Structure: Michael Clayton

A structural overview of Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy, 2007) in 8 Sequences. When I watched the film during its theatrical release, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Because of the relatively low budget (an estimated USD$25m) for its production values, Tony Gilroy was able to make some brave non-commercial decisions with his screen story. This didn’t go … Read more

Question: Abbreviations

Question: Can you abbreviate “Mister” into “Mr.” in a film script? Answer: Abbreviations are allowed in character headings (names) and Action, but not in Dialogue. Any spoken words need to be fully printed, to keep an approximate page count/screen time ratio of 1p/min. Question: Does that mean I have to use ‘Missus’ instead of ‘Mrs’? … Read more

Inciting Incident in Backstory?

Question: Is it possible for the Inciting Incident to happen in backstory? Answer: Technically, ‘backstory’ is not in the movie. It is the history of your characters before the time the story starts. Because we need to see the Inciting Incident and how it affects the protagonist, it cannot happen in the backstory. However, the … Read more

Conscious vs. Unconscious Desire

Question: When McKee talks about the conscious desire being a contradiction of the unconscious desire, would you relate this to the mid act 2 reversal / change in approach? Or would this be true from the very start of the story, script or life of the protagonist? Answer: Let’s start with quoting exactly what it … Read more

POV: Ratatouille’s Deleted Scene

RATATOUILLE has 1 (one) deleted scene. It is a long, uninterrupted travel from a wide establishing shot of the Paris skyline down to street level, through the Auguste Gusteau restaurant and ending on a medium shot of Remi. The shot could have been spectacular, reminding of the opening shot of TOUCH OF EVIL and its … Read more