Screenwriting : ACT Two Info by Robert Huerta

Robert Huerta

ACT Two Info

For anyone looking into beefing up your second act, I found this resource to be rather helpful: http://scriptshadow.net/screenwriting-article-dont-let-shia-sack-your-se... It certainly has helped me with the grind. Best of luck, and Happy Writing!

Screenwriting Article - Don't Let Shia Sack Your Second Act!
Screenwriting Article - Don't Let Shia Sack Your Second Act!
A friend of mine gave me a script last week with that desperate look in his eyes. You know the look I'm talking about. That tired bloodshot I've-been-crying-for-seven-days Shia LaBeouf "I Am Not Famou…
Robert Huerta

Haha I felt the same way.

Stacy Gentile

I think when writers get stuck in the second act they get stuck because they started writing too early. Actually writing too early is what causes way too many problems in my opinion. Stick to the Main Act points and then outline the hell out of the thing before you start writing. As long as you have lots of outline and you know you have to get to a certain page to wrap up an act... 2nd act problems shouldn't happen. When you break that process and start writing too early, you find yourself either written into a corner or looking over the ocean's horizon not knowing where land is. Outline, Outline, Outline and stick to the save the cat format.

Robert Huerta

Agreed. Outlining and prep work tends to be something that people fly through because of wanting to get on the page. One thing I've learned recently is to always have that to fall back on to when you run into problems. I tend to lose focus when I write and have to be put back on track.

Owen Mowatt

Once it`s been established that a beginner hasn't outlined and has obviously started writing the script too early, the best help you can give them is to NOT help them overcome whatever "obstacle" they think is in their way. It really drives me up the wall to see others encouraging them to carry on or don't get demoralized, as if digging a deeper hole is somehow going to get you closer to the surface.

Chris Herden

"For centuries, screenwriters....?"

Robert Huerta

Just noticed that too, ha!

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

Sucking. Pure chatty guru material proved only thru examples that don’t mean anything when generalized… Just because storytelling is a so vast matter that anything can be proved over some examples. Just said, need to be proved? OK, following some examples (ha ha!) showing that this doesn’t work. Character Development: - What’s character development in action movies, horror, franchises…? (Furious, Taken, Transformers, James Bond…), in chronicles? (The pianist, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Amarcord, Everyone Says I Love You…). The leads’ figures are portrayed in the setup. So you better look after your act 1 to make them likeable. “Enter character development, which really boils down to one thing: your hero having a flaw and having that flaw get in the way of him achieving his goal”. - What are leads’ flaws in the genres/movies given above? What’s Katniss flaw in The Hunger Games? Relationship Development: - What’s relationship development in The Night Of The Living Dead? Alien? The Expandables? Predator? Pulp Fiction...? Secondary Character Exploration: - Who’s the so important secondary character introduced in Act II we explore personality and flaw in The Pianist, Reservoir Dogs, Night Of The Living Dead, Burried...? Conflict: Aha! The only theme that’s totally true! Characterized like this, there are conflicts in every movie. Your head struggles to stick a stubborn stamp on an envelope: conflict!... - But warning: not to be mistaken with bigger conflicts…What are major conflicts in Amarcord, Cinema Paradiso, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Everyone says I Love You?... Obstacles: - What are lead’s obstacles in Amarcord? "It should also be noted that you can’t create obstacles if your protagonist ISN’T PURSUING A GOAL." - What's lead goal in Amarcord, Cinema Paradiso, Hereafter...? - What's lead goal in The Pianist, Alien, Predator, horror movies... unless to overcome obstacles in order to survive? Push-Pull: Push means lead driven, pull means story driven: - What does the lead push in Amarcord, The Pianist, Burried…? And until the end in Alien, Predator…? - What pulls the leads in The Expendables, Furious, James Bond movies after the setup…? - What’s unpredictable in Dirty Harry? Escalation Nation: - What escalates in Amarcord, The Grand Budapest Hôtel, The Pianist, Everyone says I Love You…? Twist n’ Surprise: - What are the act 2 twist surprises in The Pianist, Amarcord, Cinema Paradiso, The Artist, Alien, Predator, Everyone says I Love You, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory…?

Jean-Marie Mazaleyrat

All these things are crutches you can use to improve your story if needed. But there are infinity of ways to do the same without them.

Owen Mowatt

I think you and I are going to get along just fine, Jean. Writing to formula stangles creativity

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