Friday, March 1, 2013

Lesson from Argo: Why Storyboards Are Great Tools for Building Great Books-- And How You Can Make Yours Unique

I recently watched the movie Argo, which was just released on DVD.  Movies like these I prefer seeing at home, so I can study their structure.  This one was amazing.  As most people know, it's about a classified mission that took place during the Iran hostage crisis, where six Americans were secreted out of Iran on the pretense that they were part of a film crew scouting locations.
At one point in the movie--and I won't give any more away, in case you haven't seen it--there's a great episode with storyboards.  In Argo, these are half-sheet sized poster board, with drawn-in scenes.  Each shows a different pivotal moment in the movie, what the outer story (action) is, where it takes place, and who is acting in the scene.

Put together, these boards give us the "essence" of the movie's high spots.  Which is exactly what a storyboard is designed to do. 

And these small boards, surprisingly, help win the happy ending for Argo.

 In my classes, I propose they will do the same for any book.