Press and Resources

A collection of press and interviews as well as resources for storytelling.

Empathy you never imagined

EG13: EG is an annual gathering and a community of brilliant innovators driving our most creative industries.

May, 2019: A most compelling Brian McDonald speaks on being able to find empathy where he never imagined he would. McDonald, Chief Storyteller for Belief Agency, once snuck onto the Paramount lot and ate lunch in the commissary with a table full of Klingons.

Interview with Brian McDonald

The High Bar w/ Warren Etheredge & Brian McDonald

Warren Etheredge and Brian McDonald at The High Bar as they explore the (un?)evolving nature of narrative on the big screen and in everyday conversation. Their heroes’ journey is peppered with unorthodox and sometimes politically incorrect humor and wisdom as they raise a toast to and raise the bar for… cinematic storytelling.

How A Mentorship Became A Two-Way Street

Knowing that the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson also lived in Seattle, Wilson had dreams of one day meeting him and learning from him.

When a chance meeting outside of a movie theater actually happened, it ended up being more than he ever could have hoped for.

Wilson gave McDonald his telephone number, and conversations and exchanges became more regular. After McDonald shared his short film “White Face” with Wilson, McDonald says Wilson began treating him like a peer.

Groundhog Day Breakdown

Filmmaker and author Brian McDonald joins us to discuss why the Bill Murray movie GROUNDHOG DAY is worth repeated viewings. D Directed and co-written by Harold Ramis, with Danny Rubin, this zen tale follows a self-absorbed weatherman as he spends an eternity reliving the same day in an endless time-loop.

Brian McDonald Interview

Paper Wings Podcast Interview

Paper Wings Show #2 by Chris Oatley

Interview With Brian McDonald: Storytelling Guru, Author of ‘Invisible Ink’ & ‘The Golden Theme’

Creating Characters From Your Story’s Theme with Brian McDonald | Part 1

Paper Wings Show #28 by Chris Oatley

In part one of this two-part interview, Brian discusses writing roadblocks, how theme creates character and why you have to send your characters to Hell.

Creating Characters From Your Story’s Theme | Part 2

Paper Wings Show #29 by Chris Oatley

We discuss when to stop dreaming and start writing, how success can kill creativity, why style isn’t always a good thing, and why the students who struggle the most, often grow the most.

Examples of great directing

Examples of Great Directing | It’s a Wonderful Life

Episode 32

Filmmaker Brian McDonald shares his thoughts on one of favorite examples of good directing; Frank Capra’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

You Are a Storyteller

In You Are a Storyteller, Belief Agency chief storyteller Brian McDonald discusses the elements that make for a good story with Belief Agency executive creative director Jesse Bryan. Watch and listen as they talk through the nuance of structure, stress the importance of the armature (or theme), analyze classic films, and cover useful storytelling concepts like “the dark night of the soul.”

Winner of a 2019 Silver Addy Award.

Tom Skerritt and Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald & Tom Skerritt on subtext

The Three Week Intensive is wrapping up smoothly! Check out this clip from today’s class where Brian McDonald shows how subtext is more important than dialogue, employing the fine acting skills of Tom Skerritt and Diana Dotter!

storytelling and The Godfather

51 The Dying Art of Conversation with Celeste Headlee

At about 25min she discusses the need for story and the seven steps.

By Shane Parrish, Farnam Street. Speaker, author and radio journalist Celeste Headlee has had decades of experience fine tuning the recipe for engaging and rewarding conversation. She shares some tips to help us instantly improve our conversational skills and meaningfully connect with others.