How can your first act effectively establish your character journey?
First Acts are hard. They have to set so much in motion, especially setting up characters. To help them understand how to write effective first acts better, Stu and Chas turn their analytical gaze to a franchise that has been refining and reiterating its first act “schema” for over a decade… THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.
The MCU has made (to date) six separate origin films, each tasked with establishing their titular characters. So you’d think they’d have found some patterns that works for them. In this episode, we take a look at three of these: IRON MAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and DOCTOR STRANGE. Stu also makes numerous comparisons to THOR, and we enthuse about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol 2.
As we breakdown where these first acts succeed (and, er, not-succeed), our discussion moves through sequence structure, macguffins, supporting characters, exposition… and — most importantly — Character Wounds and Character Flaws.
Even if you don’t care for MCU films, there is plenty to learn from how they approach their first acts.
… and stick around after the end credits, for an important announcement re: our launching of a Patreon.
Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3.
- DRAFT ZERO – Related Episodes
- IRON MAN w: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway [@ 7m 42s]
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY w: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman [@ 39m 08s]
- DOCTOR STRANGE w: Jon Spaihts and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill [@ 1hr 18m 13s]
- WRAP UP [@ 1hr 47m 28s]
- WHAA? PATREON? [@1hr 57m 08s]
Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcast! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
Thanks to Khrob and Nick for being patrons. They’re good people.