News • February 13, 2019

Film producer gives insights into storytelling

Film producer gives insights into storytelling

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2019) – Every great movie produces a response from the audience, Ralph Winter, a film producer, told a California Baptist University audience on Feb. 11.

"Who are you? It’s the question that every great story sets out to find the answer to,” Winter said. “That’s the journey you’re on as well. That’s why movies have relevance; they’re on the same journey as you.”

Winter has produced blockbuster films such as the “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four,” and “Planet of the Apes.” Winter has also produced the film “Hangman’s Curse,” which was a novel-to-movie creation written by Christian author Frank Peretti. Winter’s talk was hosted by the College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design (CAVAD) at CBU.

To illustrate his points on storytelling, Winter played clips from the 2019 Oscar Best Picture nominees.

“Movies have a way of getting inside of you, of getting an emotional response and there’s a reason for that. I think there’s a hidden road map,” Winter said.

The best movies have seven characteristics—a need, a desire, an opponent, a plan of action, a battle, a self-revelation and a new equilibrium, Winter said.

“It’s about the way the story is told. It’s about the journey of the characters,” Winter said. “That’s what is engaging. That’s why you go. You want that feeling, you want that experience, you want to see what that character does.”

In movies, just like in music and books, the filmmakers are trying inject meaning into their work, Winter said.

“That self-revelation that we look for in each movie, is that something we can learn from? Is there something inside of us that resonates because we’re people of faith?” Winter asked.

Dr. Melissa Croteau, professor of film studies, said hearing from an experienced filmmaker can encourage students.

“It inspires students to pursue this as a career,” Croteau said. “Having someone here who has made a career in the industry successfully for so many years can encourage students to pursue this as a path for their life.”

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Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504