I need to put my sense of awe and excitement out there to all you Ning-ers before I can launch into a reflection. It was such an honor to hear Mr. Goldman speak, one that even rivaled seeing Elmo. As a child I watched and re-watched The Princess Bride, imaging myself as Buttercup and my neighbor Wesley (a Goldman-esque stroke of luck) as Westley. My mother helped me write some of the stories down so Wesley and I could act them out afterwards. It was a wonderful form of Play and one that allowed me to contextualize the film into my own life.
Goldman spoke of the business side of filmmaking, studio heads not knowing what will be a hit and what will be a huge flop, speaking to actors in a way that keeps their egos a float, agents signing new talent, and directors suddenly changing a screenwriter's work. Listening to him was even more entertaining than reading Adventures In the Screen Trade and I looked forward to long subway rides with a copy of Adventures. As I sat listening to Mr. Goldman speak, I made the connection to all that TTP 2009 is, how we integrate visual mediums in the classroom. I could understand the struggles he had during his creative process of developing a script, a mental struggle that teachers and students have as well. How do we take an idea and create something from it? My childhood games of writing storylines for Buttercup are applicable to possible ways of bringing Goldman's examples to children, teenagers, and undergraduates. Storytelling, especially fairytales, are universal and a great launching pad for different types of literacy.
Goldman wrote, " When you write something, if the picture happens, someone must actually go about executing the details of the script. Hardworking technicians, like yourself. So if you get a flight of fancy that entails a sudden snowstorm blanketing Honolulu airport, there better be a good reason. A crucial reason. Because that is not an easy thing to recreate. And movies are not made by elves and fairies...."
This may be true for traditional filmmaking, but in a classroom setting, students can allow their imaginations to run wild. With newer technology kids can very easily write, star, direct, and edit any type of fantasy story. Even stories with princesses, giants, cliffs of insanity, pirates, and six-fingered men.