Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Announcing: The Ultimate Checklist, Volume 3!

Go there right now and check it out!  (Then come right back!)

…And you’re back.  As you just saw, I’ve broken up the checklist to reflect my evolving view that storytelling is a discipline made up of seven separate skills.  Each skill now gets its own mini-checklist.

Another thing that makes this checklist different from the previous two (and hopefully better) is that I actually came up with it a while ago, and then I spent the last few months testing my test.  I applied the checklist to a lot of my favorite movies to see how applicable and useful these questions actually are.  I used that process to prune the less useful questions and add new ones.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll share those checklists, and I’ll add a new feature: I’ll look at how and why each movie deviates from the norm, and ask whether those unusual choices help or hurt the movie.  This will allow me to praise the movies not just for their orthodoxy, but their non-conformity as well, and look at ways that breaking rules can be be good.

Tomorrow: the first checklist!


Paul Clarke said...

... And I'd just managed to tick off 90% of the old checklist :(

Kidding, great stuff. A valuable tool.

On an off-topic side-note: I watched the movie Lawless last night. A few minutes after meeting the three brothers it instantly clicked - Head, heart, gut. Clear as day.

MCP said...

I didn't think it would be possible to improve the earlier version, but you did.

My first drafts are now at the quality level of my old third drafts based on outlining using the checklist. So a big thank you for that.

Come out with that book soon, or something to buy so I can pay you back a small fraction of what your site has been worth to me.

Matt Bird said...

Thanks for the kind words.