Find me online

Facebook LinkedIn YouTube IMDB ProjectorFilms   

Monday, May 19, 2008

Story graph - a new idea to me

Bruce Block loves graphs.

I didn't. But now I do.

Above would be a typical 'action film' graph. A series of escalating sequences that build up the tension and action over time, perhaps with a couple of peaks for a pre-credit sequence in a James Bond style and an extra twisty bit at the end. And I guess that is why I didn't initially value this idea. Because it seemed simple and showed us things we already knew. So what is the point.

But then I found myself analysing my own new script with it. This is an episodic story. But straight away I could see that my episodes weren't in the best order - the graph was flat. And there wasn't enough of a through story to tie them together. Luckily I'm still very much at the planning stage. So it's the right time for bold changes.

It's also a great tool for talking through ideas and plots with co-writers, producers or potential financiers. It is a way to see the flow of the film. Other notes and key plot points can be added as required. Here is my current graph. Obviously its not really for showing at this stage but you can see how I added some extra stuff on there.

Would it work for you? I can't yet recommend it at this early stage. But I say - think on about it. Try it. Or at least have it in your tool kit of new ideas.

1 comment:

Piers said...

This was actually my first analysis tool! (Or a variant thereon - I graphed emotional intensity as well as action)

Haven't used it for a few years now (I think it's pretty much internalised at this point) but it's a great one to have in the toolbox.

"Doc" Smith used these techniques back in the 1930s for his SF novels, which is how I first heard of it.