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Story Punch

Story Punch is a podcast about learning to tell better stories and interviewing people with interesting stories of their own.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 29, 2015

December has been a busy month! I'm hoping to write and record some new episodes for you very soon. In the meantime, check out Marc and Churro's Top 10 Movies from this past year.

Thanks for listening!

 

Find Churro on Twitter.

 

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Dec 1, 2015

Feedback is perhaps the most underrated aspect of writing stories. In this episode we talk about why it is absolutely critical to get feedback on your stories early and often. Without other people helping you gain perspective and find creative solutions to your problems, your stories won't be able to live up to their full potential.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
  • Pixar's Braintrust
  • Actual feedback that Marc has received on his writing
  • The limitations of feedback
  • How to give good feedback

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Enjoying the show? Please leave a REVIEW on iTunes to help spread the word
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storypunch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcMadrigal
Website: http://storypunchpodcast.com

 

Nov 26, 2015

It's been 38 years since Star Wars first captured the world's collective imagine in the epic story of stars and wars. Does Episode VII recapture that magic once again?

On today's episode, we'll discuss what went right and what went wrong on J.J. Abram's newest take on Star Wars. This review may contain multiple spoilers!

Ok by now you must have realized this review is totally fake. It did come out in November so I don't feel that bad!

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Nov 25, 2015
It seems like more and more people want to harness the power of stories for the purposes of marketing. But is that really what stories are for? I could have sworn they were about something else besides selling products.
 
In today's episode we talk more about the purpose of stories and look at how maybe telling great stories might be less important than listening to other people's stories.
 
#SlackDown: A lesson in brand interaction by Jason Meeks
 
Check out Tony's film project:  

 

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Enjoying the show? Please leave a REVIEW on iTunes to help spread the word
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storypunch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcMadrigal
Website: http://storypunchpodcast.com
Nov 18, 2015

Theme is the driving force behind a good story. It gives focus and direction to the many disparate elements in a narrative. Finding your theme means picking a big idea and sticking with it. In today's episode, we'll be talking about what a strong theme requires and looking at several different film examples.

Movie examples include The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Skyfall, and Godzilla.

This episode's story is called The Kid in the Eucalyptus Grove.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Enjoying the show? Please leave a REVIEW on iTunes to help spread the word
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storypunch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcMadrigal
Website: http://storypunchpodcast.com
Nov 10, 2015

I want to believe that stories matter, but where is the line between a good story and mindless entertainment? I'm not sure I know the answer but perhaps it's a question worth asking.

In today's episode we look at:

  • academic theories of entertainment
  • the limits on what kind of stories you can tell
  • Werner Herzog's ideal film school
  • stories vs. real life

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC-BY SA

Nov 9, 2015
On today's episode we talk with a post-doctoral fellow from the Blum Center for Developing Economies. Dr. Opoku-Agyemang's area of research deals with applying emerging technology to help alleviate poverty around the globe. Among other topics, this episode looks at how mobile phones are creating new opportunities for people in Ghana and Kenya.
 

Learn more at Dr. Opoku-Agyemang's Website or follow him on Twitter at @Kweku_OA

 
Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC-BY SA
Nov 6, 2015
As I keep working on the next batch of episodes, here's a little filler about my favorite movies this side of the multiverse. Along the way we'll discuss a bit about the unique nature of various genres. The list includes:
 
Favorite Comedy Movie
Favorite Fantasy Movie
Favorite Animated Movie
Favorite Movie No One's Ever Heard Of
Favorite Spielberg Movie
Favorite Spy Movie
Favorite Superhero Movie
Favorite Disaster Movie
Favorite Faith-Based Movie
Favorite Holiday Movie
Favorite Movie No One Likes
Favorite Movie of All Time
 
Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC-BY SA
Oct 31, 2015

The internet is full of spoilers. But what if that isn't a bad thing? What if having something spoiled for you is actually good some of the time?

In this episode we'll look at the value of knowing the ending ahead of time.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC-BY SA

Oct 27, 2015

Drama is all about characters. When two characters with two different worldviews collide, it makes a story personal and real. So how do you do that? You use an influence character!

This character's primary function is to challenge and test the main character. In today's episode we look at the different ways this character can bring the protagonist and their worldview directly into the light.

Movies referenced on this episode include Inside Out, The Matrix, Toy Story, The Dark Knight, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (yet again!)

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Enjoying the show? Please leave a REVIEW on iTunes to help spread the word
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storypunch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcMadrigal
Website: http://storypunchpodcast.com
Oct 15, 2015

Geography has a huge effect on characters and their decisions. Some of the questions in this episode include:

  • Can geography be a character?
  • How does a single location movie work?
  • What about exotic or fantasy locations?
  • How does geography help convey emotion?

Also make sure to check out Making Movies Is Hard by Alrik Bursell and Timothy Plain

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC-BY SA

Oct 13, 2015

On today's episode we talk with Matt Brueckmann about his love for roller coasters and theme parks as well as his journey across America to break into the industry and ride as many roller coasters as possible.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Oct 6, 2015

The Walking Dead is a violent post-apocalyptic show where people must kill just to stay alive. It's also the most popular show on television.

  • What is it about this show that keeps people watching?
  • Why does it continually resonate with what we know about human behavior?
  • What does it teach us about evil in the world around us?

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Oct 1, 2015

In Episode 17 we discuss the major turning points within a story. These are the moments when the whole world is thrown out of balance and the characters are forced to find a new equilibrium.

Movies mentioned in this episode include The Maze Runner, Fellowship of the Ring, Now You See Me, and Back to the Future.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Sep 21, 2015

Action Scenes can be a great storytelling tool or a mindless waste of the audience's time. How do you make sure that an action sequence serves the narrative and not the other way around?

In this episode we discuss elements of a great action scene. There are some spoilers at the end of the episode for several recent blockbusters but don't worry I'll let you know ahead of time.

Thanks again for listening to Story Punch!

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Sep 8, 2015

What is the story punch?

It's the moment in your story when everything finally comes together for a greater purpose. In this episode we look at the namesake of this podcast and how you can create stories that pack a deeper emotional punch.

Film examples in this episode include Toy Story of Terror, Star Trek, Iron Man 3, and the films of Christopher Nolan.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Sep 1, 2015

I hand out lots of story advice on this podcast, but do I really put that advice into action? What if I wrote out a single complete story from beginning to end?

I decided to write my own screenplay to find out to find out. Here's what I learned.

On today's episode I discuss the writing process, figuring out the ending, and some of the natural challenges that come in writing a story.

 

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Aug 26, 2015

A quick update about upcoming episodes and a plea for listener feedback.

  • Do you like the opening stories?
  • Are there any topics you'd like me to address?
  • Should I do more interviews and reviews or stick to storytelling topics?

Send me a tweet at @marcmadrigal or contact me at storypunchpodcast.com

As always, thank you for listening!

Aug 18, 2015

On this episode we talk about what makes a great villain:

  • The villain's plan should make sense (from a warped perspective)
  • Villain should be mysterious, but not a mystery
  • Their deeds should exist within a larger moral universe
  • A villain should provide a real threat
  • They should have a moral weakness

I'm super excited to share this episode with you. I've been working on it on and off for a few years.

Film and television examples in this episode include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, Daredevil, and Gotham.

Here is a link to the article I quoted: The Banality of Evil Origin Stories.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Aug 16, 2015

On this episode, we look at the inner journey and the outer journey. It's not enough for a character to accomplish their goal or arrive at their destination. They also have to grow and change along the way. 

Movie examples in this episode include Gravity and Finding Nemo.

This episode's story is called The Last Family Trip.

Follow Timothy Plain on Twitter at @timothyplain

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

May 4, 2015

Sometimes you run into someone who is both friendly and inspiring at the same time. Ryan is one of those people. In this episode, I talk with Ryan about his decision to stop drinking, his current projects, and the random thoughts that pop into his head.

You can find Ryan on twitter at @ryan_a_bell or follow along on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ryanandersonbell

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

May 4, 2015

I was lucky enough to see Age of Ultron twice this past week. Let's go in depth and talk about the different characters and themes of the movie. We'll see what went wron g, what went right, and what it can tell about telling good stories.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Apr 27, 2015

In a world full of superhero movies and television, do we really need more comic book stories? Here is my take on Marvel's new Netflix show Daredevil and why I think the show works so well.

Spoilers ahead!

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Apr 19, 2015

Danger and destruction don't make a story more exciting. Only characters up against big emotional obstacles can do that. Stakes are more about uncovering the deeper meaning and larger consequences than bigger explosions.

Movie examples in this episode include Battleship, Inception, and Toy Story.

This episode's story is called The Bamboo Nightmare.

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

Apr 19, 2015

How do you make a story make sense to your audience? By using layers. Connecting the beginning of your story to the end of your story can make all the difference.

On this episode I talk about what that looks like and accidentally use several examples from Christopher Nolan films.

This episode's story is called The Desert Mechanic.

 

Music by Jahzzar (betterwithmusic.com) CC BY-SA

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Enjoying the show? Please leave a REVIEW on iTunes to help spread the word
 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storypunch/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcMadrigal
Website: http://storypunchpodcast.com
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