The instant I read this morning’s Film Courage tweet about Houston Howard‘s 2017 book — “YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER STORY: The 21st Century Survival Guide To Not Just Telling Stories, But Building Super Stories” — I was on the verge of throwing up. Trans-media, something bigger, diegetic, world-building…something that feeds into franchises and leads to huge paydays and blowjobs in the parking lot. “Super stories”!
Let me explain something. Houston Howard is a kind of Lex Luthor — he has a wife and two dogs, and one of his mottos is that creators “need to feed their fans like they feed their dogs…attention is the game.” Howard seems like a smart, nice enough guy, but to me he’s also evil incarnate as far as classic cinematic traditions and the art of solid, stand-alone stories are concerned. Billy Wilder is looking down from heaven and scowling like a wild dog.