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Old 05-31-2020, 09:25 PM   #21
finalact4
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Default Re: Midpoint

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Originally Posted by Bono View Post
Found this from some blog talking about Syd Field's breakdown of a New Hope. I think we are all saying the same midpoint. Sometimes it's not just 1 scene. And honestly I recall SPACEBALLS a lot more than STAR WARS.

For example, in Star Wars a New Hope, the startling new revelation is that Alderaan has been destroyed and they are caught in the grip of tractor beam from the Death Star. The first half of Act 2 is all about Luke and Obi-Wan finding a ship and taking the droids to Alderaan. The second half of Act 2 is all about rescuing Princess Leia and escaping from the Death Star
I'm still standing by my opinion. We don't have to agree. Alderaan being destroyed is a setback and the heroes will have to come up with a new strategy, but their goal remains the same. To get the Death Star plans to the rebellion.

The point at which the story TURNS from the first half to the second half, for me, is when Luke discovers the Princess is in the detention center on the Death Star and he talks Han into saving her. It's that moment. It's right at the halfway point. The script is 148 pages long.

Alderaan is blown up on page 58, so the audience ALREADY KNOWS that Luke, Obiwan and Han will find it gone on page 63. Luke talks Han into saving the Princess on page 73 & 74.

Alderaan disappearing is an obstacle. Obiwan's reason for going to Alderaan was to deliver the Death Star plans to the rebellion via Senator Ortega, Princess Leia's father. Obiwan's goal remains the same even after the discovery of Alderaan's destruction.

Alderaan is gone, but the rebel forces are still fighting with General Akbar as commanding leader at another location. Now Obiwan will have to find a new path to achieving his goal-- to deliver the Death Star plans to the rebellion. Think of it this way, if they DIDN'T find Princess Leia on the Death Star the movie would be over because no one would know where the rebel forces were hiding. The story cannot progress past the midpoint without this revelation.

He just has to NOW find the rest of the remaining rebellion to deliver the plans before they are annihilated by the Death Star itself. Unfortunately for Obiwan, Darth Vader kills him first and Obiwan passes the torch onto Luke.

None of this matters, because it's an amazing film regardless of who calls what the midpoint, and THAT is what matters.

So everyone can have their opinion, and we don't have to all agree.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:27 PM   #22
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Default Re: Midpoint

I think that after a certain point - and that point comes quickly - there's little use in studying screenwriting. Read a few books, take a few classes... and then watch movies and write movies.

Ben Hogan is still considered to have one of the best golf swings ever. People used to ask him his secret, and he said "the secret is in the dirt," meaning that he found his swing by practicing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: Midpoint

True -- but I'm talking Jeff more about using a tool you picked up along the way and like.

I'm sure there are things you do, that you learned a long time ago (maybe from books, probably from doing the work), and you may not talk about them out loud any more, but they are there right?

I'm just talking about this as the forum was dead and it was on my mind, but I'm not talking about it because I want to study up on it. I just wanted to share mostly.

And when I outline new ideas, I do think of Midpoint for sure.
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Old 05-31-2020, 09:49 PM   #24
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Default Re: Midpoint

I don't really care what the midpoint of a certain movie is -- and I can't believe it can be up for this much debate -- it should be clear. That George Lucas will never make it in this town -- mark my words!!!
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Old 05-31-2020, 11:34 PM   #25
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Default Re: Midpoint

Anyway -- I wish you all the best.



Time to make the donuts.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:16 AM   #26
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Default Re: Midpoint

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I think it's clear Cyfress -- she was raising the stakes of this thread!!!! We are at the Midpoint!!!
Now this is funny.

There are great benefits for writing or outlining a story with a Midpoint in mind. Sometimes in your writing a Midpoint will come about organically without any thought. A natural instinct on how to tell a good story.

But, keep in mind, not all stories require a Midpoint to work.

And this Midpoint element is the key for why if someone tells a new writer to write in Four Act Structure and not Three Act Structure, this new writer is gonna have a problem if his story doesn't require a Midpoint.

A Midpoint is an invention of a Guru, Syd Fields (Second Act 2A and 2B), but remember, he said not all stories have a midpoint. His paradigm was just a guideline, not a formula or rule to follow in order to achieve a great screenplay.

In a Four-Act Structured story, in order to leave Act Three and go into Act Four a noticeable break is required. A turning point.

What happens if a writer's story doesn't need a Midpoint (turning point) in the middle of the second act?

This is why the traditional Three Act Structure is a form and Four Act Structure is a formula.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:29 AM   #27
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Default Re: Midpoint

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Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I don't really care what the midpoint of a certain movie is -- and I can't believe it can be up for this much debate -- it should be clear. That George Lucas will never make it in this town -- mark my words!!!
You're hilarious. You started the thread, Bono. If you didn't think there was a discussion worth having, why bother posting it at all?

You started a thread. Got people commenting on it. You've engaged in conversations. Job well done.

The take away is to make sure your script is exciting and full of beats that turn the story.

I know you're being sarcastic.
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:42 AM   #28
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Default Re: Midpoint

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there's little use in studying screenwriting.
I understand your point: (CLICHE WARNING) Practice makes perfect, but I'm still opened to learning.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:57 AM   #29
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Default Re: Midpoint

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
You're hilarious. You started the thread, Bono. If you didn't think there was a discussion worth having, why bother posting it at all?

You started a thread. Got people commenting on it. You've engaged in conversations. Job well done.

The take away is to make sure your script is exciting and full of beats that turn the story.

I know you're being sarcastic.

I was saying, I wanted to discuss how we use the Midpoint in our own writing -- that's way different than arguing/discussing one specific's movie midpoint to me.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:05 AM   #30
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Default Re: Midpoint

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Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
Now this is funny.

There are great benefits for writing or outlining a story with a Midpoint in mind. Sometimes in your writing a Midpoint will come about organically without any thought. A natural instinct on how to tell a good story.

But, keep in mind, not all stories require a Midpoint to work.

And this Midpoint element is the key for why if someone tells a new writer to write in Four Act Structure and not Three Act Structure, this new writer is gonna have a problem if his story doesn't require a Midpoint.

A Midpoint is an invention of a Guru, Syd Fields (Second Act 2A and 2B), but remember, he said not all stories have a midpoint. His paradigm was just a guideline, not a formula or rule to follow in order to achieve a great screenplay.

In a Four-Act Structured story, in order to leave Act Three and go into Act Four a noticeable break is required. A turning point.

What happens if a writer's story doesn't need a Midpoint (turning point) in the middle of the second act?

This is why the traditional Three Act Structure is a form and Four Act Structure is a formula.

I like the first sentence best. This was well said -- not sure I agree with any of it.

My question -- let's name some movies that don't use the MP that you like then because it's going to be hard to think of them -- what is going to happen is your going to name movies and I'm going to say "no the story changes here" at the midpoint and you'll say no that's still part of Act 2 story... and yes it's just different names for the same beats.

In my current spec -- the midpoint is the false victory -- on a road trip -- they make it there -- and the person they thought was supposed to be there, wasn't there. What a twist!!! So it's same journey still of Act 2, but what they thought was the final destination, turned out to be wrong. I'd call that the MP -- you may just call it a down beat.

Whatever helps YOU write. We don't talk about that enough. If 4 act as you say works for me -- good. If 3 act works for you -- great. It is all just tools to focus you as you write.

Sometimes I just start writing and don't think about any of this. Whatever works.
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