SCENE STUDY: Mining for Meaning

It’s easy to get absorbed by plot, obsessing over how to continually move a story forward. But what writer’s and audiences are really after is meaning. Examining a scene from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, adapted for the screen by Andrew Dominik, The Art of Story deconstructs the scene, looks at what story dynamics are active and analyzes what it reveals about the story as a whole. This video essay reminds us that plot is the excuse, the vehicle that drives characters to have transformational experiences, which is ultimately how writers find meaningful moments.


Scene Analysis


Contemporary & Revisionist Westerns


Historical Drama


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford