Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Buddhist Treatment

Any good writer should never be at a loss for a good story. Most of us can rattle off a good one starting with a "what if..." or a "once upon a time...". But there are those moments when the gears just don't turn, the juice just doesn't flow, and the lake of ideas dries up. Of course, classic story lines have been rehashed so many times in Hollywood that visiting any one of them again would probably send your script on a short trip to the circular file.

Luckily, there are a collection of stories that have been around for hundreds of years, but don't seem to get much attention from filmmakers. These stories are ancient Buddhist tales - known as Jataka tales - and are very much like Aesop's Fables and Christian biblical parables, but with various morals that emphasize Buddhist concepts such as compassion, patience, and honesty.

Jataka Tales - Volume I
Jataka Tales - Volume II

Take some time and check them out and you just might find one that closely resembles the very story you're working on, possibly moving into a direction you hadn't considered. Or maybe you'll find a story to give you the spark for a new script.

Either way, Tashi Delek! ("good luck" in Tibetan)