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BPS 134: Psychology for Screenwriters with William Indick
Manage episode 300247286 series 2557610
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I’m taking a journey down the rabbit hole of screenwriting psychoanalysis with Professor William Indick, who is a psychology professor at William Paterson University in New Jersey, professor of psychology executive chair of faculty at Dowling College, and author of Psychology for Screenwriters. We take a nerdy dig into the world of psychology and how it affects writers, screenwriters, and characters. With some expert contextualization, William psychoanalyzes some of our favorite films and characters while also breaking down character archetypes and themes he has studied. How did it all start, you ask? Well, in 2003 he made the decision to incorporate more culturally relevant theories of personality instead of antiquated theories in his psychology classes by sorting references from famous films. Based on his students growing interested and fascination, William researched to find psychology textbooks about films, but none existed. So he wrote one instead. The book was published by Michael Wiese productions in 2004. Psychology For Screenwriters supports that screenwriters must understand human behavior to make their stories come alive. This book clearly describes theories of personality and psychoanalysis with simple guidelines, thought-provoking exercises, vivid film images, and hundreds of examples from classic movies. Basically, the book takes general psychology theories and applications and adapts them into helpful tools for screenwriters. He delves into various genre archetypal characters and themes that are repetitive in screenplays in the second edition of the book which will be out soon. Just this summer, William published his sixth book, Media Environments and Mental Disorder: The Psychology of Information Immersion. It deals a lot with narcissism, and the notion that all media is a mirror, and how we understand ourselves at a time when we're constantly being reflected in a million ways. The information environments that modern society requires us to master and engage in are based on literacy and digital communication. Mediated information not only passes through our brains, it alters and rewires them. Since our environment, to a large extent, is shaped by the way we perceive, understand, and communicate information, we can even think of mental disorders as symptoms of maladaptation to our media environments. This book uses this "media ecology" model to explore the effects of media on mental disorders. It traces the development of media from the most basic forms--the sights and sounds expressed by the human body--to the most technologically complex media created to date, showing how each medium of communication relates to specific mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and autism. As the digital age proceeds to envelop us in an environment of infinite and instantly accessible information, it's crucial to our own mental health to understand how the various forms of media influence and shape our minds and behaviors. My conversation with William was one of those discussions that you come out of, more informed than you went in. We had a blast. Enjoy my very informative conversation with William Indick.