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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Something on Computers

Recently I was browsing the web and found these good wikipedia articles.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scriptwriting formula

Have you ever checked out ?
Checkout the section on the "theories on writing a screenplay". I liked Syd Field's Paradigm.
Here is a copy/paste of the same:

Syd Field's Paradigm
Screenwriting guru Syd Field wrote the seminal book
Screenplay, and posited a new theory, which he called the Paradigm. Field
noticed that in a 120-page screenplay, Act Two was notoriously boring, and was
also twice the length of Acts One and Three. He also noticed that an important
dramatic event usually occurred at the middle of the picture, which implied to
him that the middle act was actually two acts in one. So the Three Act Structure
is notated 1, 2a, 2b, 3, resulting in Aristotle's Three Acts divided into four

Field also introduced the idea of Plot Points into screenwriting
theory. Plot Points are important structural functions that happen in
approximately the same place in most successful movies, like the verses and
choruses in a popular song. In subsequent books, Field has added to his original
list, and students of his like Viki King and Linda Seger have added to the list
of Plot Points. Here is a current list of the major Plot Points that are
congruent with Field's Paradigm:

Opening Image: The first image in the
screenplay should summarize the entire film, especially its tone. Often, writers
go back and redo this as the last thing before submitting the script.

Inciting Incident: Also called the catalyst, this is the point in the
story when the Protagonist encounters the problem that will change their life.
This is when the detective is assigned the case, where Boy meets Girl, and where
the Comic Hero gets fired from his cushy job, forcing him into comic

Plot Point 1: The last scene in Act One, Turning Point
One is a surprising development that radically changes the Protagonist's life,
and forces him to confront the Opponent. In Star Wars, this is when Luke's
family is killed by the Empire. He has no home to go back to, so he joins the
Rebels in opposing Darth Vader.

Pinch 1: A reminder scene at about 3/8
the way through the script (halfway through Act 2a) that brings up the central
conflict of the drama, reminding us of the overall conflict. For example, in
Star Wars, Pinch 1 is the Stormtroopers attacking the Millennium Falcon in Mos
Eisley, reminding us the Empire is after the stolen plans to the Death Star
R2-D2 is carrying and Luke and Ben Kenobi are trying to get to the Rebel
Alliance (the main conflict).

Midpoint: An important scene in the middle
of the script, often a reversal of fortune or revelation that changes the
direction of the story. Field suggests that driving the story towards the
Midpoint keeps the second act from sagging.

Pinch 2: Another reminder
scene about 5/8 through the script (halfway through Act 2b) that is somehow
linked to Pinch 1 in reminding the audience about the central conflict. In Star
Wars, Pinch 2 is the Stormtroopers attacking them as they rescue the Princess in
the Death Star. Both scenes remind us of the Empire's opposition, and using the
Stormtrooper attack motif unifies both Pinches.

Plot Point 2: A dramatic
reversal that ends Act 2 and begins Act 3, which is about confrontation and
resolution. Sometimes Turning Point Two is the moment when the Hero has had
enough and is finally going to face the Opponent. Sometimes, like in Toy Story,
it's the low-point for the Hero, and he must bounce back to overcome the odds in
Act 3.

Showdown: About midway through Act 3, the Protagonist will
confront the Main Problem of the story and either overcome it, or come to a
tragic end.

Resolution: The issues of the story are resolved.

Tag: An epilogue, tying up the loose ends of the story, giving the
audience closure. This is also known as denouement. In general, films in recent
decades have had longer denouements than films made in the 1970s or earlier.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Real Deal

As I think more and more about creating a realistic character for a screen play, I am more and more drawn to shape the character based on learning from great authors (thanks Dad for suggesting this).
As you might know thoughts lead to actions; repeated actions lead to habits; such habits form one's character; and character leads to destiny. So to change your destiny change your thoughts.
Use the same formula to shape or transform a character.