If your film is about an astronaut who gets stranded in space, your first turning-
If your film is about a woman who gets kidnapped by a serial-
If your film is about a dog who learns how to speak English -
If your film is about a towering inferno, the fire breaks out in the apartment building at your first turning-
What’s your screenplay about? When people ask, what do you tell them?
‘It’s about a guy who…’ A guy who does… Something.
Well, that something is your first turning-
The first turning-
When you tell people what your screenplay is about, you are telling them what the first turning-
‘My movie is about a guy who has to save the world from giant, killer caterpillars!’
Well, the giant wormy ones probably start attacking at the first turning-
Audiences are fickle. They will give you a while to get to the point, but they won’t give you forever. And, attention-
Like 22 minutes fast. The length of a typical sitcom.
If you don’t tell your audience what’s going on for half-
If your first turning-
Also, you don’t want it too early. You need to introduce everyone first. And, definitely don’t mistake the inciting-
Pay attention to where the first turning point is in every movie you watch! You’ll notice that it’s always around minute 23 or so. At Minute 15, you’ll have no idea what’s going on, but by Minute 25, you know exactly what’s going on and exactly what the protagonist has to do.
When I tell you that a lot of people in Hollywood don’t even know this stuff, I’m not kidding! For instance, ALLIED (2016) was on cable last night, so let’s talk about that movie. It’s a $100+ million budget film about a Canadian intelligence officer in WWII, starring Brad Pitt.
Now, before I even watched the film, I looked it up online and noticed that it wasn’t a Canadian co-
Back to the film… Allied is about Brad Pitt’s Canadian air-
It’s obvious, right? This-
The 1st turning-
But, the screenwriter puts it in the wrong place! It doesn’t come until almost an hour into the film! If you’re wondering why the film is so boring -
So, how did this get made? And, not just made, but how did it garner a hundred-
So, what’s so bad that they had to make the protagonist a Canadian?… Well, the second turning-
Obviously, this type of character couldn’t possibly be American (or British). Sigh...