Inciting Incident: Planting the Bomb

Keeping the audience interested throughout the ‘setup’ is a major challenge as professional readers won’t last until the Inciting Incident if the first ten or twelve pages don’t deliver. The ‘setup’ is often a complete sequence in which we see the ‘Ordinary World’, the protagonist’s ‘normal life’, an area of the story that by its … Read more

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

Blade Runner: The 8 Mins First Act

If you want to be a professional screenwriter, be open to spoilers. Furthermore, be open to the weaknesses in your favourite films. Most often, it won’t harm your love for the film. Some of the handful of films I re-watch every year, I won’t mention in my seminars because I appreciate them for reasons other … Read more

Structure: The Lives of Others

A loyal agent for the Stasi spies on a playwright and his actress girlfriend. Intent on revealing their disloyalty to the GDR, the agent becomes involved in – and transformed by – their lives. [box]The Lives of Others (Das leben der anderen) (Germany, 2006) Written and Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck[/box] -by Stuart Voytilla … Read more

Inciting Incident: Definitions

Inciting Incident, Catalyst, Call to Adventure, Disturbance. All terms referring to the first crucial moment: the point where your story kicks off. Michael Hauge closes the first of his six story stages with it, at the 10% point of the story (10mins in a 100mins movie). Paul Gulino sees it as the end of the … Read more