I’m enjoying the new podcast. We’re only two episodes in, and it’s safe to say Dan and I aren’t always on the same page. Hey, his Story Maps method works. It’s a great tool for breaking down structure, but there are many reasonable ways to look at one film.
If you guys have any screenwriting friends, writing partners, or belong to any writing groups, break down films together if you aren’t already. It really doesn’t matter who or what you use — Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler, Save the Cat, Dramatica, Story Maps, Syd Field, Michael Hauge, John Truby — it’s the exercise that counts. Write down what happens in every scene and note the minute. You can mix the different paradigms, or create your own (I’d do it based on sequences — a series of scenes that ends with greater impact than any previous scene). Discuss how the theme relates to each scene and the external and internal goals that push the characters forward. Apply what you’re learning to your own work.