How to Write a Short Film in 7 Easy Steps

Simon Horrocks
13 Sept 202023:28

Summary

TLDRThe video script emphasizes the importance of understanding genre in screenwriting, as it shapes the narrative structure and character development. It argues that a well-defined main character is the backbone of any story, influencing all elements from supporting characters to plot beats. The script advocates for a tight, structured approach to writing shorts, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, and encourages filmmakers to keep their stories concise and engaging to maintain audience interest.

Takeaways

  • 📜 Understanding genre is crucial for writing a compelling short film; each genre has its own specific requirements and conventions.
  • 🎬 The success of a film often hinges on the writer's grasp of genre, as demonstrated by Christopher Nolan's use of exposition influenced by film noir.
  • 💡 Character development is key in screenwriting; the main character not only drives the story but also shapes it, making 'character equals story' a fundamental principle.
  • 🌟 Great stories can be found in everyday life, and the art of writing lies in transforming these inspirations into a well-structured screenplay.
  • 📈 Structure your screenplay with a clear beginning, middle, and end, where each phase contributes to the progression and development of the story.
  • 🎥 Start with a strong character concept, as the protagonist's desires and flaws will inform the narrative and create a consistent, engaging story.
  • 🔄 Use 'story beats' to maintain a tight pace and keep the audience engaged, ensuring that there is a meaningful event or twist roughly every minute.
  • 🧩 Supporting characters should reflect or contrast with the main character, highlighting themes and ideas central to the story.
  • 🎞 The resolution of the short film can vary; it can offer closure, leave the audience in suspense, or end abruptly, depending on the desired effect and genre.
  • ⏱️ Consider the length of your short film carefully, as brevity can enhance impact and audience retention, especially in festival settings.

Q & A

  • What is the key to creating a compelling short film?

    -The key to creating a compelling short film is understanding the genre and having a well-structured script with emotional layers that resonate with the audience.

  • Why is genre important in screenwriting?

    -Genre is important in screenwriting because it sets the expectations for the audience. Each genre has its own conventions, and understanding these helps in crafting a story that meets the audience's expectations.

  • What are some common genres in film?

    -Common genres in film include horror, thriller, romance, drama, comedy, and action. There are also sub-genres, such as film noir, which is a sub-genre of thrillers.

  • How can a writer avoid creating a script that is episodic in nature?

    -A writer can avoid creating an episodic script by ensuring that each scene or event is connected and drives the story forward. Using 'butt' and 'therefore' logic helps in creating a structured narrative with purposeful progression.

  • What is the significance of character development in a screenplay?

    -Character development is significant because the main character not only drives the story but also forms it. The character's actions, motivations, and conflicts are central to the narrative, making character等同于story (character equals story).

  • How does a writer decide on the length of their short film?

    -A writer should decide on the length of their short film before starting to write. It's recommended to make the short as short as possible, keeping it tightly paced to maintain audience engagement.

  • What is the role of supporting characters in a screenplay?

    -Supporting characters in a screenplay serve to support the depiction of the main character. They represent ideas, emotions, and personalities that conflict with or emphasize the main character's journey and the story's themes.

  • How does a writer maintain structure in their screenplay?

    -A writer maintains structure in their screenplay by dividing the story into three phases: beginning (setup), middle (development of action), and end (climax). Each phase should progress logically and contribute to the overall narrative.

  • What is the importance of story beats in a screenplay?

    -Story beats are important as they represent changes or twists in the story. They help keep the narrative engaging by ensuring that something significant happens or changes roughly every minute, contributing to a tightly paced and captivating story.

  • How can a writer ensure their short film is well-received by film festivals?

    -A writer can ensure their short film is well-received by film festivals by keeping the length concise, maintaining a tight pace, and crafting a unique story that adheres to the chosen genre's conventions while adding a personal touch.

  • What are some ways to resolve a short film's story?

    -A short film's story can be resolved in various ways depending on the genre and the creative choice of the writer. It can end with a satisfying conclusion where the hero learns and changes, or it can end with a shock or cliffhanger that leaves the audience in suspense.

Outlines

00:00

🎬 Understanding Genre in Screenwriting

This paragraph emphasizes the importance of genre in screenwriting. It explains that professional screenwriters have a deep understanding of genre, which sets them apart from amateurs. The speaker shares their journey from being raw in screenwriting to learning about the significance of genre. They discuss the different types of genres and sub-genres, such as horror, thriller, romance, comedy, action, and film noir, and how each genre has its own unique way of storytelling. The speaker also highlights the common pitfalls of new writers due to a lack of genre understanding, which can lead to focusing on the wrong elements in their scripts. The paragraph concludes by stressing the importance of knowing your audience's expectations based on the genre.

05:01

🌟 Character Development and Storytelling

The focus of this paragraph is on the relationship between character and story. It asserts that character equals story, meaning the main character drives and forms the narrative. The speaker challenges the common belief that screenplay elements should be treated equally, arguing that character development should take precedence. They use the story of Pinocchio as an example to illustrate how the main character's traits and desires shape the story. The paragraph also addresses the common mistake of prioritizing plot over character, which can result in a disjointed and unengaging narrative. The speaker encourages writers to focus on creating a well-defined main character to ensure a consistent and compelling story.

10:03

📈 Structuring Your Screenplay

This paragraph delves into the structure of screenplays, emphasizing the importance of a well-structured narrative. The speaker breaks down the screenplay into three phases: the beginning (setup), the middle (development of action), and the end (climax). They discuss how the length and focus of each phase should be tailored to the genre and the overall length of the film. The speaker also shares their personal approach to structuring a short film, highlighting the need for a tight pace and frequent story beats to keep the audience engaged. They advise filmmakers to decide on the total length of their short film before writing and to avoid making their films too long, as this can lead to a loss of audience interest.

15:04

👥 Supporting Characters and Their Role

In this paragraph, the speaker discusses the role of supporting characters in a screenplay. They explain that supporting characters should not be seen as separate entities but as elements that reflect or contrast with the main character. The speaker uses the example of a bullied character and their bullying boss to illustrate how the supporting character embodies traits that are in opposition to the main character's. They emphasize that every aspect of the story, including supporting characters, story beats, locations, props, and dialogue, should derive from the main character. This approach helps writers stay on track and avoid losing focus during the development process.

20:06

🎞️ Resolving the Story and Creative Choices

The final paragraph explores the various ways a short film's story can be resolved. The speaker discusses how the resolution depends on the genre and the filmmaker's creative choices. They mention that some shorts may have a satisfying ending where the hero learns and changes, often seen in dramas, while others might end with a shock or cliffhanger, leaving the audience in suspense. The speaker uses the example of the short horror film 'Lights Out' to illustrate the effectiveness of an unresolved ending in maintaining a disturbing atmosphere. They conclude by emphasizing that the resolution should align with the genre and the unique stamp the filmmaker wants to place on their work.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Script

The script is the written text that serves as the basis for a short film. It outlines the story, characters, dialogue, and actions that will take place in the film. In the context of the video, the script is crucial for creating a compelling narrative that can impress investors and win awards.

💡Genre

Genre refers to the category or type of film, such as horror, thriller, romance, comedy, or action. Each genre has its own conventions, expectations, and methods of storytelling. Understanding the genre is essential for a screenwriter to meet the audience's expectations and deliver a satisfying experience.

💡Character

A character in a screenplay is a person represented in the story, with their own personality, traits, and motivations. The main character, or protagonist, is central to the story and drives the narrative forward. Characters are essential in conveying the theme and emotional layers of the screenplay.

💡Structure

Structure refers to the organization and arrangement of the scenes and events in a screenplay. It typically follows a three-act structure: beginning (setup), middle (confrontation), and end (resolution). A well-structured script ensures a clear and engaging narrative that keeps the audience interested.

💡Exposition

Exposition is the part of a film where characters explain the plot to the audience, often through dialogue. While it can be seen as bad writing if done unnaturally, it is a necessary element in some genres, like film noir, to convey information efficiently.

💡Sub-genre

A sub-genre is a more specific category within a broader genre. It combines elements of the main genre with unique characteristics or themes. Sub-genres allow for more nuanced storytelling and cater to specific audience interests.

💡Story Idea

A story idea is the initial concept or premise that forms the basis for a narrative. It can be inspired by various sources, such as personal experiences, news articles, or other stories. The challenge for a writer is to develop this idea into a fully fleshed-out screenplay.

💡Protagonist

The protagonist, also known as the hero, is the main character around whom the story revolves. They typically have a goal or need that drives the narrative and undergoes a transformation or change throughout the story.

💡Supporting Characters

Supporting characters are secondary figures in a screenplay that help to develop the story and the main character. They reflect or contrast with the protagonist's traits and values, contributing to the narrative's themes and conflicts.

💡Story Beats

Story beats are the significant events or turning points in a narrative that propel the story forward. They create a sense of movement and maintain the audience's interest by providing changes or developments in the plot.

💡Resolution

Resolution refers to the conclusion or ending of a story where conflicts are addressed, and the protagonist's journey reaches a climax. The resolution can be open-ended, leaving some questions unanswered, or it can provide a sense of closure and satisfaction for the audience.

Highlights

The foundation of any short film is the script.

Understanding genre is crucial for a professional screenwriter.

Each genre is written differently and has its own structure and character development.

Studying movies within a genre can provide insights into what's expected from a screenplay within that genre.

Christopher Nolan's use of exposition in his films can be traced back to his understanding and love for film noir.

The genre of a film informs the audience's expectations and is essential for a successful story.

Great stories can be found all around us, from life experiences, news articles, and stories from friends.

Character equals story; the main character drives and forms the narrative.

The character's flaws and desires should be central to the story's progression.

Screenplays are structured into three phases: beginning, middle, and end.

Good structure helps in writing a screenplay and keeping it tightly paced.

Story beats, or changes in the story, should happen roughly every minute to keep the audience engaged.

Supporting characters should reflect or conflict with the main character, emphasizing the story's themes.

The resolution of the short story depends on the genre and the filmmaker's creative choice.

Some shorts leave the audience in suspense, which can be more effective than a clear resolution.

Deciding on the total length of the short film before writing can help maintain a tight pace and avoid bloating.

Using 'butt' and 'therefore' can help create a structured and engaging story beat.

Avoid episodic storytelling; ensure each event drives the story and creates structure.

Transcripts

play00:00

the basis of any short film is the

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script and in this video i'm going to

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tell you what i've learned

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about how to write a compelling short

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film with the potential to

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win awards and impress investors

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the first short i ever wrote with no

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knowledge of screenplay writing

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was picked up by a tv company in the uk

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but back then i was still raw in the

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meantime i've learned

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so much about screenwriting things that

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will save you

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time and help you create a perfect

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structure

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and add the necessary emotional layers

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to your screenplays

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[Music]

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one of the biggest differences between a

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professional screenwriter and an

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amateur is an understanding of genre

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other tutorials on how to write a

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screenplay will give you a set of tips

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to follow as if

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every genre requires the same a set up

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three-dimensional characters and so on

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in fact a lot of screenwriting books do

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this too

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they talk as if every movie has the same

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level of character development and the

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same kind of structure

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but if you study movies you'll find each

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genre is written

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in a different way and one of the

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biggest failings of the new writer

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is a lack of understanding of genre

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the genre of a film is basically just

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the

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type of film it is the big genres are

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horror thriller romance drama comedy and

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action

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but there are also sub-genres a film

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noir

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is a sub-genre of the thriller genre and

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a film like blade runner

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is a science fiction noir so that means

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it has elements of science fiction

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but also contains many elements of those

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old

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film noirs made in the 1940s and 50s

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so the writers of the screenplay

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absolutely understood their noir genre

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as well as science fiction

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horror films can also be divided into

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sub

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genres so your script is going to change

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depending on the genre

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and subgenre for example a slasher

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horror film does not need

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complex multi-layered characters but a

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mystery horror film

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like rosemary's baby for example does

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when i first started writing i really

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had no clue about genre so i just wrote

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what i thought was an interesting story

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the problem is if you don't know your

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genre you can put a ton of time

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and effort into the wrong things fans of

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slasher horror films probably don't want

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to sit through an

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hour of slowly building tension like in

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rosemary's baby

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after 10 minutes with no shocks or gore

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they might just

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stop watching your movie but if you

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watch a dozen slasher horror movies

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before you start writing one you'll get

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a good idea of what's expected

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did you ever wonder why christopher

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nolan films

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have so much exposition in them

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exposition

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is when characters in a film explain the

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plot

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for the benefit of the audience it can

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come across

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as bad writing if done in a way which

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feels unnatural

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screenwriting manuals will often tell

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you to avoid exposition

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as much as possible and yet one of the

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most successful filmmakers

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ever does it all the time did you know

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christopher nolan

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is a fan of film noir did you also know

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one common element of film noir

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is characters explaining the plot

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remember i'll do all the talking

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so perhaps we can make a guess that

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nolan's love of

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film noir led him to see exposition

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as an attractive storytelling method

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film noise

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used exposition because it was cheaper

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and quicker

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to have a character tell everyone what

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happened than to film it in fact the

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whole genre of noir came out of budget

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restrictions

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filmmakers had to think of innovative

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ways to tell their story without so many

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sets

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without hundreds of extras and truck

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loads of equipment

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my point is you can pretty much trace

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nolan's huge success back to his

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understanding of genre because

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film noir has informed all his movies

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since

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reinterpreted in his unique way we can't

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say what's wrong or right about a story

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unless we lay down the genre rules

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without those rules

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specific to each style of movie how can

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we know what an audience

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expects without referring to genre we're

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basically saying we don't

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care what our audience wants and that is

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a very egotistical way of creating a

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story

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and one that is perhaps doomed to fail

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why is genre so important well think of

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your own movie going experiences

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if you go to see a comedy you're

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expecting to laugh

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that is basically your number one demand

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for this movie

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multi-layered emotional character arcs

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perfect story structure

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are really secondary needs if you go to

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see a romance

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you're obviously expecting something

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romantic to happen in the story

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you're expecting the characters to act

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in a romantic way you're expecting the

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majority of the movie to be about the

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theme of love

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on the other hand if you go to see an

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action movie you don't give a darn about

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the romantic element you want to see

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epic action sequences acted out by tough

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characters

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and if you go to see a drama now you

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want those multi-dimensional characters

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with layered emotional character arcs

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and this is true of short films as much

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as it is

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of long form films

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once you've chosen your genre you can

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now think about your

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story idea of course you may do this the

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other way around you might think of a

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story idea

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and then consider which genre it fits

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into

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for example you might have an idea

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involving a crime

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like a bank robbery this might lend

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itself to the thriller genre or the film

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noir

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thriller sub-genre that depends on how

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you want to tell it

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by combining your story idea with a

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genre you define

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what is required in the screenplay for

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example

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is the film drive an action movie a

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romance a thriller

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or a film noir thriller well probably a

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little bit of each

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the director nicholas finding reffen is

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really

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an art house director which is why he

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was able to make what is quite an

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unusual film but on release a number of

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viewers complained the film did not

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deliver

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what they were expecting because the

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film was sold

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as an action car chase movie but turned

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out to be something

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a bit weirder than that how do we find

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ideas for stories the first thing to

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understand is that

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everything is a story this video is a

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story

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what you did today is a story why you

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are watching my video is a story

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but i i get it how do you find that

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unique

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one in a million idea that everyone will

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think is awesome

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and make me a successful filmmaker i

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hear you ask

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that was the mistake i made when i

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started writing

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i thought an idea had to be mind-blowing

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or there was no point in telling it but

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this way of thinking can result in

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rather artificial or gimmicky stories

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with experience i've learned that great

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stories are all around us

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from our own life experience from news

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articles

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from stories friends tell us and so on

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the challenge

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here is to turn those inspirations into

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a short script

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so what is the common element of all the

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stories no matter

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what genre

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if you understand one thing understand

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that character

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equals story the main character

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sometimes known as the

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hero or protagonist not only drives your

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story

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but also forms it but what do i mean

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character equals story many guides on

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how to write a screenplay will tell you

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character is an element amongst other

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elements but what i

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say is character is everything not just

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an element

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therefore by forming the character you

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are

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forming the screenplay let's take the

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example of the story pinocchio

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pinocchio is the main character from the

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children's novel the adventures of

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pinocchio

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written in 1883. pinocchio is a wooden

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puppet who wants to be

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human the problem is that he frequently

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tells lies

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and when he does so his nose grows

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longer

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now even if for some reason you've never

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encountered the story of pinocchio

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either from the book or the 1940s disney

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film

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or later versions i'm sure your mind is

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conjuring up

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all kinds of scenarios to do with a

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puppet becoming

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human and lying and nose is growing the

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adventures experienced by pinocchio

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generally stem from a naive puppet

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wanting to become a human boy and his

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major flaw

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of lying in other words the character

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pinocchio

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forms the story called pinocchio or in

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the case of the book

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it's called the adventures of pinocchio

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what happens when character doesn't

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equal story

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so let's say you want to write a science

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fiction story about a new drug

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which makes people superhuman after

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taking it

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so you start to get ideas for this drug

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and what it could do

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you start to imagine scenes and start

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putting these scenes together

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at some point in this process a main

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character forms

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but only because you know a film has to

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have a main character

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problem is you're not too interested in

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this main character but you know

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he or she has to be there to experience

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these scenes you came up with

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basically you invent a main character to

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hang your series of scenes on

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but they could be anyone really what

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happens is that the main character in

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this script often feels like a victim of

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circumstance

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things out of their control are just

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happening to them for no apparent reason

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or the character is somehow inconsistent

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it doesn't feel like they're driving the

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story

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rather the story is kind of driving them

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and that's because in fact the writer

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has made

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the drug the main character

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now let's go back to the start and try

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again

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this time you have an idea for a science

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fiction story about a new drug which

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makes people superhuman

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but instead of writing a bunch of scenes

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about the drug you stop

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and you think about the character what

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kind of character would be most

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attracted to this drug

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perhaps a guy who was bullied all his

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childhood

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and is still bullied now as an adult by

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his boss

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his wife his so-called friends basically

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he's a wimp okay this story is already

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sounding

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a little old-fashioned but it's fine for

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this example

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the point is this is a guy who would do

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anything to get his hands on this drug

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perhaps so now we have a rough idea of

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our main character

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does this guy invent the drug or is he

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recruited

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as a willing guinea pig well that's up

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to you the storyteller to decide what's

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important

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is the character is consistent and that

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the characters

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actions drive the story

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what does your hero want when we refer

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to the hero of a story

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we really mean the main character or

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protagonist

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it's often good for the hero to have an

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exterior need

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which somehow satisfies an interior need

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for example our hero has to beat his

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boss in a charity boxing match

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this will show everyone he's not the

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wimp they all think he is

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more specifically to meet his inner need

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he wants to show his bullying father a

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man who has always been hypocritical of

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him

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but the boss is a fitness freak who

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works out at the gym twice a day while

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our hero

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is all intellect and little muscle but

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with the aid of this new drug he becomes

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a hulking superhero

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easily capable of winning the match now

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do you see how using character brings

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depth

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and consistency to your story but what

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about structure

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[Music]

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oscar-winning screenwriter william

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goldman said

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screenplays are structure the full quote

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goes something like screenplays are

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structure and that's

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all they are the quality of writing

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which is crucial in almost

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every other form of literature is not

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what makes a screenplay work

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structure isn't anything else but

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telling the story

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starting as late as possible starting

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each

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scene as late as possible now that's a

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great tip

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but for now think in terms of beginning

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middle and

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end so you have your genre you have your

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idea and you have a main character who

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somehow

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reflects or connects with that idea the

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next step

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is to think about what might happen for

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the duration of the story

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good structure is not only part of a

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good screenplay it also helps you write

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a screenplay

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so you can think of your story as three

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phases

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the beginning is the setup or

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introduction to the story

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how you write this depends a lot on the

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genre of the screenplay

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you might want to spend time

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establishing your main character

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or you might just want to get quickly to

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the main action

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how long this section is will depend on

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the whole length of your film

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if you're making a two minute short you

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probably don't want to spend

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90 seconds on the beginning silent i is

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a series of five short films i created

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you can watch them via amazon prime or

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patreon

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episode 1 you have been chosen is about

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an

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indecisive woman who downloads an app

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which promises to make

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better decisions for her as the whole

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script needed to be about 10 pages

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i gave myself two pages for the

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beginning phase

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and in those two pages i showed how

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indecisive and how

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unhappy the main character is and this

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motivates her to download

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the decider app

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the middle of your script would normally

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form the biggest portion of the script

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as a whole

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this phase is where the action develops

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and builds

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towards the end this is where you can

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explore the ideas

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the drama and the conflicts of the story

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we often start this phase when something

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new and unusual happens to the character

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in you have been chosen the hero is sent

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an invitation to download the decider

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app

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her decision to download it changes the

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course of her life

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completely and that's the kind of event

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you would think about putting at the

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start of this section

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now we follow her journey in this middle

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section

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as she allows the app to make her life

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decisions in this middle section

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everything gets better and better for

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her as she does

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everything the app says even when the

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app appears to be making bad decisions

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the app is eventually

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proved right the middle section doesn't

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just go in a straight line

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it develops the hero gets more entangled

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in the consequences of their action

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taken at the start of this phase and i

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believe

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you will create a stronger script here

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if the stakes

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get higher and higher the further the

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middle section progresses

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[Music]

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the end is the climax of the story the

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point at which

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everything that has gone before comes to

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a moment

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where a final confrontation can no

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longer be avoided

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like the beginning this phase is usually

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somewhat shorter than the middle

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in you have been chosen the hero is

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instructed to do something she would

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never have contemplated doing at the

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start of the story

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but the raising of the stakes during the

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middle section

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now leaves her with a fatal decision

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lose

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everything the app has given her or

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commit a terrible deed

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which is it to be and in the screenplay

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for this short

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this end section arrives at page nine

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of a ten page script so you can see that

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it really is quite a short portion of

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the script

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as a whole now

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this short is a science fiction thriller

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so

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a dark disturbing and murderous ending

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is appropriate but if you're short as a

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romance

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it's more likely to be the lover's last

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chance to profess

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their undying love for each other if

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it's a drama

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the climax will often relate to the

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hero's inner demons

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in an action movie the hero will need to

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defeat whatever evil force is trying to

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take over the world

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or something like that if you know your

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genre well you will have a better idea

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of how your short should progress

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during the beginning middle and end

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phases of the story

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the originality of your work will come

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from the imaginative way

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you approach the genre and place your

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unique

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stamp on it part of your structure

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decision is

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deciding how long to make your short now

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everyone works differently

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but i personally recommend deciding how

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long your short will be

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in total before you start writing and

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make your short

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as short as you can i'm a festival

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director as well as a filmmaker and one

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of the most

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common reasons for a film to miss out on

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selection over another film

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is length ask any other festival

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director and they will say the same

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filmmakers have made a good film but

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they weren't ruthless enough when

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writing or editing a common fatal

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mistake by new writers is to start

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writing with no thought to the structure

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their scripts and resulting short films

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are often

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bloated and the pace drags but

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by deciding on the total length of your

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script first

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this will help you to keep your short

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tightly paced

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once i've decided a length for my shorts

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i write a story beat for each page of

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the script

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a story beat is when something happens

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or changes

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like it's some kind of twist to the

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story and this means something is

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changing in the story roughly every

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minute and this helps to keep people

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watching

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this makes your script into a page

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turning script

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and when it gets made into a movie it's

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gonna

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be more likely that your audience will

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stay engaged

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of course you can write a 30 minute

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short consisting of one scene of

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dialogue between two characters if you

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want

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as long as you're aware that you'll have

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to work extra hard to keep your

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audience's attention

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avoid your story going this happens and

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then this happens and then this happens

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these kinds of stories are what's known

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as episodic

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in other words there's no twists

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something happens and then something

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else happens

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just a series of events instead try to

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make

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each story beat a butt or a therefore

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like this bill is a nerdy wimp who turns

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down a challenge by his muscled boss

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to a charity boxing match but bill reads

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about a pill

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which gives you super powers therefore

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bill orders some of these pills and now

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accepts the challenge

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but just before the match bill's wife

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finds the pills

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and throws them down the toilet do you

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see how using these two words

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helps you to give your story structure

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the twists and turns of your story

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are the story beats you hang your whole

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screenplay on

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however if you used the word then

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instead you could write

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anything like this for example bill is a

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nerdy wimp who turns down a challenge by

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his muscle boss to a charity boxing

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match

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then bill goes out to lunch with his

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friend then bill goes home and watches

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tv

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then bill mows the lawn you see all

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these events are unrelated

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they don't drive the story they don't

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create any structure and they lead to an

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aimless wandering plot that people will

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soon get tired of watching

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[Music]

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so i've talked a lot about the hero of

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this story and how their character

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is the story other characters in the

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story

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the supporting characters are just that

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they support

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the hero character or the main character

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now i don't mean they are kind and

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caring characters

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looking after the hero far from it

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although that

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might be one type of character what i

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mean

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is they support the depiction of the

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main character

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in a sense they are facets or

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reflections of the hero

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they are there to represent ideas

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emotions personalities that conflict

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with or emphasize the idea of the story

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for example that idea i just had about

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the wimp who takes a superhero pill to

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beat his muscle-bound bullying boss in

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the boxing match

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the boss character is in some ways the

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direct opposite of the hero

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he represents perhaps what the hero

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wishes he could be

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so you see the boss is not just a

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randomly generated supporting character

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he is defined by the hero and

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all your supporting characters should in

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some way

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derive from the hero too and this is why

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i say

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the main character is the story

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because they define literally everything

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in the story

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supporting characters story beats

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locations

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props dialogue everything and once you

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understand this and apply it to your

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story you'll save yourself a huge amount

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of time

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then all you need to do is create the

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main character

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and the rest grows from that and it

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helps you

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stay on track because one danger in

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screenwriting

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is to get lost in the development

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process if something isn't right

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we make changes but this has a domino

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effect on the rest of the script

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and it's very easy to lose track of what

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you originally wanted to do

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your script can then mutate into

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something completely different

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as a writer your mind gets tired and you

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can't tell anymore what is right or

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wrong

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so you show it to some friends but they

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all have different ideas of what you

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should do

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and now you're more confused than ever

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but by letting everything grow from the

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main character

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i find i never get lost in this way when

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i'm writing

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because i simply refer back to the main

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character

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as long as any changes i make are true

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to that character

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then there's a good chance they will be

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productive changes

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if you get your main character right he

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or she

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is then the anchor which holds the rest

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in place

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how your short story resolves is up to

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you

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some shorts have a satisfying ending

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where the hero learns and changes

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this is especially true in dramas but

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take the short horror film lights out

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which was such a

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huge hit on youtube it was made into a

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feature film

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this short is the model of brevity

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there's almost

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no setup at all and the film ends with a

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shock which

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doesn't resolve anything it rather

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leaves you in a state of suspense

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we don't know what happens to the hero

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at the end and so we can only

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imagine what might have happened and of

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course leaving the audience in suspense

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like that

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is much more disturbing than having a

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final battle or some kind of

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resolution even having the hero killed

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at the end would probably be

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less disturbing than leaving us

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wandering so again

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how you resolve your story depends a lot

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on the genre of the film

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but it's also a creative choice do you

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want to leave the story open-ended or do

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you want the story to end in a more

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finalized way which is usually more

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comforting for the audience

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or maybe it just suddenly stops without

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warning

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