Here's a leaked, 125-page transcript of the brainstorming session that begat Raiders of the Lost Arc, a sit-down in 1978 with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Lawrence Kasdan. Spielberg and Lucas veritably fizz with ideas.Summary at Mystery Man on Film
G — What can he chase them with? What if he jumps on a camel?
S — I love it. It's a great idea. There's never been a camel chase before.
L — Is this camel going to chase a car?
S — You know how fast a camel can run? Not only that, he can jump over vegetable carts and things. It could be a funny chase that ends in tragedy. You're laughing your head off and suddenly, "My God, she's dead..."
S — We still have the big fight in the moving truck to do. And now we have a camel chase.
G — We've added another million dollars.
S — Not really. How much trouble can a camel be?
It’s like what Billy Wilder said, “You always start with too many ideas.”
Download the whole transcript
Raiders looked deceptively simple and easy and fun, but the story required so much more thought than you can imagine. The good films always make everything look so easy but they never are. And I suspect that many aspiring writers fail because they jump into their stories with too few ideas, without brainstorming first, without outlining, and without really thinking through the story. Certainly not to this degree as we see in these story conferences. And so the question is, “Have you put as much thought into your story?”
in PDF format.