A question about research.



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A question about research.

    I'm writing a script that includes an Native American prophecy as part of the story,a prophecy that a certain tribe feels has started. My script wasn't originally inspired by it but it would add depth an more meaning to the plot. Should I visit a reservation to learn more about it or is there a easier way to learn,also do I need permission to include it into my script.

  • #2

    Library, internet, telephone. Traveling wastes time.


    • #3
      The Writer's Guild website (www.wga.org) has an amazing collection of research links. A couple from their list that might help you out:

      The Encyclopedia Mythica is at:

      Legends website: www.legends.dm.net/

      Reference.com: www.reference.com/index1.html


      • #4
        Well, are you making it up, or is it real? If you're making it up, why research it? If it's real, I would suggest finding out how deep it goes and seriously using it in the story.

        Frankly, I'm tired of white boys using Native American prophecy to add depth and mystery to scripts. And I'm white. What does that tell you? So. Um. Is this a story about Native Americans? Are there Native American characters? Does the prophecy actually have impact on the story? Like, are buildings falling down, are people dying, planes crashing? If you are going to use a Native American prophecy, I had better see more than a cute librarian and quaint witch doctor and/or bear spirit, or I will think this prophesy is just an easy explanation stuck in there to foreshadow events that have no reason for happening other than the author thought they would be cool.

        I could be wrong.


        • #5
          I'm not a white man tryimg to make money..

          I'm a 23 year old women who is part native american my maternal grandparents were both half french half native american, I have a picture of my maternal great great great grandparents , the man was white and his wife was native american I resemble her in a lot of ways.Since my dad's parents are european decendants I'm white and have grown up like everyone else with white traditions, but was taught to respect the culture and to appreciate my heritage,I also inherited the native american hair just like my mom. I have every right to be intrigue by their legends and culture its my heritage.I actually wish I had more in me but its not possible.
          And the prophecy is a real prophecy that a tribe believes in.They have a whole web site devoted just for the prophecy, I first read about it in one of those prophecy books that were out before New Years last December. It was stuck in my mind ever since I read it and then decided to write this script inspired by something else and as I started writing, it just seem to work together.Its not like "Dances with Wolves" and "smoke Signals", its about more than just that one culture. No one will be depicted unfairly.


          • #6
            Re: I'm not a white man tryimg to make money..

            don't think she intended to insult (sorry for speaking for ya, gigster)

            i think she was just trying to ensure that your topic was treated respectfully, unlike the way such things have been in the past (usually with white guys or italians or hispanics playing indians and a bunch of hokey medicine man crappola)

            i could be wrong but i don't think so, this time anyway

            (not that there is anything wrong with a white man trying to make money - i am one)


            • #7

              ...looks like someone else jumped the gun in a confrontational manner and hurt some feelings, too.

              Rather like a another thread last week...



              • #8
                Dear Stamjalounge...

                From what I've heard, there are many tribes and many of them consider themselves distinctly separate in law and tradition from other tribes. What's okay for the Shoshoni is not okay for the Lakota Sioux, and that's differnt from the Blackfoot. So if you have a particular myth from a particular tribe in mind, I think it best to at least contact someone from that tribe and ask them how'd they'd feel about the use of their prophecy in your screenplay.

                Also, I would strongly consider using a myth or prophecy from your own blood-kin instead. If that is possible, and you are willing to go that route, then talk to the oldest members of your own family tree that can tell you what they need to know, and ask how they feel about the prophecy being used. No one looks foolish by asking questions.

                Of course, if the prophecy comes from your own kin, then just ask that kin.

                Next, I would strongly recommend that you ask yourself what is more important to you: the inclusion of the prophecy into your story or the plot of your story. If they work well together, no problem. If they don't... then you need to ask if the prophecy is what you really want to write about. If so then come up with a different story around it, or change the existing story. If the story is more important, then save the prophecy part for a story that will work well with it.

                Wishing you the best, kosk


                • #9
                  Re: I'm not a white man tryimg to make money..

                  Well I like white guys (I am white, that only makes sense) and I like money (who doesn't?).

                  I am just tired of "oh let's borrow or make up Native American folklore so we can appear deep" stuff. Which is not what you're doing. So --

                  You already know the prophecy, you have access to a whole web page dedicated to it. If you want to go to a reservation, it is for something else. What are you looking for?

                  Half the time, okay, all the time, (dagnabbit), I will start a story, thinking it is a pretty good story, and be breezing along all happy and unfettered, and then 2/3rds through the second act, that dumb story will sneak up behind me and knock me on the head with what I am really writing about. I thought it was a cute story, going in, I double checked to make sure it was only a cute story, going in. But it isn't. Something in that story matters and has something to do with my life that I have been avoiding on purpose and now, surprise, here it is. Stealthy and wicked, just waiting to pounce. It found a way in. And, ready or not, I have to deal with it.

                  So you tell me why you have to go to a reservation to research a story you can get all the facts about off a web site. I think probably there are other reasons you need to go.

                  I could be wrong.


                  • #10
                    Re: I'm not a white man trying to make money..

                    Honestly I have never been to a reservation,I'm curious of what its like on one but my whole life doesn't involve one area.My screenplay can be written in two different ways either with or without it. Its inspired by a few of my interest, I've been majoring in fashion design for three years now and in my first year I was taught to find inspiration inside and this script consist a few areas that I'm intrigued by. I think I'm just going to work on my rough draft and worry about the technical details later and it will out somehow.
                    I need to get the story out before I go crazy,I could actually make into a trilogy if I write it the right way.


                    • #11

                      the one piece of advice i would toss in here is to ensure that you use the PC terminology - and i do not know what it is...

                      back in my (cold) days in canada i did some mgmt consulting work with the federal indian and northern affairs department - a few things that apply there may well apply to you and in any case beg for some research to get it right

                      lots of people call bands of indians 'tribes' - canadian natives (indigeneous, whatever) loathe the term tribes, much preferring the word 'bands' - i think they also hate the word reservation but cannot remember what the preferred term is

                      point is check these things out.. while they may not matter to those outside of the circles about which you write they may well mean alot to those inside