BPS 91: How to Use the Monomyth in Your Screenplays w/ Chris Vogler

Alex Ferrari • December 27, 2020

Today on the show we bring the legendary story analyst and best-selling author Chris Vogler. Chris wrote the game-changing book  The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. I read this book over 25 years ago and it changed the way I look at “story.” Chris studied the work and principles of the late master Joseph Campbell. His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the basis for Star Wars as well as almost every other Hollywood feature film in the past 60 years using what Campbell called the monomyth.

What Chris Vogler did so well is that he translated Campbell’s work and applied it to movies. The Writer’s Journey explores the powerful relationship between mythology and storytelling in a clear, concise style that’s made it required reading for movie executives, screenwriters, playwrights, scholars, and fans of pop culture all over the world. He has influenced the screenplays of movies from THE LION KING to FIGHT CLUB to BLACK SWAN to NOAH.

“I teach sometimes, and always say that Chris Vogler is the first book that everyone’s got to read.” — Darren Aronofsky, Oscar-nominated Screenwriter/Director, Noah, Black Swan, The Wrestler

Many filmmakers and screenwriters believe that the hero’s journey or monomyth is out of date and doesn’t work on today’s savvy audience. Nothing could be farther than the truth. The hero’s journey is the meat and potatoes that all storytellers need to understand. Elements from the monomyth is in every story ever written. As screenwriters, you need to study and understand the monomyth then use it as you wish in your story. Take a look below at some of the monomyth’s character archetypes.

Chris’s ground-breaking book is celebrating its 25-year anniversary so someone is reading it. Enjoy my conversation with Chris Vogler.