CURIOUS ABOUT SCREENWRITING - PODCASTS

The Craft: Sequences 10 & 11, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? with Max Timm (ISA Sponsored)

Posted: May 26, 2016 Hosted By: Max Timm

For very formulaic and logical reasons, I am combining both sequences into one episode here because sequences 10 and 11 are usually the shortest sequences in your script. They normally contain two, maybe three scenes in total...and this, as I always say, completely depends on your chosen genre, but nonetheless, they're short sequences. Why are they short? Because we don't need to see the main character dwelling on his failures for 20 minutes. We don't need to see her reverting back to her emotional flaws and core problems for 20 minutes. We just don't. We get it. But why do we get it? Because we, personally, do this every time we experience some kind of a failure in our own lives, and who the hell wants to watch us feel sorry for ourselves? And that's an important point to stress, because these two sequences are a macrocosm of the little moments in our lives that occur constantly. We fail at something every day - big or small, we experience some kind of a let down, but...we then pick ourselves back up, pick ourselves up by the boot straps, and move forward with a new purpose. That is the essence of sequence 11. Rally the troops. Picking ourselves up by the boot straps and no longer tolerating the old ways. The old emotional issues or problems. We have a new plan, and by God, we're going to see that plan through to the end even if it kills us.

 

So sequence 10 - as a summary and using my multiple road trip example: every time I chose or was forced to move back home, I was devastated. I fell back into my old patterns, thought all was lost and couldn't see how I would ever get back. In your scripts, you have to set your character in a state that makes sense to the condition of the story itself, of course, but the main character has to have a reaction to the recent low point, and almost always is that reaction based within a sense of doubt, failure, and feeling sorry for yourself - "why hast thou forsaken me" really means that you're blaming others for your problems, and not taking responsibility for the hell you're going through.

 

Sequence 11 is the sudden flip to taking responsibility. Forming a new plan. Receiving a completely new form of hope that the character didn't expect. It's what I like to call the "Rally The Troops" or "Bootstraps" sequence. Dig in. Own it. And move forward with a charge toward that final climax, weapons blazing and with a completely new determination to win.