Friday, May 05, 2006


One of the best things that ever happened to me was a screenwriting class I once took. The screenplay I came up with at the end of it was terrible... but I learned a lot. We were told to keep a "CLOSAT" journal, and record 6 gems each day, C - a character, L - a location, (after this it gets a bit fuzzy in my brain) O - was for an object, S - a situation, A - an action, and T - a Theme (or lesson or moral point one could try to make).

(If anyone is familiar with this format and knows I screwed it up, feel free to let me know... but that is not the point of this post)

It was amazing the things I started to notice everyday when I was trying to come up with cool stuff for my CLOSAT journal. Conversations in elevators, people walking places with purpose (where are they going that's so important?), plants, books, haircuts, everything started to look like it had a dozen potential stories inside of it. I remember that one entry went something like this: Character - Narcoleptic Father, Location - Bowling Alley, Object - Car Keys, Situation - trying to avoid being asked to coach a 4-year-old's soccer team, Action - eating ice cream, Theme - Boys and Girls are different, and it's okay.

Well the idea was that we'd collect an impressive array in each category, and then when we needed a good brainstorm, we'd randomly select one from each category and see what sort of a framework for a story it gave us. - Some wild ones always emerged but at the end of such a brainstorm one's brain is in much better shape for thinking creative thoughts.

So I still tend to jot down CLOSAT entries in various places on occasion. Journals, notebooks, scraps of paper. It's something I ought to start doing again, maybe to resurrect my academic and creative brain. You know - those parts of my brain that are teetering on the brink of extinction....
53 Work days left!

1 comment:

--jeff * said...

to the best of my recollection, your 'closat' letter-explanations are correct.
before i took 241, eric made us listen to conversations and write a script from such in 114--that's what got me being even snoopier than i already was.

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