As an aspiring screenwriter and someone who is fairly familiar with the hero’s journey, I should have probably guessed… The title of Karel Segers’ five day workshop, was just a metaphor.
For those who might be unfamiliar, The Story Cave is a variation of one of the many stages of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, specifically the Innermost Cave, where the hero delves into the heart of the special world and uses everything learned to retrieve the holy grail. It is where the hero undergoes The Ordeal.
In essence, this is The Story Cave. The artists have completed the first draft – or synopsis, treatment – of their feature film script and for five days will use what they have learned to find and develop the heart of their story.
Karel is your mentor, and the location for this journey is Yarrabin in the Australian Blue Mountains, which is approximately two hours out of Sydney. We are not too far from the Jenolan Caves, so I could be forgiven for assuming there would be some genuine speleology experience.
This is an ideal spot for inner journeys as there are no cars, trains or people (except for your fellow writers) for MILES; just nature.
As we arrived on the premises after hours of driving, we were greeted by Annie, the owner of the premises and host of an abundance of farm animals including: chickens, two affectionate cats (Tom and Jerry), one spritely pup and a warm yet reserved three legged sheep dog. Tons more creatures would follow soon.
After finding our cabins and settling in, we got better acquainted with each other then sat down for dinner. It was at this point I realised just how intimate the group was, seven people in total, including Karel.
After the inevitable conversation about films, the craft of writing, and each other’s work, writer Jo surprised us with the DVD of Hitchcock/Truffaut, a documentary about French New Wave director Francois Truffaut’s sixty hour interview with Alfred Hitchcock.
It seemed to have set the tone for the rest of the trip, as we sought our nests with a strong sense of inspiration and rejuvenation.