image courtesy loganloganlogan
so slate seems to be doing a whole series about movies. it’s summertime after all and we do like our summer blockbusters, right? i’ve seen exactly one: Star Trek. it was delicious.
but it turns out that ‘formulaic’ movies have a founding father. Wycliffe A. Hill took 36 archetypal figures and combined them with 36 archetypal situations (adding one of his own, “A miracle happens”) to come up with 10 million plot concepts. i am so getting my hands on a copy of this.
when others entered the fray, however, developing their own stock plots, Hill took it a step beyond – he made a scriptwriting robot. it would write an outline for a script in 20 minutes. somehow this did not take off, despite the excellent name, “Shakespeare’s Ghost.” to see an ad for this brilliant piece of mechanized hackery, check this out.