three acts, Write a short film Part 3

Les trois actes, Ecrire un court-métrage Partie 3

Make a movie : write a short film part III

The three acts


In the last article : write a short film part II, we have seen how a scenario was composed of : The exposure, the development and the conclusion. With each of the sub-parts : the trigger, the node drama, the 2 nd node, a drama, the climax and the resolution. Make a film the following…..the 3 acts ;o)

To make a movie (your movie), we’ll see this week, in more detail, each of these phases. Let’s start with act 1.

The trigger :

In the 12 steps of the hero’s journey, there is the ordinary world, that is to say, a part that describes the world in which your hero advances. The triggeris the event that will change the life or the world of your hero, it is him who is going to start the adventure, Campbel, for example, calls this item : the call of adventure.

How is it definable ? this can be all kinds of events. For example, the loss of the work of the hero, which calls into question his life.

This leads us directly to the…

node drama

This step is there to try to answer the question that raises the trigger. Be aware that the 3 acts are linked between them ! Never forget it. Once you have learned the three acts, you will see that your sequences are related to each other…but back to our sheep ;o)

Let’s take an example : in the life of your hero, all goes well until one day he loses his job. Unfortunately for him, his firing comes the day when his daughter tells him of her marriage and comes to him asking for money. For not to disappoint, our hero promises him that he will pay, he didn’t say anything, as well as his wife, he will find a way to pay.

So, which upsets his life, c’ is well the loss of his job. He will have to find another to solve his problem.

It is going to have to wipe a few refusals because the hero must be confronted with itself in order to evolve, to change. He will have to accept to question.

This is something that he can’t do it alone. He’s going to have an adventure, it will have to go through and make its way. All of this change will take place in

Act 2 and the second node is dramatic

It is there that your heroes will surpass and succeed the trials that stand in his way so that he can complete his adventure.

In our case, our heroes can find another working but less paid, where her boss scam, it does so not his problem. Therefore, he must rethink his strategy and find another way to finance the marriage of his daughter. His wife can also discover the pot to the roses, which may lead to conflicts , but also open to other solutions….why not ! The action is restarted, which brings us to…

The climax

At this point in the story, our hero is going to pass the ultimate test of his adventure. For our hero, this can be the confrontation with his daughter who comes to ask for the check. How our hero will he get out of this situation ??

This is the moment that everyone is waiting for….

The act 3, the resolution

This is the part the more a short film, it must conclude the contract. If you have managed to bring your viewer up to here, you must give him satisfaction. Has he been able to find the money ? How ?

You must answer all the questions here. The resolution does not leave the viewer unsatisfied at the risk of missing your movie.

This does not prevent you having an open end, a closed or a fall.

What is an open end ?

It gives you the answer to the dramatic issue raised at the beginning. For example, if you take the knuckles of stone. the director answers to the question that the hero asks himself : by giving him a slap in the face. So this is not an open end. I invite you to consult the article by : directing a short film part II, which traces all the steps of this short Film.

In the bunker Of Paul Doucet (of which a user has sent me the link) : In the plan end, the heroine Mary climbs the stairs. The director responded to the questions but leaves the field free for spectators. Is Mary going to survive the radiation ? Is it that Mary will be atomize ? etc….

For the short film to drop, I think everyone knows what it is ;o)

But for your late work, you must have prepared the ground. To be more clear, it will be necessary that the viewer has subscribed to your story. For this, it took work on the history, the likelihood. But mostly working on the characters for there to be an identification.

Anyway, still a lot of things to think about and on which we have to work for your film to be good. Making a film is a long journey you will understand…

We will see in the next article how to make vraissemblant your story regardless of the genre. I don’t want to hear you say : “this is a movie ! if there are any weird stuff sometimes, this is not serious!!! “

Precisely, “ if there are things weird “ is that the characters and situations escape you because you don’t have them completely mastered….

Coming soon : Make a movie : write a short film part IV. You can also return to the site map and read other articles.


Tom Weil


Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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