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Fan Productions Creating our own Trek canon!

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Old May 4 2011, 03:58 PM   #16
Robert Simmons
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

John....Try to think of it as...a simplifed version in the form of....

Beginning
Middle
End

Teaser should be the Beginning / Tee up
Middle should be the action towards the conclusion
End should be the wrap up from everything before.

I am of the understanding for a TV episode for TOS Trek that it should slice loosely this way...

Teaser...beginning
Act 1...beginning + Middle
Act 2...Middle
Act 3...middle + lead in to Conclusion / ending
Act 4...wrap of of middle and ending

Just evenly break the 3 part ( beginning / middle / end ) up evenly whichever format you are working with. There should be some flexiblity but should tack with this as a general loose rule of thumb.
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Old May 4 2011, 05:52 PM   #17
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Really, the main thing I'm puzzled about at the moment is what the difference is between a Plot Point and an Act Break.
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Old May 4 2011, 06:42 PM   #18
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

A plot Point is any crisis that is integral to the story. An Act Break is the "no-turning-back" moment that propels the story into the next phase of the story. Page counts are not always consistent, but in a 60 page script, the first 15 is the intro, the middle 40 is the complication and the last 10-15 is the resolution. You always want to get out of the resolution as fast as possible so people aren't bored -- but not so fast that it seems rushed.
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Old May 4 2011, 08:16 PM   #19
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Certainly, there are disagreements about exactly what constitutes an act break as you can see from the examples I posted at the top. But you do seem to have teased out the germ of the idea.

Back to Star Wars you could go one step further and say the Second Act ends when Han doesn't join the Death Star attack, as that is one additional complication to Luke's journey.
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Old May 4 2011, 09:18 PM   #20
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

I always saw Star Wars as

Act I: Tatooine (until the point they enter hyperspeed)
Act II: The Rescue of Leia
Act III: The Destruction of the Deathstar (from the arrival at Yavin IV)
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Old May 4 2011, 09:21 PM   #21
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
I always saw Star Wars as

Act I: Tatooine (until the point they enter hyperspeed)
Act II: The Rescue of Leia
Act III: The Destruction of the Deathstar (from the arrival at Yavin IV)
Intriguing. This breakdown is certainly completely consistent with the changes in scenery.
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Old May 4 2011, 10:11 PM   #22
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Actually, I'm not sure that Star Wars (or Indiana Jones, for that matter) would directly conform to the 3-Act structure, simply because both were directly influenced by the movie serials of the 30s. I think they're set up to have mini cliffhangers every 10 minutes, but the combined 10 minute chunks tell an overall story of the the 2 hours.

This would make Randy's observation make even more sense, because each part unto itself might be considered an episode in the serial, each with its own begining, middle and end.
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Old May 5 2011, 01:35 AM   #23
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Actually, I'm not sure that Star Wars (or Indiana Jones, for that matter) would directly conform to the 3-Act structure, simply because both were directly influenced by the movie serials of the 30s. I think they're set up to have mini cliffhangers every 10 minutes, but the combined 10 minute chunks tell an overall story of the the 2 hours.
I agree, especially in the case of Raiders of the Lost Ark. But I'm new to this, and using Star Wars as an example is helping me to understand the idea, since I'm very familiar with Star Wars, as I'm sure everyone here is. I was also intrigued with how closely Star Wars seems to fit the three act structure overall, despite the variations. I'd be surprised if there were any great work that conforms precisely to any set of pre-established standards.

This would make Randy's observation make even more sense, because each part unto itself might be considered an episode in the serial, each with its own begining, middle and end.
So should Chapters perhaps conform to the three act structure, except as a microcosm?
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Old May 5 2011, 01:37 AM   #24
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Currently, TCM is showing Buck Rogers on Saturdays at noon, 2 parts at a time. Even those 15 mins are divided into three. A lot of sermons are as well. It's a common approach to divide things into thirds.
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Old May 5 2011, 03:07 PM   #25
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

I have to fess up that I have no idea whether or how the script for Polaris satisfies these criteria. If nothing else I suspect the first act is on the long side for a short movie. Or maybe people just talk so much that it seems long.
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Old May 5 2011, 03:11 PM   #26
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

The Fiction Police have been dispatched.
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Old May 5 2011, 03:15 PM   #27
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Tell them to keep that fucking helicopter off my lawn.
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Old May 5 2011, 07:32 PM   #28
Maurice
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
Potemkin_Prod wrote: View Post
I always saw Star Wars as

Act I: Tatooine (until the point they enter hyperspeed)
Act II: The Rescue of Leia
Act III: The Destruction of the Deathstar (from the arrival at Yavin IV)
Intriguing. This breakdown is certainly completely consistent with the changes in scenery.
It also fits one interpretation of the three-act structure whereby each act is like a self-contained small story. Story 1 is Luke deciding to become a Jedi. Story 2 is rescuing the Princess. Story 3 is the Death Star attack.
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Old May 5 2011, 08:13 PM   #29
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

The Three-Act Structure can even be seen in sketch comedy. While this is tongue-in-cheek, this sketch does illustrate humorously the very basics.
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Old May 11 2011, 06:39 AM   #30
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Re: Fan Film Writer's Primer

Raiders, I think, has a three part structure. The intro of Indie and the setup with the villain in the South American temple. The Search for and discovery of the Arc, and the chase for and opening of the arc. So...

1. The Idol
2. Indy finds the Arc. The Arc is stolen.
3. Indy gets the Arc back from the Nazis.
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