For today's Storyclock Research Log, we analyzed the masterfully bonkers and heartwarming THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES, written by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe! As usual, we watched the film and used the Storyclock Notebook to visualize its structure in the form of a clock.
This movie kind of broke our thread-tracking system with its roughly five thousand comedic and emotional callbacks, but the way the film breaks down into sequences is refreshingly clear and precise. We know, however, (and from producer Phil Lord himself) that this kind of narrative efficiency is rarely found early on and laid out like a blueprint -- it's found in the process, over a long period of time through iteration and refinement.
Your best bet early on (as evidenced by MITCHELLS) is to start with something as personal and specific as you can, invite the most talented and creative collaborators into the process that you can find, and then make the thing over and over and over until it's perfect someone makes you stop.
Analyze the story stuctures of your favorite movies with the Storyclock Notebook! And get your own cool story ideas out of your head alive with the Storyclock Workbook!