:33 Is it filmed on samsung galaxy s8?

  • If this faggot considers Trump a madman he's just another pandering pearl-clutcher unable to accurately assess and characterize another human being. Go work for the DNC if you're not already om the payroll, tedious pedant.

  • what a waste, the interviewer has no clue what he is talking about and he says "Entertainment executive like myself "

  • hi ,I am shoked about myself/ today i ve been on virtual Instagram chating with Producer of hollywood, and after that I ve been sleppless and read online "cosmo ". and read about seminar of Robert Mckee/ before i diinot even heard about him and didnot know who is that lecture/ and now i am watching this interview on Youtube ! OMG! Guess soon I will in OSCAR CEREMONY !!!!

  • I must check the date/ my road to glory stars since today! 1of may 2018!!!!

  • Reykjavik

  • thank you very helpful informations

  • Fascinating stuff. Brian i think you're a bit of a douche with all the schtick and marketing, but have to respect your interviewing skills. First rate. So many other interviewers try and insert themselves into the conversation. You really let it flow. Fair play.

  • Story is instructive, inspiring, aspirational, entertaining, at its best.

  • Skip to 5:55 for the actual McKee part.

  • Well I was going to buy his book until he voiced his hate against my president. Go ahead move to London.

  • I have a question here (I have read his book and it poped in my mind) It seems obvious but whenever I try to figure it out, i'm lost: Acts has to shift from positive(+) to negative(-) or vice versa, as sequences and scenes. So if my act I starts from positive(+) and finish negative(-) does my act II has to inevitably starts negative(-) or it can starts positive?? For sequence also? can it be like always a shift from negative to positive, negative to positive, negative to positive in almost all the movie?

    thanks in adavance for anyone who light me with this 🙂

  • 36:30 Love it!! Trump is straight bullshit.

  • Read John chapter 1, that will explain what the Bible is! God bless !

  • Learned allot from you RM but unfortunately your wrong about the Bible. Massive through line:)✝️

  • it also takes reel focus

  • I beg to differ. It all depends on who you ask and what you're trying to say. there's a vast amount of insight and wisdom within those dropped consonants

  • thanks for 10000 hour intro

  • "People read it, cum all over it, but no body ever gets pregnant"🤣🤣🤣

  • Where can I watch te second part? please

  • where's that comment that says where the interview starts ? okay its 05:02

  • Watch the Full Episode of Robert McKee on London Real for FREE only at

  • "the deepest pleasure of the theater is learning without being taught"…….

  • lol he don't fw Trump AT ALL

  • The Bible has no thru-point? That is amazingly ignorant. It’s…The Story of Redemption The Scarlet Thread. This guy is certainly worth listing to as a writer, but you can see why and how Hollywood propounds ideas that are fully baked, but half true.

  • I like him, I like him a lot in this interview. I am glad such a man like Robert McKee lives somewhere on this earth…❤❤❤

  • McKee is a POS. He has helped so few people, yet Hollyweird promotes him like … well, like they used to promote HARVEY WEINSTEIN. Hmmm.

  • And democrats don't bullshit? What is it with you liberals that you have to rant about political views you disagree with. You must love to alienate half your potential audience…

  • Today's long-form TV story writing is "of a magnitude nobody's ever imagined before." The Mahabharata doesn't count?

  • clears throat

  • Aristotle held that “Plot” was number one, not “Story.” In fact, Aristotle never mentions “story.” But yes, according to Aristotle, character is secondary.

  • I have a question that has been really bothering me for decades, why can't those great coaches writhe the great novel or screenplay they keep talking about! How can you claim to have the very thing that you fail to demonstrate?!

  • Because of Robert McKee exist good story.

  • The true material for story telling, is not whether or not Trump is x, y, or z, but it's whether or not Americans are rational when it comes to their political considerations, or irrational. The real conflict here is Reason versus Anti-Reason.

  • 26:20

    Who would've guessed that last seasons of GoT would become the best example of storywriting failure 😀

  • I sometimes feel that I have an understanding of all the tools I need to write my screenplay. But often I get overwhelmed with ideas, or the themes get too complex for me that it becomes stressful to finish writing scripts that I've begun. Listening to these talks and interviews only reassure the things I already know but something is holding me back, and it's not just procrastination… does anyone go through the same as I am? Are there any videos or books anyone recommends that have helped them cope with the same obstacles I am experiencing?

  • Bullshit implies not making good on your word, not keeping an agreement or a promise.

    Trump has kept most of what he said he would do when he ran for President, against and in spite of LOTS of opposition.

    In my opinion, that does not make him a bullshitter … and by the way; one succeeds in business if one keeps their word an honors contracts ….

  • 34:50 🙄 OMG really? How exhausting, seems it’s impossible to escape Hollywood liberals running their mouths and dribbling shit for the sake of it.

    Was enjoying this up until this point. Enough of this, obviously not everybody agrees with you.

  • the first 80 seconds are all what writers need to know.

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