I bring with me to project consultation a wealth of experience in screenwriting and filmmaking, and an understanding of the creative process that can only come from having worked with hundreds of writers and filmmakers, students and professionals. Most of all I bring a great love of story, and a vision of story as a living thing with its own inherent integrity.
Sadly, many screenplays go astray in the development process, as the writer gets lost in the wilds of rewriting, or worse, seeking to satisfy contradictory visions of the story. Some so-called story editors bring the same agenda with them to each project, defined by their private vision of the ideal screenplay, which subtly undermines the writer's efforts rather than supporting them. Since I am also a screenwriter and filmmaker, I pursue my own vision on my own work, not on yours.
Instead I start from a receptive approach and enter into the deepest understanding possible of the writer's intent with and vision of the project. Often the writer themselves is not fully conscious of this, so I take my first guidance from the writing, seeking to bring the writer and others involved in the development process to a deeper understanding of the story and its becoming. I'm a bit like a family counselor, helping the parties involved – story, writer, producer, and sometimes others – hear one another better.
Finally I give feedback that is very focused, concrete and specific, showing how the tools of screenwriting craft can be used to make the story more accessible to the audience's full emotional participation.
My role is part audience member, part coach, and part oracle.
I also have experience working with distributors, funding agencies and broadcasters, giving me a solid understanding of the marketplace. I am the only story editor around who has also developed projects as producer, director and writer all the way through to the marketplace myself.
For me, helping creators create better (I call it being “advisor to gods”) is more like play than work, which is why I continue to do it in spite of many other commitments.