Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mind mapping stucture of a movie script

Mind mapping structure basic movie script

I’ve been asked about how I use mindmapping in more detail.

As I’ve told in previous blog entries on the subject I use FreeMind which is a freeware program that works very nicely. A vital criterion for mindmapping on a computer is that it must be easy to work with and feel natural. I don’t want to write and then click on the mouse and then write again, but everything must be accessible through the keyboard, without complicated shortcuts.

When I begin I do something like the image above. Then I add scenes to each branch. Some should have more scenes, some only one. For instance, the “Fun-‘n’-games” section of a film is about 30 minutes long, so several scenes are needed. While High Peak aka Point of No Return, is one scene; or a single moment even.

Mind mapping structure extended movie script

When the scenes get added the branches gets separated and the structure in length becomes very visible.

I find this method useful.

I used to work with a beat sheet, but since I’m very mobile in my writing situations, my post-it notes didn’t care much for being folded and came loose. Another aspect with a beat sheet is that it is planned page by page and I found it easy to fool myself on where I had my structure. A scene could have been marked as three pages long and turned out to be anything between one and five. In a beat sheet length of scenes easily get more important than their contents.

With a mind map the length of the scenes are not important. It’s more about what scenes are needed. Time will tell if they become too long or too short.

With a mind map I get a very visual view of the structure that I like. But this is my approach and you need to find your way. If you are helped by this, that’s fine, but if something doesn’t work out for you, change it to the better rather than sticking to a formula that doesn’t work for you.

Read here where you can download the template