Fight Club

It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.

In Fight Club, the Dramatic Argument is between Aware (Narrator) and Self-aware (Tyler Durden).

First Blood

A simple, yet coherent dramatic argument

In First Blood (Rambo), the Dramatic Argument is Reaction (Rambo) vs Proaction (Sheriff).

The Harder They Fall

Just missing the mark when it comes to a complete story.

This would be the first time I had to pull a Storyform from Subtxt...and I'm not happy about it.

Forrest Gump

Using narrative to advocate a message of staying present through turmoil

In this episode of Storyforming, I use Subtxt to dissect the narrative structure of Forrest Gump, one of America's top-grossing films. By analyzing key scenes and moments using the app, we'll uncover some fascinating insights about that make the film great---and what makes a story truly engaging.


Beautifully animated, but a bit schizo in the story department

Storyforming is the art of figuring out what stories are trying to tell us. That's what I do in this video when I take a look at the story structure of the film Wolfwalkers. There are a lot of films that have (almost) perfectly consistent story structure - The Shawshank Redemption, The Lives of Others, The Empire Strikes Back. Films like that are labeled as 'well-structured'. Wolfwalkers? Not so much.


A Coming of Age film unlike many others in its category

Swingers is that rare treasure that perfectly encapsulates a place in time. For those of us who reached peak dating in 1996, Jon Favreau's tale of "Vegas, baby. Vegas!!" is less film than a documentary. The characters and situations—and humor—perfectly document 20-somethings trying to establish their place and relationships in life.


More than a clever filmmaking technique

While interesting in terms of visuals and scene construction, searching's real power is in its comprehensive and complete narrative argument.

Promising Young Woman

The distancing effects of another perspective

While critically lauded and well-received by many, Promising Young Woman offers a unique and often foreign experience of conflict. Praised for its confidence in providing a voice for the #MeToo generation, it can prove challenging to follow for those more comfortable with the cut and dried approach of cause and effect.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Familiar, yet incomplete

Worldwide quarantine is a blessing to many people. The inability to afford monumental works of genius in-person loses its resistive stranglehold—streaming the totality of human artistic expression brings the world home to us. Many offerings that would be lost in the cacophony of modern-day life now stand a chance as the answer to, "What do you wanna watch next?"


More than a stunning work of genius, an exploration of what genius wroughts

Hamilton tells the remarkable story of a Steadfast Main Character that ends in Tragedy (a Story Outcome of Failure and a Story Judgment of Bad). Remarkable, in that the typical American narrative of perseverance and the Founding Fathers usually ends up in abject Triumph. Not so with Hamilton, which explains why—aside from the pure genius of writing, staging, and performance—this musical masterpiece struck a resonant chord in early 21st century America: we see the connections between then and now. And we understand the Tragedy of having someone else write our story when we stick with a course of action.

The Lighthouse

A masterful psychological thriller bent on gaslighting and murder

The Lighthouse is a masterful modern-day Greek tragedy from writer/director Robert Eggers. Substituting William Dafoe for Proteus (the godly knowledge-keeper) and Robert Pattinson for Prometheus (the Titan punished for stealing fire from the gods), this black-and-white thriller sucks you into the madness of the human condition—and does so through a well-balanced and capable narrative structure.

Peanut Butter Falcon

Fables, even modern-day ones, are easily forgotten.

If one part suffers, every part suffers along with it.

Jojo Rabbit

Driving comedy with a strong and meaningful narrative structure

In terms of narrative structure, Jojo Rabbit is a classic Coming of Age Comedy.

The Big Lebowski

Where attitude and meaning collide

The Dude abides.

Knives Out

Learning how to play the game

In an interview with ArcLight Cinemas, Knives Out writer/director Rian Johnson admits to structuring the film from the get-go. He prefers to write from an outline—the blueprint of the whole, keeping him from getting lost in the weeds. One wonders if this process includes a gander at the Dramatica theory of story because this:

A Few Good Men

5 Steps Towards Writing like Aaron Sorkin

Step 1: Choose the Courtroom Drama Genre for your narrative structure.

Marriage Story

Finding meaning, and maturity, in loss

Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story is an eerily accurate account of divorce. As someone who went through the process this past decade, I felt the film more akin to a real-life documentary than a simple characterization of marital dissolution.

Early Man

What happens when you forget to include a subjective throughline

Early Man is unwatchable for one primary reason: no Main Character Throughline. Without a personal point-of-view with which to attach empathy, the viewing experience becomes a study in tedium.

Life on the Fast Lane (The Simpsons: Season One, Episode 9)

Telling a complete story in a relatively short amount of time

A complete storyform takes two hours to reach an Audience. Four Throughlines. Eight Dynamics. Static Plot Points and the reinforcement of all the above stack up the needed minutes to convey their importance.

Home Alone

Revisiting a Christmas classic.

So, it's that time again.