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Copy of Syd Field - Three Act Structure: The Paradigm

An introduction to Syd Field's theory of Story Structure
by

julio wissar

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Syd Field - Three Act Structure: The Paradigm

ACT ONE

SET UP

ACT THREE

RESOLUTION

ACT TWO

CONFRONTATION

Plot Point 1
(approx 20 - 30 minutes)
First half
Second half
Midpoint
about page 60
Plot Point 2
(approx 80 - 90)
This part of the story introduces the main character, the dramatic premise and the dramatic situation.
Main character -
The person in the story who has a need/objective to fulfill and whose actions drive the story
Dramatic premise -
what the story is about?

Dramatic situation - the circumstances surrounding the action
Inciting Incident - an event which sets the plot of the film in motion. It occurs approximately halfway through the first act.
Field argues that the three acts are seperated by two plot points or reversals. This is an event which thrusts the plot in a new direction. Some theorists have argued that this is the moment the hero takes on a problem.
Act One will in part consist of exposition: the part of the story that introduces the characters, shows some of their interrelationships, and places them within a time and place
In the second act, the main character encounters obstacle after obstacle that prevent him from achieving his dramatic need.
First culmination - a point just before the halfway point of the film where the main character seems close to achieving his or her goal/obective. Then, everything falls apart, leading to the midpoint.
A point approximately halfway through the film where the main character reaches his or her lowest point and seems fathest from fulfilling the dramatic need or objective.
Climax - The point at which the plot reaches its maximum tension and the forces in opposition confront each other after a peak of physical or emotional action.
Denouement - The brief period of calm at the end of a film where a state of equilibrium returns
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