• Start Here

    Logline

    Quite simply, what is your story about?
    Here are a few tips to improve your logline:

    • Make sure your logline contains irony
    • Use the question “What if?” to trigger the imagination
    • Can you make it universal?

    EDIT this card to replace this with your logline.

  • #TEASER#

    2-4 PAGES

  • Opening Image

    page 1

    If you had to choose a photo to establish what "the world" is like before your story starts, this is it.

    Make it stand out, because first impressions matter. They set the tone and mood and scope, and hook the audience (or reader).

    If it's a vast epic, the opening image should be grand. If it's a small intricate family drama, the opening images are small and subdued.

  • Theme Stated

    page 2-4

    It might not be clear at first, but your story should have a theme.

    You can think of the theme as an argument, that the rest of the movie has to prove.

    Remember that a theme is there to guide you as a story writer, and provide a strong undercurrent to your story. It's not a restriction, it's **a fountain** for your imagination. If you ever get stuck, go back to your theme and you will find your answer there.

  • Act I

    14-15 PAGES

    The Situation

    Present the “normal world” of your film—before everything goes haywire.

    The end of Act I should be a “point of no return.” Usually something is taken away from your protagonist, and they can never go back to the way things were.

    They have no choice but to continue into Act II.

  • Set-up

    pgs 4-8

    By the first 6 pages (or 8 at most), you need to have set up your story.

    If you think of your story as a cannon shot, by page 10 the cannon needs to be loaded, aimed, and ready to be fired.

  • Catalyst

    pg 8-15

    Again, with the cannon analogy: Your cannon is aimed in pages 1-10, it needs to actually fire by page 12.

    Here again, the size and scope of the catalyst event must match the size of your story. If it's a small drama, it could be a phone call announcing a death in the family, or it could be a breakup.

    If it's a sprawling epic, it should be something grander. The outbreak of war, or the destruction of a planet.

  • Debate

    pgs 15-20

    If your hero starts moving towards his goal immediately, it'll seem as though he's just reacting to what happens around him.

    No one wants to see a hero react, they want to see him or her *act*.

    That's what the debate section is for. This is where the hero shows that he/she knows that it'll be a long road, but consciously decides to act.

  • Act II

    14-15 PAGES

    Rising Action

    In the beginning of Act II, we get to explore the "new world" of the story. We meet its characters, as the hero is put through greater and greater challenges, until...

  • Break into Two

    pg 20

    Once the hero decides to act, it's time to step through a membrane, and enter the world of Act II.

  • B Story

    pg 20-30

    The audience has been through a lot of turmoil to get to this point. Introduce a secondary story to give them a rest.

    This B story usually involves a romance, or a new friendship, or some other relationship with a character from the "new world" of Act II.

    It also serves two useful tools for you as a writer:
    1. It lets you have a second storyline to "cut to", when needed. It's like having a second camera to cut to when editing.
    2. It's an avenue you can use to discuss the theme.

    This is where the B Story starts, but it runs throughout the rest of the movie.

  • Fun and Games

    pgs 25-35

    This is where you get to have fun (yes, even in a serious drama).

    With your logline, you asked a question: "What would happen if ____?"
    This is where you answer that question.

    You've set up your story, your characters, and propelled them along in their journey. This is where you get to explore what happens.

    If there was a teaser for your movie, most scenes will come from this section.

  • Act III

    14-15 PAGES

    Raise the Stakes

    Something drastic happens, to change the course of the hero's journey. Where before things felt like "rising action", now it feels like "spiraling out of control". The challenges seem insurmountable, and the hero is beat down, again and again.

  • Bad Guys Close In !!

    pgs 35-40

    Things get progressively worse... the challenges are getting harder, while the hero is getting more downtrodden.

    Don't hold back, or feel sorry for your hero. Give 'em hell.

  • Midpoint

    pg 40-45

    Your cannonball has reached it's peak. The fun and games are over. There's no better way to put this, than: "Shit just got serious!"

    The midpoint is where the stakes are raised. If people are to die in your story, this is where the first character dies. If it's a smaller drama, a bombshell is dropped here.

    Something important has to happen at the midpoint.

  • All is Lost

    pg 45-48

    .. until it seems there's no hope. This is the darkest part of the screenplay, where the hero realizes how bad things are. If there's no death in your story, you might give a "whiff of death" here (even in comedies).

  • Dark Night of the Soul

    pgs 48-52

    How does your character feel about the darkness around him/her?

    Even if it's brief, this moment is critical. The hero is not only beaten, but he/she *knows* it. Your hero must admit defeat, and must learn humility.

    Only then can your hero...

  • Act IV

    14-15 PAGES

    The Resolution

    The resolution of the story and its subplots. The climax is the scene or sequence in which the main tensions of the story are brought to their most intense point and the dramatic question answered, leaving the protagonist and other characters with a new sense of who they really are.

  • Break Into FOUR

    pg 52

    Find the solution!

    Because of everything that's happened so far, and with the help of B story characters, the hero finds his last best effort to find a solution.

    The idea for the solution is at hand.

  • Finale

    pgs 50-60

    Wrap it up.
    The climax must be the *result* of the entire chain of events leading up to this point. A chain that should be linked by the words "therefore" or "but"... it's not enough for Y to follow X, Y must happen because of X.

    Your climax is the result of

    1. Who your hero is.
    2. How your hero has changed.
    3. The events leading up to this point.

    Dispatch all the bad guys (literal or figurative), in ascending order. At the end, a new world is born.

    Not only must the hero suceed, but he/she must change the world.

  • Final Image

    pg 60-62

    The opening image is your "before" shot, this is the "after".

    The world must have changed, and the difference between the opening image and the closing is the proof of this change.

  • #TAG#
    pg 62-64

  • SCENE BREAKDOWN

  • EXPANDED SCENE BREAKDOWN

  • SCRIPT, DIALOG, SHOTS AND NOTES

{"cards":[{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e589","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"\n\n"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58a","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":2,"parentId":null,"content":"### ![](https://dl.dropbox.com/s/oldb0v8vkmna7ec/step-1.png)** Start Here**\n# Logline\nQuite simply, what is your story about?\nHere are a few tips to improve your logline:\n\n- Make sure your logline contains **irony**\n- Use the question \"What if?\" to trigger the imagination\n- Can you make it universal?\n\n**EDIT** this card to replace this with your logline."},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58b","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58a","content":""},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58c","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58b","content":""},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58d","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58c","content":"#`BOLD BASIC OVERVIEW`#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58e","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58d","content":"##`SCENE BREAKDOWN`##"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e58f","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58e","content":"###`EXPANDED SCENE BREAKDOWN`###"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e590","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e58f","content":"`SCRIPT, DIALOG, SHOTS AND NOTES`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e591","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":3,"parentId":null,"content":"#SEASON 1# "},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e591","content":"#EPISODE 1#\n\n##*\"PILOT\"*##\n\n60-65 PAGES"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e593","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":1,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#TEASER#\n\n2-4 PAGES"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e594","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":2,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Opening Image\n###### page 1\n`If you had to choose a photo to establish what \"the world\" is like before your story starts, this is it.`\n\n`Make it stand out, because first impressions matter. They set the tone and mood and scope, and hook the audience (or reader).`\n\n`If it's a vast epic, the opening image should be grand. If it's a small intricate family drama, the opening images are small and subdued.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e595","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":3,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Theme Stated\n###### page 2-4\n`It might not be clear at first, but your story should have a theme.`\n\n`You can think of the theme as an argument, that the rest of the movie has to prove.`\n\n`Remember that a theme is there to guide you as a story writer, and provide a strong undercurrent to your story. It's not a restriction, it's **a fountain** for your imagination. If you ever get stuck, go back to your theme and you will find your answer there.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e596","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":4,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#COMMERCIAL#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e597","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":5,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"## Act I\n14-15 PAGES\n#### *The Situation*\n\n`Present the “normal world” of your film—before everything goes haywire.`\n\n`The end of Act I should be a “point of no return.” Usually something is taken away from your protagonist, and they can never go back to the way things were.`\n\n`They have no choice but to continue into Act II.`\n"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e598","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":6,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Set-up\n###### pgs 4-8\n\n`By the first 6 pages (or 8 at most), you need to have set up your story.`\n\n`If you think of your story as a cannon shot, by page 10 the cannon needs to be loaded, aimed, and ready to be fired.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e599","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":7,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Catalyst\n###### pg 8-15\n`Again, with the cannon analogy: Your cannon is aimed in pages 1-10, it needs to actually fire by page 12.`\n\n`Here again, the size and scope of the catalyst event must match the size of your story. If it's a small drama, it could be a phone call announcing a death in the family, or it could be a breakup.`\n\n`If it's a sprawling epic, it should be something grander. The outbreak of war, or the destruction of a planet.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59a","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":8,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Debate\n###### pgs 15-20\n`If your hero starts moving towards his goal immediately, it'll seem as though he's just reacting to what happens around him.`\n\n`No one wants to see a hero react, they want to see him or her *act*.`\n\n`That's what the debate section is for. This is where the hero shows that he/she knows that it'll be a long road, but consciously decides to act.`\n\n"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59b","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":9,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#COMMERCIAL#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59c","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":10,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"## Act II \n14-15 PAGES\n\n#### *Rising Action*\n\n `In the beginning of Act II, we get to explore the \"new world\" of the story. We meet its characters, as the hero is put through greater and greater challenges, until...`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59d","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":11,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Break into Two\n###### pg 20\n`Once the hero decides to act, it's time to step through a membrane, and enter the world of Act II.`\n\n"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59e","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":12,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### B Story\n###### pg 20-30\n`The audience has been through a lot of turmoil to get to this point. Introduce a secondary story to give them a rest.`\n\n`This B story usually involves a romance, or a new friendship, or some other relationship with a character from the \"new world\" of Act II.`\n\n`It also serves two useful tools for you as a writer:`\n`1. It lets you have a second storyline to \"cut to\", when needed. It's like having a second camera to cut to when editing.`\n`2. It's an avenue you can use to discuss the theme.`\n\n`This is where the B Story starts, but it runs throughout the rest of the movie.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e59f","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":13,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Fun and Games\n###### pgs 25-35\n`This is where you get to have fun (yes, even in a serious drama).`\n\n`With your logline, you asked a question: \"What would happen if ____?\"`\n`This is where you answer that question.`\n\n`You've set up your story, your characters, and propelled them along in their journey. This is where you get to explore what happens.`\n\n`If there was a teaser for your movie, most scenes will come from this section.`\n"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a0","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":14,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#COMMERCIAL#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a1","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":15,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"## Act III\n14-15 PAGES\n\n####*Raise the Stakes*\n`Something drastic happens, to change the course of the hero's journey. Where before things felt like \"rising action\", now it feels like \"spiraling out of control\". The challenges seem insurmountable, and the hero is beat down, again and again.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a2","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":16,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Bad Guys Close In !!\n###### pgs 35-40\n`Things get progressively worse... the challenges are getting harder, while the hero is getting more downtrodden.`\n\n`Don't hold back, or feel sorry for your hero. Give 'em hell.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a3","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":17,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Midpoint\n###### pg 40-45\n`Your cannonball has reached it's peak. The fun and games are over. There's no better way to put this, than: \"Shit just got serious!\"`\n\n`The midpoint is where the stakes are raised.\nIf people are to die in your story, this is where the first character dies. If it's a smaller drama, a bombshell is dropped here.`\n\n`Something important has to happen at the midpoint.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a4","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":18,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### All is Lost\n###### pg 45-48\n`.. until it seems there's no hope. This is the darkest part of the screenplay, where the hero realizes how bad things are. If there's no death in your story, you might give a \"whiff of death\" here (even in comedies).`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a5","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":19,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Dark Night of the Soul\n###### pgs 48-52\n`How does your character feel about the darkness around him/her?`\n\n`Even if it's brief, this moment is critical. The hero is not only beaten, but he/she *knows* it. Your hero must admit defeat, and must learn humility.`\n\n`Only then can your hero...`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a6","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":20,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#COMMERCIAL#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a7","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":21,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"## Act IV\n14-15 PAGES\n\n#### The Resolution\n\n`The resolution of the story and its subplots. The climax is the scene or sequence in which the main tensions of the story are brought to their most intense point and the dramatic question answered, leaving the protagonist and other characters with a new sense of who they really are.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a8","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":22,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Break Into FOUR\n###### pg 52\nFind the solution!\n\n`Because of everything that's happened so far, and with the help of B story characters, the hero finds his last best effort to find a solution.`\n\n`The idea for the solution is at hand.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5a9","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":23,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Finale\n###### pgs 50-60\n`Wrap it up.`\n`The climax must be the *result* of the entire chain of events leading up to this point. A chain that should be linked by the words \"therefore\" or \"but\"... it's not enough for Y to follow X, Y must happen because of X.`\n\n`Your climax is the result of`\n\n`1. Who your hero is.`\n`2. How your hero has changed.`\n`3. The events leading up to this point.`\n\n`Dispatch all the bad guys (literal or figurative), in ascending order. At the end, a new world is born.`\n\n`Not only must the hero suceed, but he/she must change the world.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5aa","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":24,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"### Final Image\n###### pg 60-62\n`The opening image is your \"before\" shot, this is the \"after\".`\n\n`The world must have changed, and the difference between the opening image and the closing is the proof of this change.`"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5ab","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":25,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#COMMERCIAL#"},{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e5ac","treeId":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","seq":1,"position":26,"parentId":"535833ef4de898da0683e592","content":"#TAG#\npg 62-64"}],"tree":{"_id":"535833ef4de898da0683e588","name":"Screenplay Template (1hrTv) ","publicUrl":"screenplay-template-1hrtv"}}