In the first part of our series on ensembles, Chas, Stu and Mel start by laying the groundwork for our future episodes. And we begin by asking the seemingly innocuous question: ‘what do we mean by calling a story an ensemble?’
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?