How can the middle of your film pivot so much that it pulls the rug out of your audience?
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?
- The Story Department by Karel Segers: That Mid Point Thing
- Scriptshadow: GSU!!!
- Broken Projector Podcast: Amazing movies you have to wait a year to see
- Draft Zero: DZ-07: How much Bull is left in the Hustle?
- Youtube: Midpoint from HOW I LIVE NOW
- Youtube: DEATH AT A FUNERAL trailer
- PHILOMENA by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
- Draft Zero: DZ-01: Do Screenplay Gurus win you Oscars?
- PRISONERS by Aaron Gusikowski
- Youtube: UP Official Trailer #3
- ALIEN by Walter Hill and David Giler
- TV Tropes: Genre Blindness
- ALIENS by James Cameron
- Mike Jones: Star Wars is NOT Science Fiction. Mad Max is NOT a Road Movie.
- UP by Bob Peterson and Pete Doctor
- SHORT TERM 12 by Destin Daniel Crettin
- Youtube: Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio featuring L.V. (with appearance by Michelle Pfeiffer)
- Youtube: Star Wars – That’s no moon…
- Amazon (non-affiliated link): Bruce Block’s The Visual Story: Creating the Visual Structure of Film, TV and Digital Media
- Restoration: http://www.restorationseries.com/
- Kickstarter: RESTORATION – An online sci-fi mini-series by Stuart Willis
- TRUE GRIT page excerpt:
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