Are Movies and Books Designed?

Is it fair to say that a movie or a book is designed? If so, why? If not, why not?

As I watched the clip where Francis Ford Coppola talks about his ‘prompt book’ for the Godfather movies, I noticed he had written several times in his notes: ‘design,’ ‘design carefully,’ ‘How would Hitchcock have designed this?’ He even talks about it, although I’m uncertain what he really means by using this word.

I remember Michael Bierut of Design Observer write about Vladimir Nabokov’s book Pale Fire, that he sees it as ‘a design achievement,’ that the book ‘brings to bear a degree of planning to a medium that seems born to resist it.’

If design is merely planning, they movies are definitely planned. To a far greater extent than books. Many writers seem to just sit down and write and see what comes out. They surely have lots of ideas about the book, but are they planned?

The above was posted to my personal weblog on August 14, 2005. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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