Truth to Power // Edition #3

Truth To Power Title Card This week, Patrick Gillies told me and others to quickly research about two theories, "ideal[istically]", however considering the fact that most of my weekend was dedicated to helping out on the Casting Call project (with Tyler Baikie leaving early on Sunday - so he should have done both) and that it was my birthday (no one works on their birthday, well, no one should) - I only looked at one.

But don't worry - this will still fly under Patrick's T&C as written in his e-mail, since there was the loop-hole of only writing about one of them and applying it to a feature film one might have seen in the past.

Blake Snyder: Save The Cat

Like any other person like Tim Showfur (above), who makes a living from tutorials and sells tips on becoming a better individual in terms of either knowledge, expertise or being an actual person through the use of consumable goods - Blake Snyder is selling his developed Hollywood Screenwriting Formula that comes in the form of a Beat Sheet outline that is rather detailed - in fact, it's a bit too outlined.

According to one blog that I found the Beat Outline, in short descriptive, but full enough to understand, details, I immediately thought back to Gillies' e-mail and thought that the structure that Snyder presents is overtly "over-prescriptive".

The blog's author, Tim Stout, who is a self-published writer and editor, wrote:

The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet is the best plot structure template I’ve come across.

It breaks down the three-act structure into bite-size, manageable sections, each with a specific goal for your overall story.

However, the flaw with this is that if screenwriters who haven't developed their own unique style of writing stories and characters effectively, take Snyder's lead and follows him religiously, then I can only assume that works are going to be the same, thus creating predictability within films, therefore we have an audience who could no longer give a fuck about the movies that were brought to them by the Book of Snyder.

source ::

Snyder Example

Here's a short little example of Snyder's theory applied to the 1971 classic, Dirty Harry (as far as I could possibly match it to and written before it stroke 3am).

  1. Opening Image
    Names scrolling past, those who presumably died in the line of action during their time at the San Francisco Police Dept. A rather symbolic opening, before leading to our main story and antagonist commensing his rampage on an unsuspecting public.

  2. Set-Up
    Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood, goes about his job as a well-trained, if not well-intuitive, detective for the SFPD. However, the audience isn't nessesarily redirected to a flaw or missing aspect to the protagonist.

  3. Theme Statement
    Essentially, the film has the overshadowing theme of fighting for 'real' justice. We see that with the powers of law protecting a man who did commit murders of innocent people and assaulted officers - even when no evidence was produced of the events taking place, except for either personal eyewitnesses OR a grudge of the character being really shifty - the inner vigilante (almost) has to come out and take the guy out yourself.

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