Joseph Lee's Perspectives
My view of the world
Saving the Cat and Balding Men

This is the week-end of Book Expo America, and before every Book Expo, there has always been a Writers Conference, a gathering of aspiring authors who dream of their novels becoming the next Harry Potter, and their screenplays being swooshed up by the heavyweights at Universal, Fox, Dreamworks, Disney, or Columbia Pictures.  

A fifty-something African American Lady proudly declares, "I wrote a book about my own life.  I know it's going to be a movie, but I want to know who's gonna play my part."   Another gentleman proclaims that he has a story that is half 40-year old virgin and half National Treasure, and I wish him luck.  But I point this out not to make fun of them. 

No, no, it's rather the opposite.  I'm part of this crowd.  Two years ago, I attended a writers conference in San Diego, learning so much about the craft of revising and editing a novel, that I am convinced that it led to the subsequent release of my novel in Japan (although it was translated).

This a group of dreamers, and without them, this county and this industry, could not flourish.

Our lunch speaker was famed script writer Blake Snyder.   I don't know any of his scripts, but he wrote a book called Save the Cat--The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need.

I won't delve into the details of his twenty minute speech, which was quite entertaining--enough for me to shelve out $15 to buy the book.  But it was the title, that caught my attention.

Blake tells us that scripts (and movies) are about transformations of characters--from the opening imagery to the final scene.  And within that transformation, there is ALWAYS a moment, early in the movie, when the hero reveals himself.    Every story has one.   It is that one singular event where the helpless cat finds itself stuck in the tree, and where only Superman can come to the rescue.

The hero may reveal his powers, his gentleness, his goodness in many forms.     

I consult in a variety of fields, one of them being corporate governance.  A news flash from the New York Times tells me that a foreign company has ousted the board of a Japanese company known for its wigs (mainly for balding men).

Steel Partners Ousts Board Of Japans Aderans

Aderans must be searching hard for its own Superhero to rescue itself from the raiding foreigners.   "What a violation of Japanese customs!" the local papers would report. 

Maybe I'm the only one that find it humorous, that instead of a Man of Steel, a group named "Steel Partners" found a way to rescue the company from its management, and finally giving control to the shareholders where it belonged.

Now that the Japanese shareholders got their dreams realized, it's up to us writers to work a little harder.

2008-05-29 08:15:04 GMT
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