Compile an information model like in Hollywood

One of the difficulties in Enterprise Architecture is to do information modelling in a structured way. Last year, I found out how they did something similar in Hollywood. I described the problem last month in “How is Jimmy dressed”.

The foundation of every film is a manuscript written by a writer. The manuscript is formatted in a structured way and includes scenes, cast, action and dialog, plus some other other information.

When you start planning the production of the film, (pre-production), one of the first activities is to break down the manuscript. One of the steps is to find out props, clothing, set dressing and other things that are used in the scene.

The Script supervisor, line producer or someone else read though each scene in the manuscript and mark each word that is describing an element in the scene.

Set props.png

In the example above, the megaphone is hold by an actor, and therefore a Props. The clothes the actor wears are Costumes. Things we see in the scene, but not touch is Set Dressing.

When all scenes are done, we then have a list of all things used in the production, and if using a proper software program, traceability to the scenes we used them in.

By coincidence, we have used the same approach for creating information models for long time.

Read each process description or business requirement and mark each noun, write them in a list and keep track of the origin. Then group each noun accordingly to a standard information model for the line of business you are in.

The challenge we have in both the manuscript and the list of requirements are to mange synonyms, but that is part of the skills the person doing the work need to have.

By using this approach it’s very easy to build a business glossary for a project.