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Old December 26 2011, 12:12 PM   #81
Maurice
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Re The PROBLEM With THE Problem, I got a PM from someone here about a story treatment they are working on, and I encouraged them to take a step back and address the Problem, Complications and Decision I discussed upthread. As an example, I applied the questions I was asking to one of my short films (Stagecoach in the Sky) to illustrate how simply you can sum up the key elements of a proposed script:
  • Who is the Protagonist and what does s/he need?
Claude Green thinks he wants to become a singing cowboy
  • What is the Problem that the Protagonist faces?
Claude is cocky and loses everything: his money, his pride, and the Girl he just met. He has to get them back
  • What Are the key Complications that make this increasingly difficult?
  1. He's ejected from First Class
  2. Phoenix Phil takes his money
  3. Phil's floosies make Claude's Love Interest think he's interested in them instead of her
  4. Phil's "Muscle" bullies him into retreating
  • What Active Decision must the Protagonist come to?
That having what he wants means he has to start acting like a cowboy hero instead of talking about being one
  • What Action does the Protagonist take to resolve the Problem?
He must stand up to and face down his persecutors
And finally
  • What does the Protagonist learn or fail to learn from the experience?
That anyone can change if they have the right motivation
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