First Act Blueprint: Setting Up Your Screenplay For Success

Hosted by Farrell Ingle

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Farrell Ingle

Webinar hosted by: Farrell Ingle

Producer at Producer

Farrell Ingle is a creative executive at Zucker Productions (Director Jerry Zucker's production company) where he is in charge of the development of several film and television projects across myriad genres. He started his career working at 3Ball Productions, Warner Bros Studios and New Line Cinema. He then moved to powerhouse agency CAA where he worked for a year. From there, he segued to Zucker Productions where he has worked for over 4 years. Primarily a movie production company, Zucker Productions is known for such hits as Ghost, My Best Friend's Wedding, Airplane!, Rat Race and Friends With Benefits. Recently they have delved into television with projects set up a TBS, HBO and Starz. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Many of us are familiar with the tropes made popular by screenplay gurus like Syd Field and Blake Snyder. Yes, it's true that many great films can be broken down into three clean acts or thirteen story beats. But the same can be said for many unwatchable films too.

What are the elements that differentiate the great screenplays from the purely mediocre?

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, creative executive from Zucker Productions (director Jerry Zucker's production company), Farrell Ingle will define the importance of the ever imposing first act of a feature screenplay.  He will show you how much of the groundwork for your story needs to be laid in the first act of your screenplay. If those early pages aren't up to snuff, the rest of your story will suffer, no matter how fantastic the ending is.

Your host, Farrell will lay out the many pitfalls writers stumble into without necessarily realizing it while they craft the set-up of their story. Using examples of classic films, you will understand how top notch writing creates multitudes of subtext, character development, and plot advancement with each scene. We will also discuss what constitutes an "act" and why it's so very dangerous to hold yourself within the box of a rigid structure.

By the end of this lecture, you should be able to go back through your own writing and break down each scene in your script to ensure that you're putting yourself in a position to succeed. After all, the first act is the most important act for readers and executives when evaluating your ability as a screenwriter.

Plus, you will break down the first acts beats of well-known movie scripts as Farrell leads you through an in-depth analysis of films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Professional, Die Hard and more!

What You'll Learn

  • Importance of the First Act
    • Nail the SETUP of Your Story
    • The function of the 1st act as a gateway to the script
  • Things You Must Accomplish in the First Act
    • Lays the Groundwork for Your Entire Script
    • Establish World, Introduce Characters, Set Up Conflict and Subtext
    • The Precious Role Of Dialogue
    • Setting up multiple layers of story
  • How 3 Act Structure informs your storytelling
    • Other Formats to consider
    • When to leave the formatting rules behind
    • How formulas can often fail you
  • Understanding the importance of Act Breaks and How to Use them
    • The Inciting Incident - what does that really mean? 
    • Now What Happens?
  • Focus On Your Characters
    • Define the world your character believes in
    • How to introduce a character
    • How to set up characters effectively
  • Importance Of Character arcs
    • Desires
    • Mission
    • Obstacles
    • Character Actions - communicating the character arc
  • When To Know When Your First Act Is Complete
    • How Your First Act Sets The Story In Motion
    • When you know where to go from here.
    • Editing - Know When You Need To Make Tweaks To The Story
  • Plus, a live and in-depth Q&A session with Farrell!

About Your Instructor

Farrell Ingle is a creative executive at Zucker Productions (Director Jerry Zucker's production company) where he is in charge of the development of several film and television projects across myriad genres. He started his career working at 3Ball Productions, Warner Bros Studios and New Line Cinema. He then moved to powerhouse agency CAA where he worked for a year.

From there, he segued to Zucker Productions where he has worked for over 4 years. Primarily a movie production company, Zucker Productions is known for such hits as Ghost, My Best Friend's Wedding, Airplane!, Rat Race and Friends With Benefits. Recently they have delved into television with projects set up a TBS, HBO and Starz.

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Crystal clear method on setting up everything in the first Act, and then a breakdown of one of the best action films of all time, Die Hard.

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