GreatHouse (Spring 2014)

 

gregory-crewdson-20

Gregory Crewdson “Untitled” 

 

Greathouse Stories Inventory

April 29, 2014

Currently, we are lopsided on original material and have not yet really announced ourselves to clients. I’ve been too busy working on my own writing. There are five biographies, one memoir/novel and a survey and classification of the screenwriting industry. Briefly, these assets (inventory) are the following:

• Biography outline of Loren Berry (40,000 words)

• Biography outline of the Kahiki, the greatest Polynesian restaurant in history (20,000 words)

• Biography outline of Ray Alf (25,000 words)

• Biography outline of Colin Campbell, author of The China Study (15,000 words)

• Biography outline called Transcendence about Palm Desert, developed with the PD Historical Society (25,000 words).

• Memoir/novel – Londonderry Farewell (At a few publishers in Ireland and England). Co-written with Captain Thomas McKeown and his memoirs or running a naval base in northern Ireland in the middle 70s during the height of the civil war.

• The manuscript Hollywood Safari: Navigating Screenwriting Books & Theory. The manuscript continues to grow and we hear from many people in the screenwriting industry about the book.

• Media Nations (2003). Nations and communities gather around media habits more than national identities.

Battle of Symbols: Global Dynamics of Advertising, Entertainment and Media. (2003, Daimon Verlag, Zurich).

• Symbolism of Popular Culture (1995) – published on our website at www.symbolism.org.

• Symbolism of Place: The Hidden Context of Communication (1993) – published on our website at www.symbolism.org

• Spirit Catcher: Art & Life of John Coltrane (GreatHouse, 1995)

• Cool Scripts. A Developing Handbook for Applying “Cool” Participative Technique to Story Content (125,000 words)

• Script Symbology Columns – Written for Script Magazine in 2013 and 2014.

• The site www.symbolism.org website as a source of much material that is still unpublished.

The above seems about as much as I can take on right now and properly do things justice by getting them out at the world in some way, form, manner. I’m not bad at doing this. So, not really wanting to take on new clients and turn towards their projects rather than our own little “babies” out there.

Our various biographical outlines. What will we do with these? They are all very unusual, focusing on (often) unconnected facts occurring at times in the life of our subject. All of our outlines ready to be brought to (another) life via the readers giving their own narration to the outline. Rather than readers of a completed narrative, we will only allow them to be readers of an outline. This is all we, as the author, provide.

By providing outlines of texts to readers we move towards participative readers, fan fiction types, trans-media (and “trans” whatever out there) we try to generate and grow reader participation for the communications from GreatHouse Stories. Our philosophy is that we create “cool” literary products composed of content that requires participation in completion of texts

Most of the products of GreatHouse Stories are literary properties supplied in outline or beginning form. Events are plugged into years. Events relating to the hero of the biography. Yet sometimes events tossed into the biographical mix just because of some strange synchronicity of the author.

Without a narrative. A narrative that is supplied by each individual reader. So that this reader becomes the storyteller him or herself. And the author becomes a listener.

It seems that providing an outline is a “cool” and participative (trans-media, fan fiction) function of culture that posits a 24/7 interactive culture. In all of this the distinction between author and reader blurs and even vanishes.

The challenge today for GreatHouse seems more one of creating “cool” and participative scripts or content rather than building or policing communities containing content. By this I mean that we stay creative and provide the greatest amount of space and time to our own creativeness. As long as this creativity it continues to flow. However, we do have an urge and interest in sharing our methods and constantly having them tested and refined and made more relevant in the world. On top of this, though, we love teaching.

Yet, our own creativity comes first and we worry when the world starts fooling around with it. The great freedom is always doing what you really want to do. But sometimes what people want to do (strangely?) doesn’t include freedom. There was that great book called Escape From Freedom by Erich Fromm. A broad, social cultural of totalitarianism than overtook the world in the 30s and 40s. A new form, to escape into, escape that trying, tiring, demanding, freedom you had at the time in your life.

If you have any sense of cycles in life, you have a sense of the movement of symbols. It is not much more complicated than this. It is really so simple.

Is the zeitgeist of our period created via great cycles of culture shifting back and forth between individual and towards crowds?

The real battle today does not seem between political parties but rather between two great forces out there today. There is the force of the government that has always functioned via a one-way broadcast type of communication model. The government would be a terrible model for a fan fiction club today. Few surprises here.

Opposing the government today is the Internet, that one big foe, their greatest enemy, greatest threat to destroy them, expose them.

So the government stands against the Internet crowd today. It is an unseen, political dynamic few see today. The real key questions are the demographics and psychographics of the Internet users. Their digital followers. On Twitter. On their blogs. Facebook. Applications.

Apart from the GreatHouse Stories WordPress site, we have little interest in social media and focusing on this. Much better for us it seems to either partner up with a social media expert or hire this expertise for GreatHouse.

That’s how things look on April 29th.

John

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