Knives Out Movie Analysis - Miriam Donovan

Idea Generation

What is this project about?

Looking for more support narrowing down your idea? Try using the idea matrix on this page.

I want to analyze the movie "Knives Out" and its script to better understand why certain things are done in films to make a viewer feel something (get a specific message across). Everything serves a purpose. It's not just lines being said there's a whole world behind them that's carefully developed. The little details such as the music chosen for a scene, where characters are standing in a room, and what color clothes are worn make such an impact on a movie.

What do you want to get out of this project?

I want to learn more about psychology, acting, and film-making. My final product will be a video essay.

where did the skills go? we are taking skills out of the idea generation process, in an attempt to make projects more career-focused. If you want to get leveled-up for a project, share it with the appropriate guide or faculty member for feedback upon completion.

Guiding Question

Turn your idea above into a guiding question.

Check out some resources on how to write a guiding question here.

What is the psychology and intention behind the decisions made when creating a movie? How a perfect "modern-day whodunit" mystery is made.


Use this space to take notes, keep track of your sources, or conversations you have with people about this project.

  • Knives Out by Rian Johnson - creating the perfect mystery movie, keeping the viewer guessing (who did it?)
  • follows the writing style of British crime writer Agatha Christie - same feel of her books
  • camera angles, music, wording, clothes, props, symbolism

Taking Notes Here:

Extending my project:

I did not manage to finish my project during this cycle as I planned. I had a good foundation and idea for my project but it lacked structure and proper planning. I should have created very specific/smaller short-term goals and a more clearly defined final product. This way could've also realized sooner how much deeper this project would be and how long the research would take. Procrastinating also played a very big part in my not completing the project. I really need to work on time management and making the most of even the couple minutes I have between meetings for example.

New Plan:

I really want to continue this project, but I'm taking a break from projects for the next cycle so I'll continue the cycle after.


What will it take for you to complete this project?

Use the table below to set your own timeline for deliverables, keep in mind when your final work product is due at the end of the cycle.

Work Product Deliverables

Watch the movie and take notes by
March 15, 2021
Rewatch movie if needed
March 18, 2021
March 23, 2021
March 25, 2021
Work Product due
March 5, 2021

Embed your Work Product Here 👇🏽

How do I embed my work product on notion?

Click below where it says "Untitled" this will open a new page with an embed block. You can click on this embed block to upload a file or link from your computer. You might also choose to create your project write on that untitled page itself.

Add a short description and cover photo

At the top of this page, you'll see a field where you can write a short description of what this project is about. if you hover over the title, you'll also see a place where you can "add cover". Pick a photo that captures the main idea of your project.

Work Product

Was your project deep?


Reflect on this project cycle by answering the questions below.

The act of reflecting allows you to highlight the accomplishments and applications of your project. (questions courtesy of Powderhouse Studios)

Was your project meaningful?

Did this project matter? In what ways did it further your knowledge, force you to grow, or provide something useful?

I've been interested in cinematography for a while but this project has made me consider even more aspects of movie-making and I have a much deeper appreciation now for the amount of work it takes to

Was your project ambitious?

Given what you already know, did this project challenge you in meaningful ways?

Was your project deep?

Did you project engage with powerful ideas or tools? Additionally, did you engage with the material in a deep sense (i.e. did you develop ownership over the ideas or tools)? Can you utilize these skills independently now?


Use the pages below "QR Partner Feedback" and "Faculty Feedback" to find places for improvement.

QR Partner Peer Feedback
Advisor Feedback

Coming up with an Idea
What is a guiding question?