Dead Poets

People who love cars take them to pieces to see how they work. I like taking stories to pieces to see why they work. This week I’ve been deconstructing my favourite movie to take a closer look at what made it so great.

Note: For any D.P.S. fans, I realise the irony of using science and structure to understand art and beauty (Dr. J. Evans Pritchard Ph.D would approve but Mr. Keating wouldn’t) but like all great screenplays, scripts and speeches, there IS a simple framework here that works.

It’s a 3-act structure (Aristotle) with 6 stages (hero’s journey) and 5 turning points (conflicts & obsticles). Tom Schulman won the Oscar for writing it in 1990.

Anyway – if you’re passionate about stories and want to understand more about why they work, I encourage you to watch your favourite movie sometime and follow along with the script. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn.

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world“. John Keating