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Story, Script and Screenplay Structure
Transcript of Story, Script and Screenplay Structure
Story, Script and Screenplay Structure
What is a Story?
a story is about a fundamental conflict between a subjective expectation and a cruel reality. It is about an imbalance of opposing forces, causing the protagonist to dig deep, work with scarce resources, make difficult decisions and ultimately discover the truth.
FORCES CHARACTERS TO MAKE CHOICES
FORMS OPINIONS WITHIN THE AUDIENCE
MOVES THE STORY FORWARD
Conflict creates drama within the story. It is the placing of two forces in opposition that gives life to the story and makes it interesting for the audience
Without conflict, there is no story to tell. The conflict within a story or a script accomplishes many things:
Conflict can be internal or external.
Which do you think works better in film?
In order for conflict to take place and these opposing forces to clash, we need a vehicle or central figure for the plot to revolve around
The protagonist is the main character in the story and usually acts as the eyes of the audience. We empathize with them and through them we experience the events of the film.
Though they are often called the HERO, protagonist's actions are not always heroic.
VILLAINS AS PROTAGONISTS
Functions of the Protagonist:
DETERMINES AUDIENCE PERSPECTIVE
DETERMINES THE INFORMATION RECEIVED
DRIVES THE FILM
TYPICALLY IN NEED OF SOME FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
CONFLICT WITH THE...
The protagonist is defined by the character's ROLE in the film, not their actions on screen.
In order for there to be an imbalance of imposing forces, the protagonist needs direct opposition.
The antagonist represents and creates the obstacles that the protagonist must overcome. He or she is equally as formidable as the protagonist and has the power to impede their progress.
HELPS DEFINE THE PROTAGONIST
EMBODIES OPPOSING IDEAL
CREATES CONFLICT BY TAKING COUNTERACTION TO OUR IMPEDING PROTAGONIST'S ACTION
Antagonists usually represent the dark or opposite side of the protagonist. They are what the protagonist would or could be if he or she embraced a different side of their nature. Many times, protagnists and antagonists can identify with one other based on an equal passion in pursuit of a goal or similar skill set.
The KEY element in McKee's definition. This is what is being explored or discovered throughout the course of the story. Exploration of a certain truth, even a simple one or a silly one, is the reason why the story is told in the first place.
This represents what many like to call the moral of the story or the resolution of the story's conflict. The truth that is discovered (or not discovered) by the protagonist at the end of the film represents a rebirth as a new individual.
Truth is the culmination of the character's journey and the completion of his or her CHARACTER ARC.
The character arc represents the status of the character as it develops and unfolds throughout the story
Simplified Character Arc
Initial World View/Place in World
Events of the film
Transformed World View
New place in World
As the events of the film progress, the character’s world view begins to shift. By the end of the story, the character will embrace and embody a completely different viewpoint and is in essence reborn as an entirely different character than when he or she started. The events that cause this transformation, take place within the DRAMATIC ARC or DRAMATIC STRUCTURE.
The dramatic arc is divided into five parts or ACTS, also called DRAMATIC STRUCTURE
Background information is provided to set up the story, it's characters, it's setting and main conflict.
Major plot point that ends the exposition and sets the story in motion.
This is usually a key event that changes the protagonist's world and forces them to venture out and seek his or her goal
2. RISING ACTION:
During this phase, the basic conflict is amplified and complicated. The protagonist encounters additional obstacles, enemies and allies that bring new twists and turns to the main plot. This is the core part of the journey in which the protagonist is severely tested.
Culmination of the film's events. This is where the protagonist and antagonist come into direct conflict.
The final battle, confrontation of all major players. The final turning point in the film.
4. FALLING ACTION:
Not usually found in film
The transformed protagonist returns to the ordinary world, things begin to wrap up
Here is where the protagonist is reborn, the lesson of the story is learned and the events of the film are paid off.
HOLLYWOOD 3-ACT STRUCTURE
Though Hollywood films typically fit the confines of Dramatic Structure, they tend to follow a simpler path. Hollywood replaces the five acts with a three act breakdown.
ACT I - The Set-up - takes on the characteristics of "Exposition"
ACT II - Confrontation - similar to "Rising Action"
ACT III - Resolution - The results of the climax take us into a new world or new life for the protagonist
Where STORY is manifested in the film world and where three-act structure is most applicable is within the SCREENPLAY
The screenplay acts as the dramatic blueprint for the film. It is written in a very specific format that is streamlined for production and moviemaking. They are highly visual, use codified language and adhere to a specific layout. The film industry has developed this standard over time and this is the way that all movies are written.
Tells us location and time of day
Describes what is going on on screen and the actions of the characters.
For production purposes, allows Producers to organize the script. Won't usually see them on spec scripts, only those going into production.
Character names are introduced in CAPITAL LETTERS when they are new to the script. Their names appear in all CAPS above any dialogue that character is supposed to say.
Positioned in the center of the page beneath the speaker's name. Made to be easily readable by producers, directors and actors
Not pictured. Denote subtle actions taken during dialogue.
All scripts are written in this format. They use Courier 12pt font and are formatted on U.S. Letter sized paper.
Guard the industry
Steamline the reading and moviemaking processes
1 PAGE = 1 MINUTE
READ 1 SCREENPLAY (FIRST 30 PAGES)
Find at SimplyScripts.com
Email me a link to the script you read with three things you learned in reading it