Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Structure a Movie, Part 2: The Second Quarter

Okay, let’s jump in the second quarter, also known at the first half of “Act 2”…

  1. Very quickly, the hero’s pursuit of the opportunity causes an unforeseen conflict with another person.
  2. Nevertheless the hero sticks to the easy way. Cleverly skirting the conflict (possibly telling lies, possibly just ignoring the consequences of what they’re doing).
  3. One of the questions the hero is trying to ignore is the thematic question. This is a contrast of two seemingly incompatible good ideas that underlies the conflict in the story.
  4. The hero enjoys some success and has some fun.
  5. As Blake Snyder points out, this is source of the trailer and the poster, where the hero does the stuff that fulfills the “promise of the premise” a.k.a. the “thrill of transgression.”
  6. All of this early success builds to a crescendo where it all suddenly ends in disaster. The hero loses not only the gains they’ve made but also the safe space (or safe relationship) that they’ve always had.
Sorry for the quick entries, this week, I’ve got a screenplay to finish...

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