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All American Film Festival: Why Does the Hero’s Journey Work, with Will Linn

On Friday, October 2nd at 8p EST, Dr. Will Linn gave the first Workshop at the 2020 virtual All American High School Film Festival.

Why Does the Hero’s Journey Work? Beginning with the popular story of Joseph Campbell, Chris Vogler, Blake Snyder and the influence of the Hero’s Journey on Hollywood, this talk asks why it works? Hoards of screenwriters and storytellers use the Hero’s Journey; which I will introduce, but the question is why? For this talk, we are going to pull the curtain back on Oz to see how the story gets woven. Surprise! What you are going to learn is that you already know. The Hero’s Journey is powerful, because it’s already in your bones—in your blood, in your pineal glands. Beneath the Hero’s Journey are the narrative patterns of day and night, wake and dream, lunar months, procreation, mortality and the seasons. You already know these stories—they have been taught to you in school, and they have been conditioning your body since before you were born. This talk is about leveraging the knowledge you already have to teach you something essential – something screenwriters need to know – the Hero’s Journey as story structure.

Will Linn. Ph.D., is the founding Chair of the General Education Department at Hussian College, which places a unique focus on myth and storytelling. He has served the Joseph Campbell Foundation as a director and is currently editing their Skeleton’s Key to The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Will also co-teaches an Esalen workshop on myth and storytelling with Chris Vogler. He has appeared in multiple documentaries, most notably Memory: Origins of Alien; and he regularly consults with artists and storytellers on narrative projects. More of Will’s work can be found at, where he organizes an international community of mythologists, therapists and creators with the support of a collaborative team.


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