Is about how all the pieces fit together to make a whole.
I tend to think of myself as a marketing composer.
I was thinking about Breaking Bad yesterday. There's almost nobody who wouldn't agree it's a masterpiece of a show. One of the highest rankings on IMDB to prove it, not that those are always accurate (i.e., Guy Ritchie's 'Revolver').
So what makes Breaking Bad a masterpiece?
Thing is, it's not the story.
When I first read the plot description, I thought it was a comedy.
To provide for his family's future after he is diagnosed with lung cancer, a chemistry genius turned high school teacher teams up with an ex-student to cook and sell the world's purest crystal meth.
Wouldn't you think so?
But it's about the opposite of a comedy. I don't think I've seen anything more dark and serious. Maybe The Killing (but I stopped watching that halfway through season one, 'cuz the composition ain't right...) Even the comic relief, Saul Goodman, is pretty damn serious.
So if it's not the story what is it?
I was first going to say "it's not the story, it's the storytelling," which sounds catchy, but storytelling means so many things.
It gets everything right. It's the dialogue, the suspense, the silence, the drama, the conflict, the characters' internal turmoil. It's the lighting, the music and the camera angles too. I've never seen a show being filmed like Breaking Bad.
It's storytelling composition.
Just some thoughts.
And oh, I'm not really that big of a "Breaking Bad" fanatic, like many others are. There were several times when I stopped watching mid-season, and later picked it up again. Often, I never really felt like watching it, for whatever reason.
Other shows, you're always in the mood for.
I think Homeland is the best show on TV right now. Its composition is even better than Breaking Bad. Actually it's the best I've seen.
A final thought:
I think you need three things to become a rockstar success in anything:
First, you need to understand the composition. In marketing or filmmaking or football, you need to know which pieces are critical to closing the sale and winning the game. You figure out the 20% of pieces that determines the majority outcome.
Second, you need to get those 20% of pieces at least 80% right. Actually, exactly 80% right is fine. If you do those things better then you're playing with diminishing returns, because of how 80/20 works.
Third, you need complete, total, 100% mastery over ONE of those things. That's how you become the best in the world.
This is the reason why sometimes extraordinarily talented people are broke, starving artists. They've got their main thing 99.9% right, but not the rest. You might be an amazing painter, but if you don't know how to sell paintings, you're shit out of luck.
Now you need to figure out the rest of the pieces to the puzzle of making a painting business work, and get those pieces 80% right. Fortunately, it's the 80% that's relatively easy to figure out and quick to implement. It's those last 20% that take up a lifetime, which is why you should seek to be the best in the world at ONE thing.