Apart from over 15 years of experience as a script constellation practitioner, I have been working as a script consultant and commissioning editor at the German public broadcaster ARD for more than 30 years. As such, I have produced numerous prize-winning films, including the OSCAR-winning classic "The Lives of Others". (About Me)
"...another almost magical component of the script constellation is that I can speak with my characters. I ask them questions that I've been burning to ask them. I can look my hero in the eye and ask her a real, indiscreet and sincere question. And she answers me. Honestly. It comes from the constellation's dynamics. (...) Just the way someone stands in the room reveals a limitless amount of information. In a script constellation we tap this resource, activate our sensors and sometimes make more progress in an hour than in one year."
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck about his constellation for
"The Lives of Others"
What to expect
Script constellations have developed from family and organizational constellations. Yet here, solving problems is not the primary goal. A script constellation rather reveals and elaborates the dramatic potential of the inherent conflicts. Constellations have proved particularly inspiring during the development of the story (treatment-phase). However, a script, in any phase of development - from the mere idea to a finished script - can profit from a script constellation, saving a considerable amount of time. A script constellation can cure writer's block and start the creativity flowing again. This is particularly true for the constellations of others, in which you participate as a representative. By getting the chance to feel into and 'be' many differnt characters, you gain mind blowing insights into humanness and a wide range of inspiration for your own creativity. Script constellations are a direct, experiential journey into human drama.
Whom it is for
A script constellation is an extremely useful tool for writers, directors, producers and film industry professionals of both, factual and fictional projects in any phase of script development. The method offers insights into the protagonists and their circumstances, revealing what lies beneath the surface. It can also reveal a project’s strengths and weaknesses and provides a creative push that will enhance the material. A script constellation can speed up the development process considerably and, if necessary, move the story into a new direction.
Script constellations can also be beneficial for projects in advanced stages of development. While in fiction projects actors can gain a deeper insight into and feeling for their characters, in documentary projects the method has proved helpful for gaining a grip on the material in the editing room. Other projects such as novels and plays can also benefit from the method. Additionally it can be used to look at actual or potential obstacles in the process of financing a project.
How it works
We begin by working out the leading question of the constellation: ‘What, in particular, is this session for?’ ‘What do we want it to reveal or deepen?’. The author then chooses among the participants of the seminar those who will represent his protagonists or other aspects of the story, before placing them in room. Anyone can act as a representative due to his experience as a human being. In the course of the constellation, the representatives, based upon their proximity, distance or eye contact to one another, begin to develop physical reactions and feelings, which they are asked to articulate. Working closely with the author, the constellation continuously evolves according to what the author wants to know. After the constellation, there is the possibility to talk about what has happened and what it means for the process of writing and further research.
“The Script Constellation gave an initial spark to my first feature-length film project. It allowed me to empathise with each family member and to understand what it meant for them if I were to make this film. In comparison to a written script the constellation intimately exposes the protagonists and their relationships – a unique experience for every author. It gave me an idea of what the film would mean for my protagonists and the responsibility I would take on.”
Maurizius Staerkle Drux,
documentary author/director, Switzerland,
"Concrete Love - The Böhm Family", 2015