Graduated from the Ural Federal University with a degree in management. Trauma-sensitive yoga classes teacher since 2018. Survivor. Mental health blogger.
Studied screenwriting through self-education, reading produced screenplays, pilots and episodes, and taking Shonda Rhimes’ and Aaron Sorkin’s workshops at MasterClass.
✩✩✩ To HBO guys at The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship:
Consider hiring Anthony Giambertone to write promo materials and reviews for Game of Thrones. He’s a really good writer and the number one fan of your show. Check out his blog https://ablogoficeandfire.com/blog/
Kind regards. ✩✩✩
Anthony Giambertone: A Story
My life has been largely shaped by stories. One of my earliest memories of my childhood in upstate New York is of me and my brother sitting down to watch the original Star Wars trilogy with our grandfather. I’ll never forget the moment when I first beheld the iconic black mask of Darth Vader, and the terror and wonder that image instilled in me. I will also never forget the moment when my grandfather leaned over to me and said, “Now that is Luke Skywalker’s father, but Luke doesn’t know that yet,” and my response was, “Who’s Luke Skywalker?”
Over the next few years, I watched those VHS tapes so often that they started whirring and smoking every time we fired them up, and the answer to my quandary about Luke Skywalker became a simple one: he is my favorite character in fiction. It wasn’t until years later, while I was furthering my education and trying to become a serious writer, that I learned about Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, and the Monomyth. Campbell’s theories helped to explain why Luke’s journey seemed to resonate with so many people, myself included. And yet, it did not explain one mystery of my Star Wars fandom that seemed to set me apart from most other fans: The Empire Strikes Back wasn’t my favorite Star Wars film, in fact, it was my least favorite of the original three.
When I watch the film now, from a more educated vantage point, I can clearly see that it is the most well-made of Lucas’s original films; it is the best written, best paced, most humorous, has the best light-saber fight, and yet there was something that didn’t land for me. The film is best known for one scene and one scene alone; one of the most iconic scenes in all of cinema: the “No, I am your father” scene.
When I look back at old reviews of Empire when it came out, it’s clear that the revelation split fans down the middle, with many hating it, or being in denial of the validity of the statement by Vader. It’s actually quite comparable to the recent backlash concerning certain revelations in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Yet, the scene never had the impact on me that is did on so many other Star Wars fans, and I can only find one reason why it didn’t: I already knew the twist. I was viewing the scene, not through the lens of my favorite character Luke, as audiences were meant to, but through the blackened lenses of Vader’s mask. Instead of empathizing with Luke’s anguish at finding out that his world was built on a lie, I was standing impatiently next to the Dark Lord, just waiting for him to decide what he was going do next.
I learned an important lesson then: it’s not just what you express to your audience, but how you express it. That doesn’t solely pertain to twists either.
In the first episode of Game of Thrones, if Robert rode in and Arya simply said, “There’s King Robert, he was betrothed to our aunt,” it would not have had the same impact as it did we saw Robert insist on visiting her in the crypts. We were able to see the pain on his and Ned’s faces, and were told information about them through their natural conversation, rather than an exposition dump.
So why do I bring up all this in a bio? Well, what is a bio if not an exposition dump. I can sit here and say, “I was born in Rochester New York, I’m twenty-nine years old, I’ve been writing and developing my skills at analyzing stories for most of my life, and so on and so on.” But in the end, it’s about presentation.
If you choose my partner and I for the fellowship, you will, of course, be privy to all the boring details of my life, but for the purposes of this bio I chose to present myself, some of my background with fiction, and display a bit of my knowledge of story structure, all in a more palatable way that still shows that I have the ability to string sentences together. I hope that you will consider us for this fellowship, and if not, then please, choose someone even better.