Posts tagged ‘script structure’

October 3, 2013

Structuring Your Script with the Dan Harmon Story Circle

tumblr_me6eh0wcMR1rwq0obo1_500The Dan Harmon Story Circle may be the best thing since the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Harmon’s work, he’s the creator of the innovative comedy series Community and was the head writer on The Sarah Silverman Program.

Harmon has a theory of story that he built off of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. The basic idea is quite simple:

Storytelling comes naturally to humans, but since we live in an unnatural world, we sometimes need a little help doing what we’d naturally do.

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May 6, 2013

Video: Story-Mapping Iron Man 3

In this video Kal Bashir of How to Structure a Successful Story recently laid out a story map for Iron Man 3 (you’ll want to see the film before watching this, unless you don’t mind spoilers).

Kal outlines the structure of a number of great films on his website including Silver Linings Playbook and Skyfall — I highly recommend you check it out.

April 19, 2011

Know the Rules, Then Bend Them: Ben Ripley on Source Code

This great interview from the WGA talks with Ben Ripley about the writing of Source Code. Ben wrote the script on spec and had to complete a few full rewrites before getting to the structure you see on screen:

When Ben Ripley first came up with the idea for Source Code, in which government operative Colter Stevens repeatedly relives the eight minutes leading up to a terrorist train bombing in hopes of finding the bomber, he had no intention of writing it on spec. Having established himself in Hollywood largely doing “studio rewrites on horror movies,” he felt a solid pitch would do the trick. Unfortunately, it didn’t. “I sat down with a few producers, and the first couple just looked at me like I was nuts,” confesses Ripley. “Ultimately, I had to put it on the page to make my case.”

So he wrote it on his own dime and, given the idea of a parallel universe-bending time traveler was already pretty esoteric, he played it safe with the structure, churning out a standard Syd Field-style script. As the writer puts it: “It was very plodding and things happened in a completely comprehensible way.”

And how’d that work out? “It was underwhelming. We thrashed around with rewriting that, and it was still underwhelming.”

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