Less Is More reveals details of its methodology
by Vassilis Economou
- The European development programme for limited-budget features is in constant research mode to boost script development; this year, it will also benefit from the impulse of a brand-new Think Tank for fiction storytelling: the StoryTANK
After the Less Is More (LIM) script-development programme launched the call for its 2020 selection (see the news), Le Groupe Ouest, the main partner behind it, has now unveiled some of the details of the methodology and the philosophy behind it.
One of the pioneers in script development, with 13 years of experience under its belt, Le Groupe Ouest has coached over 700 writers and writer-directors at its residency in Brittany. With over 20 experienced international script consultants, working in small groups and creating both a collective and an individual approach to coaching and training, it gives the writers a common set of theoretical and practical tools that increase filmmakers’ autonomy and objective thinking throughout the development process.
This is also the philosophy behind the three LIM residential workshops, which are organised in remote places of natural beauty, allowing the participants to take shelter far from the stress of urban environments. It is worth noting that between these workshops, individual online sessions are being organised with the tutors.
In more detail, the first workshop will establish a common language and focus on finding and strengthening the real core of each project, both narratively and thematically. At the second workshop, the input of industry professionals is added, after a tailor-made showcase event where, for the first time, the stories and the participants are exposed to decision-makers while receiving crucial feedback to enhance their further development. The final workshop helps the writers to work on a strong first draft and to take an in-depth look at the implications of every single decision made during the development of the scenes. Furthermore, the more concentrated and compact the story becomes – which should also eventually help to decrease the budget – the more potential there is for the filmmaker to demonstrate his or her creativity on set.
Also, Le Groupe Ouest, in partnership with the magazine Le film français, the CNC, the Creative Europe – MEDIA programme and LIM, has launched the StoryTANK Think Tank. As Charlotte-Le-Vallégant, co-director of Le Groupe Ouest, explains: “We hope to bring together seasoned writers of screenplays and fiction, hailing from the strongest international film industries, and allow them to take part in a prospective and pragmatic working process with researchers who work in adjacent fields of storytelling (cognitive and social sciences, physiology, and so on). It’s about cogitating together, from a non-dogmatic, European and humanist perspective, about the physiological and social function of the story using images and sound, bearing in mind the new methods of a generation transformed by the digital revolution. StoryTANK has a mid- and long-term outlook, as the final work that will be created is destined as much for the future generations of professional storytellers as it is for the future viewers of stories, whether cinematographic, televised or in the form of video games.”
In order to succeed in its mission, StoryTANK is organising workshops that will gather together seasoned screenwriters and authors. They will liaise with researchers in adjacent domains who have been chosen for their potential contributions in the areas of story elaboration and/or perception in order to open up new perspectives or enable fresh understanding of the spheres in question. Afterwards, the screenwriters and/or researchers who distinguish themselves in terms of deciphering the subjects will take part in public interviews or filmed master classes, which will be broadcast online for free and possibly to round-tables during prestigious international film festivals.
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