When Stuck in the Middle, Kill Something In previous tips, I’ve talked about first pages and how to get from Act one into Act two and how to end – so today we look at the camel’s hump. Somewhere along the line, I was led to believe that the midpoint is where someone dear to the main character must die. Thankfully, I didn’t take that as a hard and fast rule, but the fact of the matter is, the midpoint IS where the old way of the main character must shift – or die. The 1st act turning point is often touted as the point of no return, and in many ways it is, but really the turning point of the middle is when the character steps into the meat of their role – in the 25% of the film from act one to the midpoint they are still feeling their way around and getting used to the new world. The midpoint is where they take ownership of the new world so it often reflects the ‘death’ of the way things were, in whatever way that is best represented -- either in someone’s or something’s physical death, or a symbolic death of how things were. Let’s look at a variety of MIDPOINT examples that are undeniably good films. THE GODFATHER: Michael shoots the cop and flees to Italy. Michael has taken ownership of his role in the family THE TITANIC hits the iceberg You get it WHEN HARRY MET SALLY: they finally sleep together – their previous relationship has died. CITIZEN KANE – He meets Susan and the affair that kills his marriage begins LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE - Grandpa dies. This would seem to end the trip to California. Then Richard decides to steal the body and continue the journey. THE LION KING –After years of escaping his pain by living a “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba is still haunted by his past. Rafiki divines that Simba is alive, finds him, then leads him to a reflecting pool to show him that his father Mufasa “lives in” him. May you find the strength within to embrace the change that will change everything.