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WATCH: Filmmaker Ben Snyder talks about The Foundation of Narrative Storytelling

MFA Visual Narrative and SVA Library West present “The Foundation of Narrative Storytelling,” a talk by screenwriter, filmmaker and playwright Ben Snyder, as part of their Storyteller’s Lecture Series.

What do your characters want and why can’t they get it? The mysterious abstraction known as story can be broken down into tangible, malleable strategies. Storytelling is a craft; obtaining mastery over it requires disciplined study and practice. You must learn the rules before you break them. This lecture will examine foundational narrative strategies and the best practices in applying or subverting them.

Snyder as written, adapted and sold a number of feature scripts. His feature film directorial debut, 11:55, with Julia Stiles and John Leguizamo is currently streaming on Showtime. His short films have played on PBS’s On Story and at the Cannes Film Festival. He was the story consultant for the Sundance award-winning documentary The Wolfpack. Ben has developed television with HBO, BET, Channel 4, Lionsgate and was a staff writer for the upcoming Netflix series Grand Army. His digital series, Nobody’s Nobody’s, starring Andre Holland and Michael K. Williams, is in development at Warner Bros. Ben’s plays have been produced at P.S. 122, The Vineyard Theater, Crossroads Theatre, The Apollo Theater, New York Stage and Film and at HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. His play Shoe Story was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Another play of his, In Case You Forget, is published in the anthology, “Say Word! Voices from Hip Hop Theater” (Michigan Press). He is a member of Labyrinth Theater Company and the Writers Guild of America East. Ben teaches screenwriting and TV writing at Brooklyn College, Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Monclair State University and St. Francis College. More about his work can be found at

The Storyteller’s Series at the School of Visual Arts invites visual storytellers from all walks of life, careers and media to share their work, professional practice, personal development and creative approach to visual narrative. This series is free and open to the public.

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