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cinematic action, goal, human experience, protagonist, stakes, ticking clock, universal interest -

Lately, I’ve been watching THE BEAR. It’s a single-camera workplace half-hour comedy in construction, but as it takes place in a sandwich shop, with a chef for a protagonist, it’s also a cooking show. It is not the only cooking show; there are entire cable channels devoted this this sub-genre. We have star chefs who are famous with the general public. Cooking holds eternal interest for the viewing audience. It’s a very cinematic activity. We have a cacophonic ballet of action: roaring flames, clattering pots and pans, slicing knives, steam rising, ingredients sprinkling, the chef in constant activity and motion....

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BREAKING BAD, Goal, Motivation, Protagonist, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Sympathy, Three Pillars -

There are three pillars to keep in mind when crafting story in such a way that the audience can engage. These are: Goal, Motivation, Sympathy. Goal is simply an understanding of what the protagonist is trying to do. This should be the engine of the A-story; our story is about the protagonist pursuing the goal. If we don’t even know what the character is doing, then instead of story it’s just incident; stuff happening. There is no plot or momentum. If the audience can’t perceive or understand what the protagonist is trying to do, it’s easy for them to get...

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Aaron Sorkin, goal, hurdles, obstacle, pay-off, protagonist, set-up, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION -

Today I want to talk about structure. If you are a writer, you will inevitably talk or be asked about the structure of your film. When I first started writing, I remember thinking, “What does it mean for a story to have good or bad structure?”. You can’t Google, “story-structure”, and learn how to write your story in the right way, so how do you crack the code? This article will hopefully offer some insight into what it means to have a well-structured script, but I want to do it from a birds-eye view instead of analyzing every “beat” a...

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