DZ-10: Midpoint Reversals and The Ride

Stu and Chas embark on the first of a series of explorations into the dreaded Second Act. Their first stop is midpoint reversals or shifts, a plot point bang in the middle of ACT II that changes the protagonist’s goal, raises the stakes and potentially leaves your audience leaning forward and asking “How the hell is this going to end?”.

To get to the bottom of what makes a good midpoint shift (and whether your story needs one or not), Stu and Chas ride through DEATH AT A FUNERAL, PRISONERS, SHORT TERM 12, ALIEN, ALIENS and UP. We also drift across FULL METAL JACKET, PHILOMENA, HOW I LIVE NOW, ELYSIUM, DIE HARD and STAR WARS. Of course. Stu couldn’t resist. It’s not even funny anymore, is it?

DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions

INT. EPISODE 5 – MIDDAY Can forcing your audience to ask questions – and then answering them – trigger an emotional response? Stu and Chas delve into audience point of view – not character point of view! Does your audience know more, less or the same as your characters? And does changing this within a […]

DZ-01: Do Screenplay Gurus win you Oscars?

INT. EPISODE 1 – NIGHT Do Oscar-Nominated screenwriters follow the structural formulas prescribed by the ‘gurus’ and books? Stu and Chas analyse two screenplays nominated for Academy Awards in 2014 – PHILOMENA and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – to see whether they follow the structural theories espoused by Blake Snyder, Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler. LINKS: […]