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Second Act Screenwriting Tip

Second Act Screenwriting Tip

When people write loglines or a “premise test,” they often write one that misses the meat of the story. Stories aren't just about the setup of an idea, it's about the execution of that idea. That execution occurs in the second act. Here's a simple trick to make sure you have a second act. Next time … Read More


LA Confidential Beat Sheet

L.A. Confidential

Director Curtis Hanson and his co-writer, Brian Helgeland, have taken a massively complex novel by James Ellroy and boiled it down to a no-flab … Read More

Vertigo Analysis


At the very beginning of the movie, we see Scottie vaulting across rooftops, struggling to keep up with the policeman ahead of him as he realizes … Read More


True Romance Beat Sheet

True Romance

Written by Quentin Tarantino Directed by Tony Scott Running Time: 117 minutes Year: 1993 Poster by Matt Ryan BASIC STORY MAP PROTAGONIST: Clarence Worley, 20-something comic shop … Read More

Alien Beat Sheet


Screenplay by Dan O'Bannon Story by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett Directed by Ridley Scott Running time: 114 minutes Year: 1979 BASIC STORY MAP PROTAGONIST: Ripley, female warrant officer onboard … Read More

The Karate Kid Beat Sheet 1984

The Karate Kid

Written by Robert Mark Kamen Directed by John G. Avildsen Running time: 123 minutes Year: 1984 BASIC STORY MAP PROTAGONIST: Daniel LaRusso, high school senior CHARACTERIZATION|MAIN MISBEHAVIOR: Weakling … Read More

Gravity Beat Sheet


Written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón Directed by Alfonso Cuarón Running time: 84 minutes Year: 2013 Click Here To Download the Script (PDF) BASIC STORY MAP PROTAGONIST: Dr. Ryan Stone, medical … Read More