Screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi has taken the time to write a little primer-of-sorts, on what Hollywood knows about delivering a message and influencing thinking. It’s very insightful and I’m thinking the Army of Davids, the Tea Party, the nation full of newly-hatched activists and fledgling politicians could use a little “inside baseball” information to help them do battle with the Goliaths!
Here is what Barbara says about getting the message out:
For nearly one hundred years, the Hollywood-based entertainment industry has been perfecting methods of getting and sustaining the attention and focus of the global audience. There are principles for communicating effectively that go back to the ancient Greeks, and they can be gleaned from Hollywood’s experience. Sadly, many people of religious faith tend to dismiss entertainment as frivolous or exploitive. This is muddled thinking. “Entertainment” simply refers to the effort to satisfy and engage human nature by appealing to the emotions. We have entertained whenever we have made people feel. Once we have them feeling, we can move them toward caring and thinking.
It is a mistake to not take into consideration the entertainment value of every message that we create. We who are creating political or spiritual messages should ask ourselves some of the questions that Hollywood asks, like these:
1. Why will the audience care about this?
2. How will we engage the audience’s attention with this piece?
3. What is the core, defining theme of this piece?
4. What should our tone be in this message?
5. How do we want the audience to feel at the end of this piece?
Take some cues from the industry that knows how to communicate strategically.
This is well worth reading. A good little primer to work from, as we prepare for the next round of campaigns and protests, and microphones and cameras are all around.
It feels really bad out there. It feels like a planned and orderly plunge into disorientation, doesn’t it? I used to listen to the whackadoo left proclaim that “Bush is going to throw the country into chaos and then declare martial law and suspend elections” and I’d shake my head. But darn it if I don’t read the headlines, and see the lack of jobs, the “new way” of thinking about employment numbers, the cries from Geithner for “more” money, the seeming intent of the White House to shut down the government rather than actually try to effect the “change” necessary to keep that from happening; the staggering incoherence, the twisting of reality, the unwillingness to get serious, apparent scheming by our lawmakers, the fecklessness of politicians who can’t move beyond the expedient, thoughtless moment, that lack of hope, and I wonder: is chaos, in fact, the goal, after all?
I’ve been thinking for a while that Obama does not act like a president who expects to ever have to actually win an election again. He is so unresponsive to anything but his own vision, and his vision is so incomprehensible — let’s support Brazil’s oil drilling, but not our own! (No, why would we want to do that, and create some jobs?) We want to buy our oil from them! — and his distortions so non-stop (we’re drilling more, or we’re going to, but we’re not really approving those permits) that I don’t know what to think, anymore. But when people say formerly outlandish things, like “he is fomenting chaos so he can declare martial law,” anymore…I’m not just shaking my head and dismissing it.
I mean, everything else that was accused of Bush has turned out to be true in Obama — why not the “martial law” meme?
It’s just about 150 years since the start of The Civil War. It feels like something equally as devastating is coming to America, again. It may not have us fighting in the streets, but the crumbling of a nation may still be effected. And I begin to wonder if some are working toward precisely that aim.
Learning from the Man of Sorrows