All Articles

Introduction to Dramatica

Posted on June 6, 2016

What is Dramatica?  Dramatica is a theory of how story structure works that was developed 25 years ago and is implemented in a line of software...
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How I Use Dramatica

Posted on August 29, 2012

Dramatica has been a key resource for me in better understanding the elements of a good story, and is by far the most comprehensive tool I know of...
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The Iron Giant

Posted on February 15, 2008

"It came from outer space." Fascination with aliens--paranoia (objective story thematic counterpoint-threat) in progressive (os concern) times....
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The Maltese Falcon

Posted on February 15, 2007

In 60 years, the story you’re writing could be completely meaningless. Sad thought, isn’t it? Why else do we slave over characters and plot and...
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Akeelah and the Bee

Posted on May 1, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee is an uplifting, family-oriented film that rises above its “Afternoon Special” subject matter. While treading familiar...
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Inside Man

Posted on April 4, 2006

Inside Man is a sharp, unexpected, and satisfying film with a solid story structure at its center. Through the use of clever Storyweaving and...
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Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Posted on March 16, 2006

(Dramatica Users Group Minutes for March 14, 2006) Tonight’s film for analysis was Here Comes Mr. Jordan, the 1941 original adaptation of the play,...
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A History of Violence

Posted on March 1, 2006

A History of Violence is a taut, disturbing drama about one man’s past (or supposed past) tearing apart the fabric of his family, risking their...
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A Face in the Crowd

Posted on January 15, 2006

We started by identifying the four throughlines in general.  The Overall Story throughline was pretty easy.  The OS involves the meteoric...
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King Kong

Posted on December 18, 2005

King Kong returns to the screen big as ever with a bit more heart (and story) than the 1933 original. Its detail rich storytelling expands the...
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In Her Shoes

Posted on November 14, 2005

In Her Shoes is well-rounded family drama (with many comedic elements) that offers more than the usual “chick flick.” Ostensibly about the...
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Posted on November 14, 2005

Doom is a film based on the ultra-violent, ultra-popular first person shooter video game of the same name. As one film critic opined, “Doom is less...
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Good Night and Good Luck

Posted on November 12, 2005

Good Night and Good Luck is a dramatic recreation of real life events in the early 1950’s between television journalist Edward R. Morrow and...
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Into the Blue

Posted on October 15, 2005

Into the Blue is a summer sun-and-skin flick that is about as light as the highlights in its attractive casts’ sun-bleached hair. Beyond the boobs,...
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The Constant Gardener

Posted on October 13, 2005

The Constant Gardener is a relatively straightforward conspiracy thriller made complex through the heavy use of non-linear Storyweaving. In a...
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Posted on October 11, 2005

Flightplan is a taut thriller that successfully exploits the paranoia created by 9/11 but ultimately is more wind than substance. Starring Academy...
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Corpse Bride

Posted on October 11, 2005

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride is a beautiful, macabre fairy tale that is rich in storytelling. It seems to be structurally sound yet not structurally...
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Just Like Heaven

Posted on September 26, 2005

Just Like Heaven is a frothy, light romantic comedy. It covers familiar territory (live person/ghost romance) with a couple of variations to give it...
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Finding Nemo’s Substory

Posted on February 10, 2005

Finding Nemo has two stories in it. The larger story is the title's namesake "Finding Nemo" and can be found as a storyform here. In that story...
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A.I. Wars

Posted on July 15, 2001

The dueling visions of Stanley Kubrick and Stephen Spielberg in A.I. Artificial Intelligence A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a film born from the...
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Arlington Road

Posted on January 1, 2001

It is quite fitting that Angelo Badalamenti's eerie music creates the mood for screenwriter Ehren Kruger and director Mark Pellington's Arlington...
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Hilary and Jackie

Posted on October 10, 2000

The quotation found at the end of story synopsis for American History X also has meaning for another pair of siblings, Hilary and Jacqueline du Pré...
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Posted on March 10, 2000

Wade Whitehouse (main character) is a small town sheriff afflicted by daily irritants and long term dysfunctions and there's just no way he can win....
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Working Girl

Posted on January 18, 2000

Main character Tess McGill is the titular Working Girl in director Mike Nichols and writer Kevin Wade's study of a baby doll Brooklyn secretary (mc...
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Posted on December 11, 1999

Superimposing belief systems on faith in God undermines the very nature of spirituality and carries the consequences we encounter today-religious...
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Posted on November 22, 1999

Obtaining (objective story goal) a living gospel that may render the institution of the Catholic Church impotent is the premise of Stigmata, written...
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La Belle et la Bete

Posted on November 16, 1999

Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bete), is the French filmmaker's interpretation of Mme. Marie Leprince de Beaumont's fairy...
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Music of the Heart

Posted on November 15, 1999

The hard and fast rules of any horror movie are outlined in director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson's Scream. In Music of the Heart, Wes...
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