Monday, 24 February 2014

What A (Good) Story Means To Me

Article written by Bulent Ozdemir
(DisclaimerThis article contains words and phrases that some people may find offensive. Please do not continue if easily offended)


Hey guys, today I'd like to talk to you about story, not just any story, but good story and what it means to me.

Like many creative mediums, platforms or whatever the fuck you want to call them, story is a subjective matter. One person's Monet could be another person's euro trash. We each have our own ideals, thoughts, influences and factors that mold our definition of a good story. It's not a right or wrong thing, it's whatever resonates inside the individual. Whatever sparks that emotion inside you is what counts.

Unfortunately, we live in a society today where everything is digested and thrown away within a blink of an eye, or should I say a click of a button, or is that a slide of the finger? My point is, attention spans have reduced quicker than a diarrhetic bowl over the last (at least) 10 years. What this means is a severe reduction in good story and an increase in eye candy. The next generation of cinema goers/storytellers have been groomed into a corner where everything is geared to be generically structured without the twists, turns and surprises most of the older generation were lucky enough to grow up with. Some will argue this point, others will nod in agreement. Again, it's all subjective.

Bare with me as I rattle along and bring this sucker back.

Story. What is it good for? Absolutely everything!

Our lives are filled with incredible stories of hope, defeat, loss and success. What resonates with me the most about good story, and I'm assuming most of you out there, are the conflicts and dramas that arise from these situations. Whether you've picked this up consciously or subconsciously, these two words wrapped inside the structure of start, middle and end are my talisman (Thank you, Syd Field).

Here's how I see structure when generalising life:

We are born (Start)
We grow/learn/experience (Middle)
We die (End)

Generalising a Relationship:

We meet (Start)
We grow/learn/experience (Middle)
We marry/separate/kids/no kids (End)

Good story to me out of the above examples are the conflicts and dramas that seamlessly link the start, middle and end together. With that in mind, and based on my own tastes...

Good story to me is when two star crossed lovers are destined never to be together (conflict/drama). A giant shark terrorizing the shores of a small town (conflict/drama). An empire dead set on ruling the galaxy (conflict/drama). A future altering disruption of the space time continuum (conflict/drama). So on and so forth. These are factors I personally try to incorporate into all of my own Scripts.

No matter what anyone tells you, every good story has a start middle and an end bathed in drama and conflict. What makes someone's story unique is how they utilise these starting points. And that's all they are, starting points. Even an architect of a building has to start somewhere. Guess what, that's what good storytellers are --> Architects and yep, their story is their building.

So go out there and create the conflict, create the drama, structure it and chances are, you've created What A (Good) Story Means To Me ;)

Until next time , folks.

You might also like:
Screenwriting White Space: What Is It Good For?
The Soldier - Did That Just Happen?


Bulent Ozdemir Director Filmmaker
Bulent Ozdemir is a self taught Writer, Director and Filmmaker who left his day job as an insurance broker back in 2010 to pursue a career in film.


e: bulentfilms[at]

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