COLBY RANCH SCREEN STORIES/COLBY RANCH MEDIA
THE ART OF THE STORY
Campfire stories. Cave pictographs. Greek dramas. Storytelling is as old as civilization itself. Inarguably, the story and civilization evolved together. The earliest examples of storytelling can be seen in cave drawings from the earliest cultures throughout the world. Stories disseminate culture, from generation to generation, and from people to people. They are a reflection of ourselves, and often, of what we want to be.
A great character evolves and takes us on an incredible journey through time and space, to places we have only dreamed of, and through circumstances that are both unbelievable and exhilarating. We put our faith and trust in the storytellers, the characters that are the ambassadors of the story.
The story has evolved from cave pictographs, to texts carved in stone, to words scrolled on papyrus and paper. Today, they are still being told, but across multiple mediums. We still have words printed on paper and bound together, sold at our favorite bookstores. Electronic devices now stream similar content across computer laptops or electronic notebook devices. But, the most common source of the modern-day story is the motion picture screen or the television set.
We need this. We want this. Daily, weekly, or as often as possible. The story is the great escape we seek from an ordinary existence. We are a willing and receptive audience. As such, we want:
To be inspired
To be awe-struck and amazed
To see heroes, braver than ourselves and larger than life
To see extra-human examples of strength, fortitude, perseverance
To see survival in the most dire circumstances
To see a wrong righted, a proper measure of justice executed
To be validated, understood, and represented in the story, in the characters, and in the situations
To be disarmed, enlightened, and amused
To be taken on a voyage to places far away, stunning, epic, and dangerous …an escape from our ordinary existence
To suspend disbelief and place its hope and trust in the improbable, extraordinary, supernatural, or extreme.
HISTORY OF THE PLATFORM
Colby Ranch Screen Stories and Colby Ranch Media evolved out of unanticipated circumstances, and maybe, out of necessity. It was late 2009. The economy continued to languish. The commercial real estate industry in which I enjoyed great professional and financial success was dead.
In a prior life, I was a real estate acquisitions officer for several large, highly capitalized, institutional investors. By providence, the job took me home to Southern California. My investment target became the media industry and trophy Media District and West Side assets. I have been in every major asset or executive office of the studios, agencies, and production companies. They were my clients. I was their landlord. Despite that and notwithstanding the fact that I attended the University of Southern California, I never imagined or desired to work in the entertainment industry. I was a real estate deal junky. The allure of acquiring a glistening glass and granite building took my breath away.
But things change. People …change. In the most dire and desperate of circumstances, they reveal their true selves. The company and industry devolved into a depraved blood sport where careers are ended, reputations are ruined, and, often, lives are ended.
Friday Morning. Executive conference room at the corporate headquarters. Century City, California.
They take their usual places at the executive table, facing the audience, drunken with their typical arrogance and sense of entitlement. They laugh and giggle in a vain attempt to mask and mitigate the lingering and explosive tension in the room. I am describing the chief executives and department heads of Blue Wave Equity Funds, as they posture and size each other up in this ritualistic Friday morning scene at the posh Century City headquarters.
And the typical question is, who will be sacrificed and thrown to the lions this morning?
I am not a writer. I am …a storyteller. And I sure had a story to tell, not only about the depraved and despicable people I encountered on the trail, but about the great escape. If I could write myself out of this mess and take myself on a great journey anywhere in the galaxy, unrestrained by time, space, or matter, anything and …anywhere …is possible.
Small steps. Unemployed at the time and caught in the middle of a high country court room battle, my mind began to wander. As I sat in the San Miguel County court room listening to the garrulous banter and passionate invective of my legal counsel, I started to see a central character, a person who is at the center of his community and who embodied all the circumstances and traits anybody would desire. Monty Law was his name. I scribbled it down in the note pages of my deposition binder. Unfortunately, he got lost in time, filed away in my kitchen pantry with other books for almost three years. When reaching for another file, the binder dropped to my feet. I picked it up, read the notes and remembered …Monty. I had a story to tell. What was to be an exercise in scene, plot, and character development stole my heart and led me on a twenty one episodic journey into the Colorado High Country community of Telluride and into the lives of its endearing characters. Monty …lives.
I am not …a writer. I do not write novels, blogs, deposition summaries, board packages, or white papers. I tell stories, stories with characters in desperate, absurd, or awkward situations, transformative characters needing …something, going …somewhere. This is how Colby Ranch Screen Stories evolved, as the storytelling entity of Colby Ranch Media. Colby Ranch Media is the grand master and publicity entity that promotes, markets, and discusses the individual projects of Colby Ranch Screen Stories.
THE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE
A hot afternoon. The parking lot of a cinema complex. Random people walk across the parking lot towards the entrance to a theater. Families with anxious kids scurry towards the ticket window alongside young couples and retired military vets.
Their journey has just begun. Destination – some far away galaxy, the jungles of equatorial Africa, the 1880’s in the American South. Someplace different. Someplace unfamiliar, challenging, stunningly beautiful, but …different. This is not dissimilar to a trip to the airport. But the destination is closer and the experience is shorter.
Each person heading into that theater is seeking an escape. They will suspend disbelief, alter their reservations and preconceptions about reality, and embrace the boundless potential of the universe. In that theater, anything is possible. Anywhere …is possible. The hot asphalt in the theater parking lot and the traffic on the surrounding roads fade away as they enter the cold, dark, theater. Saddle up. It’s time to ride.
The fundamentals of their cinematic journey are simple – a place and time, a character or characters to guide them, and a challenge or objective. This is the cinematic experience. It is that one chance we have, we need, to release ourselves from an ordinary, predetermined existence and to follow super human, extraordinary people or strange characters into their unique worlds. We place our trusts in the protagonists, fear the villains and the unknown, and wander through a silver screen world where anything is possible.