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How can I make Rhett leave Scarlett standing alone? Because you have to. You have to have protagonists face their fears in the third act. Whether or not they succeed, they must make the effort. They have to face a choice. Do I run or fight. Do I sit here waiting for the wolf to climb down the chimney or get off my ass and put a boiling pot of water under him.

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Remove the allies, remove the safe havens. Trap them in a brick house, back them against a wall, sink their boat, do whatever you have to as a writer to make the protagonist stand up and face their demons. Often the chase can feel like a sidetrack, so the key seems to be to make sure it feels integral to the story. Also, these sequences serve a vital role in delaying and cranking up the tension in advance of the Climax. You want the audience to be thrilled by the events and also impatient for them to be done with.

In Star Wars this is the space battle to get to the Death Star.

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I would add: know your ending before you start writing your first scene. It also helps you to back engineer your story if you are still trying to figure out what needs to go in act 2. The effect that the conflict has had on the hero. MAMA just stops. In the END the audience is unsure what decision the character has made.

But both leads are very much the same. Both MALE characters want to live in a fantasy world. So the final resolution here is unknown. Also, this type of ending is a cute way around making a decision. In films with more contemporary Characters… Not having a plan — can be the plan Not dealing with your flaws — can be the flaw. There is no resolution, the problem is not resolved, in the end the character only realizes the problem exists, they carry on with a new found perseverance.

There were so many cool film choices made. What was really interesting was learning about how Zimmer used the Edith Piaf song for the score. What Kyle talks about in the video is how Zimmer slowed down the intro of the Piaf song to simulate music in the dream state. He also used it later only sped up to simulate another dream state. But, they did tag on another scene, flashing back to prior visuals. Showing the aftermath of the characters going over the cliff would of killed the movie. Unfortunately, it ends up romanticizing suicide. I always felt that the ending of Thelma and Louise was really a version of the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

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I guess the ending is similar to The Grey. These are all fine points to be discussed. The thing that happens after the low point of Act Two. Something must change the course of your Protag to drive him towards the climax. Now, he goes on the offensive. For example… A protag that lives in the past sees how toxic it can be to those he loves. So, Act Three is about him letting go of nostalgia and living in the present. Or Act Three will feel like Act Two and a half.

The ascension of MacCready to full blown leading man status. Say goodbye to the ensemble. John had decided to move him front and center and have him take charge early on in order to be able to drive the action…. Lacking the necessary means to execute its original goal, it turned its protagonist into an antagonist as a fix. In Alien, Ripley is a reluctant hero, with a no choice decision..

MacCready, takes charge, more macho, inserts himself into the events. This in many ways is easier, but all too straight forward.

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He is the man with the plan in a room full of men. Which falls short of the goals set by the original script. Great article, Carson! I was trying to apply each one to my own scripts, and I got some of them or a combination of them. There are many types of possible third act revelations, and the simplest one IMO is the kind that we find in slashers, when we finally know who the masked serial-killer is. I always thought the low before the third act in Star Wars was when Obi-Wan gets a lightsaber through the face?

Third acts are definitely the hardest part of screenwriting to get right for me. Great article. This is such an interesting article. It actually resonates a lot with my own experiences writing third acts. I used to consider third acts as the easiest to write. I mean, before you start writing, you know your ending, right? I always had the beats of the third act planned, along with the beats of the first and second acts, in my prep work before I even typed a single letter. Worked well enough for many a screenplay for a while.

I burned through the first 80 pages in four days I avg 20 pages a day on first drafts. It still hit most of the points made here in the article, but somehow it just seemed like a let down.

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So I agree wholeheartedly with the article when it says plan your blueprint, but be aware that you may have to knock a few newly built walls down later, to make the house a better one than you planned, the script in question got a 9 on the blacklist 3. So yeah, hitting the points in the article is a good starting place when doing prep work and writing the script, but remember, sometimes you also gotta go with your gut. Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, starring Matthew McConaughey andWoody Harrelson, and directed by Cary Fukunaga, it is some eye-popping, dialogue-rich, mind-blowing, crazy-ass shit.

Really useful.

I went back and spent a week working on the first act, where I realised a key relationship needed more defining, which helped add an extra dimension to the final few scenes. Avoid the Scooby Gang scene. My writing partners and I had a script our manager was working with us on to get ready to shop around town. Yup, we were that young and naive as writers.

Instead he encouraged us to cut the scene and do it all visually and dramatically. Needless to say this led to a much better ending because it forced us to come up with a purely visual final reveal. Make the action character-based. For me, this was an invaluable education. Anyway, I turned in ten act-three pages stuffed full of tautly written car chases and gun fights. Next week, the guy tells me to scrap it all, start again.

The pro tells me anyone decent can write this kind of action stuff. As Carson says, every story presents its own unique third act challenges. A good example of Character Based Narrative vs. The networks try to surround the characters with narrative background story. If you see Lance Armstrong suiting up for the Tour de France, it makes a difference whether or not you know his deep dark secret. We need to know those secrets as an audience.

They have to manifest themselves through action.

Download Trough Of Hell How To Conclude Act Two Of Your Screenplay With Maximum Impact

As flies on the wall we should be there when Lance Armstrong finds just the right place to take those steroids. Without back story, that movie is nothing. With varying degrees of success. It matters who the protagonist is. Because the character arc happens internally within them. Nor can Vazquez or Hicks.