Video: Robert McKee On Formulaic Writing

When McKee speaks, many listen because he likes to be blunt. Here he seems to go against the likes of Michael Hauge, who place certain turning points at certain pages or percentages of the script. But the Queen Bee Guru gets it wrong, too…

At some point during this video, McKee says

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” was in seven acts.
It could be seven, eight, nine acts structures,
in “Speed,” if you counted the major reversals
in a chase film like “Speed” it’s probably nine.”

Thereby he ignores the difference between a sequence and an act. This is not helpful. As a matter of fact, the more I hear McKee, the more I wonder whether he actually has much practical advice to offer for screenwriters.

What do you think?

With thanks to Louise Lee Mei and Niels Abercrombie.

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