I would like to add 12-A beat to the established beat sheet. There is always that moment of great movie that I will seek again where I either cry from relief or cheer with excitement – that soul release. It could be a speech or the absolution of the hero’s strife, or the lost is found and I cry my eyes out.
So I’d like to go over the basic steps of an established beat sheet format. These beats fleshed out to a script can be written out on a “Screenwriter’s Initial Draft Pad”, formatting in blue!
Keep in mind that the story should have a rhythm, so that these beats can be counted, as in music. Nothing is better than the creation of suspense, like a second shoe dropping, learn to develop hang time!
Formatting software is a must, and PDF or WORD conversion. I recommend the freebies out there: Celtx or Trelby. And don’t forget a great music track to drone out any distractions. Chill music is a good way to start.
To give legs to your story, a few beats must be included. I’ll combine the elements with the example from, of course, DIE HARD thank you Steve. The next TV showing is Aug 3rd, ACTMAX @ 9:45PM.
- Tell your story
- Dream a “snowball in your face” opening scene
- Get to know the most conflicted and loveable character for your snowperson
- 12-A, the magic carrot, an emoting climax
- Register your project before you send it out, or it will melt
1. Opening scene Ex: John can’t pass by a passenger to get his teddy
2. Theme stated Ex: You gotta give teddy bears with barefeet
3. Setup Ex: Before he can give teddies, evil ensues
4. Inciting Incident Ex: Terrorists kill a friendly guard
Number 1-4 must be included in the first ten pages. Readers and viewers demand these after the sting of the hook.
5. Debate Ex: His absenteeism as father or cop hasn’t worked
6. Break Into Two Ex: He turns the tables on the terrorist threat
7. B Story Ex: John bonds with another disenfranchised cop
On another note: As a romance writer, the best words of wisdom I ever got was to wrap two stories like a DNA particle and you will sell.
8. Fun and Games Ex: Entertain me again with the sharp sarcasm
9. Midpoint Ex: The snowball fight begins, I mean – Hans kills
10.All is Lost Ex: John is Id’d, Police force against John
11.Dark “Knight” Ex:John discovers booby trap of building
12.Break Into Three Ex: John knows his defensive bombing is suicidal
Here is where we need the twelfth – A element. The story can be appreciated if we emote and cartharsize, all that Greek stuff. DIE HARD does this, absolutely when Holly and John work together telepathically, rejoined once again. But the established beat sheet template leaves this out.
12-A Catharsis Ex: We breath a sigh of relief as the couple bonds
13.Finale/ Resolution Ex: All good members gain, couple together,
Limo driver delivers couple home,
children are surprised by “Santa”,
John is able to gift his Teddy,
the cb buddy is able to shoot the right guy and Holly punches out the paparazzi.
14.Final Image Ex: Holly and John kiss. We hear “Let It Snow”
This scene can also mirror the opening scene. This is also called bookends.
Call me crazy but in order to have a completed story, there has to be a catharsis included. Just my opinion, all Save the Cat aficionados.