Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Structure a Movie, Part 3: The Third Quarter

Moving on into the third quarter, also known at the second half of “Act 2”…

  1. The hero tries to regroup, but comes to suspect that all their assumptions were wrong, their goal was wrong, and their philosophy was wrong.
  2. Things get worse before they get better, but now the hero is learning from their mistakes in a painful way.
  3. The weight of the thematic dilemma becomes clear to the hero.
  4. Hero finds out who their real friends and real enemies are.
  5. The stakes continue to be raised and the pace increases.
  6. One final hardship finally forces the hero into a spiritual crisis.
  7. As a result, they realize what they’ve been doing wrong. A corrected philosophy is formed and they commit to pursuing the corrected goal. (Sometimes this moment represents the end of the original opportunity, but not the end of the conflict. Sometimes it represents the end of the interpersonal conflict and the opening of a clear, but hard, path to pursue the opportunity.)

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