The Truth Be Told: Using the Four-Act Structure to Transform Lives
Narrative story structure is well known by most screenwriters. We study act structure and discuss it at length, but often we forget to ask two simple questions: Why does it work? and How can story structure be harnessed to bring real change to the human heart and mind?
Stories, across all cultures and time, are, at their essence, a question and an answer — the Central Question and the Moral of the Story. This essence clarifies why we tell stories and why audiences long to hear them told. The art of well-done storytelling explains our world and imparts truth.
In this presentation, Nehring explores how the four-act structure displays an artist’s worldview and reveals methods available to the storyteller to leverage an audience’s intrinsic knowledge of story structure to inspire viewers long after the moments they spent in front of the screen.
Scott Nehring has spent a lifetime studying story and its structure. His film reviews and commentaries have been published on websites for USAToday, Reuters, The Chicago Sun-Times, FoxNews, Relevant Magazine, ChristianCinema.com and numerous television-station websites across the United States and abroad. Their permanent home is GoodNewsFilmReviews.com. Scott is also speaker, instructor, fiber artist, and award-winning screenwriter. For the past decade, Scott has focused on instructing people of faith about film and culture.
It is Scott’s belief that one of the biggest reasons for the gulf between Western Christianity and modern culture is that Christians unwisely abandoned the arts and artists. This shunning of the arts created Christians out of step with the culture and has too often left them ill-equipped to understand or critique it in a productive way. Through his classes, film reviews, and book, You Are What You See (RightLine 2010), Scott hopes to enlighten people about the world of story and story progression and to open the worlds of cinema and the arts to the average viewer.
Scott lives in the Twin Cities area with his wife, Andrea, their three children, and the family dog, Clementine. In his off-hours, Scott enjoys family, watching movies, gardening, and beekeeping.
Why I support GATE
Artists of all kinds have a huge influence in our society and I think it is part of our responsibility to make sure that we are sharing a message of hope, love, and a bright future. GATE is doing amazing things to make sure that these messages are not ignored, and I want to be a part of that.
My Current Media Diet
GATE’s foundational charge to “produce and distribute content that inspires new awareness-based worldviews for global audiences” is laudable. Voices from a variety of faiths offer partnerships that benefit the arts and humanity. As a conservative Christian I do not subscribe to many beliefs of other presenters, yet I firmly believe rivals need not be enemies; we can only respectfully disagree if we first learn to respect one another. GATE provides a wonderful forum for open discussion on the roles of creative professionals as we strive together toward common ground, common ethics, and development of entertainment that brings about positive change.
“Movies impact your life every day, even if you never watch one.” – Scott Nehring
“Ladies and gentlemen: as communicators of the human word, you are the stewards and administrators of an immense spiritual power that belongs to the patrimony of mankind and is meant to enrich the whole of the human community.” – Pope John Paul II, Sept. 15, 1987, to the People of the Communications Industry, Los Angeles.
“Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?” – Paul Gauguin. Gauguin’s Intimate Journals. Courier Dover. 1997.
“You do ill if you praise, and still worse if you reprove in a matter you do not understand.” Leonardo da Vinci. The Notebooks of Leonard Da Vinci, Volume I. Jean Paul Richter, translator. Plain Label Books. 1970.