Sequencing Method



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  • #16
    Re: Sequencing Method

    Great stuff people. Thank you.

    stvnlra - going to read your post now that links to La Femme's post... and so on. That should keep me busy.

    I was reading the Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach at a local bookstore. Seemed good, but also short in terms of explain the process. But he did go on to break down I think 8 movies using it, so that's cool. But not sure it's a book I need to have as much as a technique I need to learn how to use.

    EJ had another thread about this and it was mentioned here... what about Chris Soth "mini movie method" ebook... Did La Femme just spill the secret? Anyone read it?


    • #17
      Re: Sequencing Method

      Soth is a USC alum and he learned the "mini-movie" thing there, I believe. We were booth-mates at the Expo last year and we spent a lot of time talking about the "mini-movie"; it's genesis, provenance, etc. But I was giving away free candy so I might have been sugar-high

      Julie Gray


      • #18
        Re: Sequencing Method

        I've written two scripts that were laughable. And it was a struggle, even adhering to the broad 3-act structure. Think I'll give this sequencing/min-goal technique a go. I'm new to writing screenplays, so I'll give anything a go. As long as it helps me write a better script.


        • #19
          Re: Sequencing Method

          Originally posted by Terrance Mulloy View Post
          I've written two scripts that were laughable. And it was a struggle, even adhering to the broad 3-act structure. Think I'll give this sequencing/min-goal technique a go. I'm new to writing screenplays, so I'll give anything a go. As long as it helps me write a better script.
          All it is little mini-movies that are about 10 pages each. That means a 110 page screenplay is just 11 mini-movies/dramas. 90 is even shorter for obvious reasons. All you have to do is make sure your sequences hit your three act structure points and you will be fairly strong as far as the structural backbone of the script goes (a compelling and original narrative is something entirely different of course).

          What is also interesting is some movies are actually written AROUND the action sequences (sequences of events) first. "Mission Impossible II" and the "Transformers" scripts were written AFTER the major action sequences were hammered out. I don't know if I agree with this method because the downside is it favors action over character development for obvious reasons. But then again, action movies are all about the action, so I guess it's par for the course?

          Also, as a kind of tangent...

          For those who are familiar with the three act structure all you really need to hit on for it to be effective are these five points. At least, Michael Ardnt ("Little Miss Sunshine") feels this is all you need:

          ACT I
          -Inciting Incident (after the setup; takes the story in new direction)
          -End of ACT I Turning point (no turning back)

          ACT II
          -Mid-Point (Something has happened by now; victories and defeats; Story can shift directions if needed)

          -End of ACT II Turning point (All Hope is Lost Moment)

          ACT III
          -ACT III Reversal (leads into the climax, but there is a new problem that must be resolved that carries the third act until the end)

          You can see how this is like a general "outline" for the Sequencing Method because it is the framework that shores up the mini-movies/sequences and makes sure they are always moving the story forward toward a logical and hopefully satisfying conclusion.
          Positive outcomes. Only.


          • #20
            Re: Sequencing Method

            Here's a sample of what a sequence looks like when it's part of an outline.

            This is the 2nd seq of P A Robinson's FIELD OF DREAMS as analized by Russin & Downs in their book Screenplay: Writing the Picture. I posted the entire breakdown on DD some time ago. You can also find it on my blog.

            This seq is all neat & tidy and gives you a good idea of what a seq looks like with scenes. This represents 1 seq & the various (numbered) scenes that make up that seq.

            When you write your own script you'll make up 8-12 of these sequences, add scenes, then add description and dialogue (not shown). The end result is a full length screenplay.

            Note the title used here. Russin & Downs have named this sequence "The Voice"... All the scenes revolve around the event of Ray hearing The Voice for the first time which prompts him to build the field. (This seq also contains what is called "the Catalyst" in the traditional HWood 3 Act template.)

            The next seq is called "Building the Baseball Field" and the action in that seq is a result of events & decisions in this seq. FofD has a linear chronology, so cause & effect is in a straight line, one event causes the next & so on...

            SEQUENCE #2 “The Voice”

            SCENE 1: EXT. CORN FIELD – NIGHT
            Ray hears the voice for the first time. It says, “If you build it he will come.”

            SCENE 2: INT KITCHEN – NIGHT
            Ray is worried about the voice. Tells his wife about it.

            SCENE 3: INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
            Ray hears the voice the second time.

            SCENE 4: INT. KITCHEN DAY – DAY
            Ray tells his daughter that people who hear voices are sick.

            SCENE 5: INT. FEED STORE – DAY
            Ray questions other farmers about hearing voices. They think he’s nuts.

            SCENE 6: EXT. CORN FIELD – DAY
            Ray hears the voice again. This time he gets mad. He sees the mirage of the baseball field.

            Ray tries to figure out what the voice means. He thinks that it might mean that if he builds a baseball field, Shoeless Joe Jackson will return.

            SCENE 8: INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
            Ray worries that he is turning into his father. He lacks dreams. He and his wife decide to build the field.

            "Trust your stuff." -- Dave Righetti, Pitching Coach

            ( Formerly "stvnlra" )


            • #21
              Re: Sequencing Method

              Keep this thread rolling. It's really great.

              Thanks to everyone for sharing this. Hopefully I'll be able to avoid some pitfalls you guys made when starting out.



              • #22
                Re: Sequencing Method

                Did you ever see Deus Ex Machine's 3 Act outline?

                ACT I

                i Set Up
                ii Catalyst
                iii Opportunity/Problem
                iv Incitement
                v Turning Point

                ACT II

                vi Progress
                vii Metaphor
                viii Point Of No Return (PONR)
                ix Post Point Of No Return (PPONR)
                x Complication
                xi Culmination
                xii Defeat

                ACT III

                xiii Plan B
                xiv Confrontation
                xv Denoument

                Or Creative Exec's "The construction of a logline"