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epic, fantasy, GAME OF THRONES, HARRY POTTER, HUNGER GAMES, INDIANA JONES, LOTR, NARNIA, saga, sci-fi, THE GODFATHER, THE HOBBIT, THE MATRIX, world-building -

My wife and I recently went back and watched the Lord of The Rings movies, and on my own I went back and watched The Hobbit(s) once we had finished the original trilogy (remember Hobbit was made after LOTR). It made me hyper aware of the epic scope that all Saga’s embody, and how powerful the world-building in those stories are. Other examples include: The Matrix, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, The Godfather, Harry Potter, Narnia, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean… In this article, I want to breakdown what those movies have in common, what...

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30 pages, Avatar, Ex Machina, First Act, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Screenwriting Groups, Star Wars, Table Reads, The Hunger Games, The Lion King, The Matrix, Titanic -

I run one of the largest writers’ groups in Hollywood, with writers at all different skill levels. Every week the group hears 30 pages of a screenplay acted out by professional actors (like a table read), then the rest of the writers in the group gives notes on the pages. As you can probably imagine, people mostly present the first 30 pages of a feature. At this point I have heard nearly 1000 Act One’s, and in this article, I want to discuss what makes an Act One FLY or DIE. There are multiple things you need to accomplish in...

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