The Hollywood Reporter website is the last place I’d expect to see an article extolling the virtues of a mind mapping program. But that’s just what happened last week: This tinseltown tattler has written a profile of how independent filmmaker Joel Rasmussen utilized MindManager on a Tablet PC in numerous ways on his latest film, "Before the Music Dies."
What’s interesting is that Joel not only uses the popular program to manage budgets, production schedules and other esoteric stuff. He also used it to help plot the narrative flow of his narrative documentary, which explores how homogenization is destroying the U.S. music industry. In this article, he describes how he uses mind maps for:
- Keeping track of the large number of interviews he and his crew conducted, and plotting their relationships with each other
- An overall story map
- Maps that summarize each act of the film
- Maps dedicated to specific issues for onsite production, pre-production, post-production and distribution
- Planning and scripting meetings
For script meetings, Joel explains how he likes to project a mind map on the wall of the room, to encourage collaboration: "…It frees up the flow of ideas. Outlines in a very hierarchical form makes people freeze up, because they don’t want to appear to be difficult. It makes all the difference between collaboration and a rigid outline."
As you would expect, producing a movie is a huge, multi-faceted project, with many details that need to be captured and managed – exactly the sort of application where mind mapping software is worth its weight in gold.
I encourage you to look beyond what Joel is specifically doing with mind mapping and generalize it. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this? How can I adapt it to my needs? I think there’s a lot to be learned from the way he uses it for collaboration with his team, for example.
Thanks to Hobart Swan from Mindjet for highlighting this fascinating story in the Mindjet Blog.