Originally an influential memo Vogler wrote for Walt Disney Animation executives regarding The Lion King, The Writer’s Journey details a twelve-stage, myth-inspired method that has galvanized Hollywood’s treatment of cinematic storytelling. A format that once seldom deviated beyond a traditional three-act blueprint, Vogler’s comprehensive theory of story structure and character development has met with universal acclaim, and is detailed herein using examples from myths, fairy tales, and classic movies. This book has changed the face of screenwriting worldwide over the last 25 years, and continues to do so.
Foreword Magazine Storytelling is the purpose of writing. And while crafting more polished sentences and paragraphs can be practiced and improved upon, creating an affecting story calls upon other talents, some of which are better honed at late night gatherings around a fire pit, as has been the case for tens of thousands of years. It may come as a surprise that even the long forgotten authors of the great myths and fairy tales of yore utilized a few trade secrets to make their stories more entertaining. Turns out, those fictional heroes on their journeys followed a fairly standard script from tale to tale, as noted by Joseph Campbell and others who studied myth narratives.
Christopher Vogler made documentary films as an Air Force officer before studying film production at the University of Southern California, where he encountered the ideas of mythologist Joseph Campbell and observed how they influenced the story design of the first Star Wars movie. He worked as a story consultant in the development departments of 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures and Animation, and Paramount Pictures, and wrote an influential memo on Campbell’s Hero’s Journey concept that led to his involvement in Disney’s Aladdin, The Lion King and Hercules. After the publication of The Writer’s Journey, he had a hand in developing the stories of many productions, including Disney’s remake of 101 Dalmatians, Fox’s Fight Club, Courage Under Fire, Volcano, The Thin Red Line and many others. Vogler lives in Los Angeles, California.