Succession

Watching (and enjoying) HBO’s Succession.  Reminded me of something I heard Francis Ford Coppola say in an interview (with Harvard Business Review of all places) about how he tries to write down the theme of a project in one word on a notecard.

ALISON BEARD: And when you get stuck creatively, if you don’t know where a script should go or how a movie should end, how do you get yourself unstuck?

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA: Well, if my intuition and asking the question just what feels better to me doesn’t give it to me, I have a little exercise where any project I work on, I have what the theme is in a word or two. Like on The Conversation, it was privacy. On The Godfather, it was succession. So I always have that word, and I encourage my children to do the same, to break it all down beyond everything else. Don’t tell me it’s a coming-of-age story, because that’s not specific. What, specifically, is it?

And if you have that word, then when you reach an impasse, you just say, well, what is the theme related to the decision? Should it be this or should it be that? Then I say, well, what does the theme tell me? And usually, if you go back to that word, it will suggest to you which way to go and break the roadblock.

Is succession the one-word theme of Succession?

How about this part:

 



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