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Old 04-29-2016, 06:16 AM   #21
diego80
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

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Originally Posted by surftatboy View Post
Pulling the dates: I guess not. I Robot/2004. Save The Cat/2005

Hmm. Maybe I saw it on video and had already read the book. For some reason I had in my mind that I aw it in the theater.

mh ..

I hadn't checked the day yesterday before the answer but I had a similar feeling too.

anyway the expression could have been popular in the industry back in the days and the book's title could have simply reported it and "made it official"
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Old 04-29-2016, 12:13 PM   #22
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

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mh ..

I hadn't checked the day yesterday before the answer but I had a similar feeling too.

anyway the expression could have been popular in the industry back in the days and the book's title could have simply reported it and "made it official"
True. Probably the case.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:55 AM   #23
Eric Boellner
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

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anyway the expression could have been popular in the industry back in the days and the book's title could have simply reported it and "made it official"
That's more or less how the book's content came about as well.
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:44 PM   #24
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

In Kingsman, the protagonist steals a car, but crashes it to avoid hitting a possum. My eyes almost literally rolled out of my head.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:09 PM   #25
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

Steve Martin in Roxanne
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

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I think 'save the cat' is really a bogus rule construed to sound like new wisdom from its more common old school opposite,
Actually - long before any of that there was a "pet the dog scene" in fiction, as well as kicking the dog. Dogs get a lot of use in fiction techniques.

But there are a bunch of techniques to create sympathy or empathy with a character. One of the fun things Elmore Leonard does is torpedo this trope in his novel "Cat Chaser" (I think) where the villain pets the female lead's little dog (named "Gretchen") and talks to the dog, but the hero doesn't know what to say to a dog and doesn't pet the dog... and because the villain is only petting the dog to make a good impression and the hero is completely honest about not being comfortable petting the dog - we like the hero and realize the villain is a manipulative ahole. Leonard subverted the technique.

But here's the thing: you have to find some way to bring the audience *inside the character* so that they become that character for 2 hours and when the protagonist gets hurt (physically or emotionally) the audience feels it as if it happened to them. May not involve cats & dogs, but if you don't use *some* technique - the audience won't care about the character.

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Old 04-11-2017, 04:14 PM   #27
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Default Re: Saving Cats?

Like any how to book, save the cat isn't the answer to everything.

However, it is useful. Think of it like a checklist when you're leaving for a week...shut off the coffeemaker? Set the thermostat? Turn out the lights, lock the door, etc. I find it useful to thumb through the books from time to time, occasionally reminding me to make sure something makes the protaginst relatable or likable, depending on circumstances. It is not a 100% of the time rule. Nothing is.

As for an example, how about Bogart letting the desperate husband win some roulette money rather than having the desperate young wife prostitute herself to the police chief in Casablanca.

For a movie that was still being written as it was being filmed, it seems to have found all its cues and marks without a how-to book.

Good storytelling generally follows most of the 'rules' without consciously thinking about your midpoint or cat-saving. Even if you're telling the police about your fender-bender accident...it usually falls into a three-act structure...I was minding my own business...wham, bam, tension and danger, then resolution.

Getting a little further off-topic...I live near a place called the Trial Lawyers College. It has several functions, but one of them is that it is an acting school for lawyers that go in front of juries. The college was started by a great American actor named Gerry Spence...not a movie or stage actor, but a court-room actor. He could produce a tear running down his cheek when summing up a case to the jury. I suspect the college unknowingly uses the same story structures found in the movies, on stage or in books.

If you are the defendant, you want your lawyer to make you the protaganist in the eyes of the jury, make the plot of your court case emotional and relatable and let the jury finish the story with a satisfactory ending.
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