The Domino Effect

We’ve all witnessed the domino effect: when, by slightly tipping one piece, all of its counterparts tumble together with beautiful rhythmic motion. This phenomenon is commonly known as “domino effect”. In storytelling terms, every scene acts like one domino that needs to fall for story progression; therefore I like to view story editing through this lens.

Domino is a skill game where players attempt to form chains by placing tiles onto the table in such a manner that each touches either end of an earlier-played tile (or both ends in some instances). Each domino has one number printed on only one side while its opposing face may remain blank or identically patterned; when all tiles have been played they cover the entire table creating chains; players may also play individual dominoes that “knock,” forcing an opposing player’s line of play and forcing them into playing another one (known as knock-out).

Dominoes are an enjoyable toy and pastime enjoyed by many people of all ages, from children who enjoy stacking them on end to create designs, adults who use strategy games with them, to public events like Domino’s Rally where builders assemble incredible domino sets which they then showcase before an audience live onstage.

Domino’s may have become synonymous with pizza, but over the years the company has done much more to diversify and expand their business. Most recently, they have taken steps to embrace technology by providing multiple ways for customers to place an order – from texting an emoji or voice assistant such as Amazon Echo – so as not to get stuck into its old ways and remain successful. Domino’s leadership understands that in order to keep expanding successfully they must constantly adapt.

Domino’s CEO Don Meij used Undercover Boss as an effective way of learning what was working and what wasn’t, with the intention of improving his company by discovering what worked well and what didn’t. Meij’s objective was to discover what wasn’t and find ways to improve things by uncovering which employee practices weren’t effective and then rectifying those as soon as possible.

One can learn much about storytelling by studying how dominoes are built. At a domino rally, for example, a builder starts with hundreds or thousands of unmoving dominoes, carefully arranges them into sequence before waiting for just the right moment to push one past its tipping point and begin the chain reaction of dominoes falling down one after the next until their fall into place as one piece at a time. It is truly spectacular sight; yet this process also illustrates perfectly how narrative works.


April 2024


Recent Posts