The art of successful storytelling is about staying true, say Australian speakers at the 2014 Kre8tif! Conference.

WHAT does it take for a story to enthrall hundreds of people and make them laugh and cry? Are box office hits just about luck or is there a set formula behind the making of a wonderful tale?

Originality is a crucial ingredient, say Rosemary Blight and Deborah Oswald, keynote speakers at the conference held at Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPac), in Petaling Jaya, recently.

Though there are trends for story genres, the last thing audiences want is to end up feeling they are watching the same old flick, says Blight, an independent film producer, who has worked in film and television.

Case in point was when studios requested Blight to come up with an Australian-made vampire-magic drama, currently popular with ratings.

“They were asking, ‘Where’s our Merlin? Shouldn’t we come up with our own True Blood?” recalls Blight.

Australian television scriptwriter Deborah Oswald feels one's passion has to be their motivating force. –GRACE CHEN