Meet people. That’s the smartest thing a writer can do. And talk to them. You could be amazed at what you learn.
A few years ago, I met Jester Timm Gillick, an Indie film-producer and host of WTVP’s “The Screening Room,” in Peoria. I have learned a lot from Timm. Among other things, he introduced me to the Robert Rodriguez List.
The Robert Rodriguez List is a simple concept. When you come across something interesting, make a note. You never know when it might come in handy.
In the case of Rodriguez, it was generally film locations. You know Robert Rodriguez, whether you know him or not. Among his long list of credits, he produced the four “Spy Kids” movies.
Apparently, the name of the Robert Rodriguez List was coined by someone else. I have been repeatedly corrected, by the way, that it is ALWAYS called the “ROBERT” Rodriguez List. Just so you know.
The Robert Rodriguez list consists of notes about memorable vehicles, homes, animals and props. Rodriquez then creates a screenplay based on a list of these interesting things. It has obviously been a very successful technique for him considering he has 24 filmography writing credits, according to IMDB.
The first question most people have is what is the best way to keep track of your list. My well-researched answer is that there isn’t a best way.
Use what works for you. Evernote. Sticky-notes. Google Docs.
I rely on fact, even when I write fiction. I photograph locations similar to what I want to include in a story. It helps to realize where the alley might be, where the nearest bus stop might be, or whether it is likely the sun could shine through a particular window.
If nothing else, keep it in your head. But, give some thought to creating your own Robert Rodriguez List.