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Old December 20 2011, 09:30 PM   #52
Maurice
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

USS Intrepid wrote: View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb here, which is something I don't often do, and say that for all the other shortcomings Intrepid may have, the writing is not one of them. Heavy Lies the Crown, despite the awful audio (amongst other issues) has a pretty solid script that generally follows these rules (IMO of course).

Now this is not to say I think it's a perfect script (I'm not that foolish or deluded - it has more than it's share of problems) and I've written far better since, but as these things (and first efforts) go I think it's pretty decent.
I'm going to have to watch that again so I can grade your paper.

Solarbaby wrote: View Post
...I wasn't aware of this formulaic script writing. I assumed a story needs a beginning, middle and end logically.
Beginning, middle, end is too simple a metaphor because you can apply to almost anything. A street. A tryst. Whatever.

I'd say it's more a format than formulaic. It's a structural blueprint that has a lot of wiggle room.

Solarbaby wrote: View Post
Having looked back I see each season as an act. The limitations of the animation studio I used made it necessary to make it in mini episodes. Ideally I would have liked to make 20 minutes parts of 5 episodes per season. However, it has taught me an awful lot about creating cliff hangers- especially ones which seem to have impossible resolutions.
Cutting up a larger story into "webisodes" doesn't violate the strictures of three-act structure any more than the acts (between commercial breaks) of a TV series do, so you're fine in that regard.

But I don't want to wander back into Three-Act structure here exclusively. What's important, I think, in my post on The PROBLEM of THE Problem is the nature of making something that's got dramatic build. The Three Act structure is merely the frame on which your hang the Problem, Complications and Decision.


So, here's a challenge to you writers: try filling in the form I used to analyze Where No Man Has Gone Before with your own script and see if it holds up.
1. FIRST ACT should set up the Problem that faces the Protagonist
Fill in main Problem here
2. SECOND ACT should complicate the problem, make decisions/action more difficult
Fill in what Complicates the Problem here
3. THIRD ACT should be where the Protagonist makes a decision that leads to the action required to solve/resolve the problem. As in:
  • The Protagonist must experience an intellectual climax
____ comes to realize ______
  • an emotional climax wherein something impels action
_______ drives _____ to decide to take action by ____________
  • an action climax
_____ does __________ to resolve the Problem
  • The Protagonist must be active, not reactive
Fill in examples of active decisions does the main character make to propel the story
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