Slumdog Millionaire and Robert Mckee

January 11, 2009 § 5 Comments

slumdog460When I was a baby writer (OK, so it was only a year ago) an arrogant, blunt member of my online writing group told me that I needed to learn the basics and fast – or risk being another skill-less wanna-be who thought she was good.  Since being bad at anything is what I have night and daymares about, I silenced my shrieking defensiveness and followed his advice.

He recommended Strunk and White’s  The Elements of Style and Robert Mckee’s Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting.

He was right.  I ordered both and learned that I knew much less about grammar and punctuation than I thought (I can be arrogant, too) and nothing about how to craft a story.

The added bonus is that when I see an excellent film, like Slumdog Millionaire, I understand what the writers did to make you forget to eat your popcorn and to carry the entire experience home, to be savored quietly and cautiously in the privacy of your ever-so-safe kitchen.

So, if you don’t own the books, I recommend them and if you haven’t seen the film, go. You may want to read Mckee first, though. The film should be out on video by the time you finish it.

Or have you already? The film, Mckee’s Story, Strunk and White?

What’s your review?

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§ 5 Responses to Slumdog Millionaire and Robert Mckee

  • paolagirl says:

    In addition to the screenwriter the cinematographer and director have a part in leaving the viewer pondering the movie and the take home messages. The opening scene of the movie, which was so expertly filmed, helped immerse you into the world of the children and their home in the slum.

    • Yes, I agree about the multiple roles – it was visually stunning and the direction was powerful. Everything contributed to the trajectory of the plot. I’m interested in reading the book Q and A by Vikas Swarup, upon which it was based. It won South Africa’s Boeke Prize 2006.

  • randy says:

    I didn’t get to see that one but I really want to, especially after watching The Golden Globes tonight.

  • pochp says:

    Just reading your post, I too have learned a lesson. More power.

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