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Structure: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The first film of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy, created by Spielberg and Lucas, the greatest filmmakers of their generation. A timeless piece of the very best entertainment. This is a typical Hero’s Journey and an excellent starting point for screen story study. Did I mention it is also great fun? A structural overview of Raiders of the Lost Ark (L. Kasdan, …

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Structure: Iron Man

A structural overview of Iron Man (Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway 2008). Not just a great comic book adaptation and an exciting action flick, but also an elegantly written piece of cinema entertainment, executed with a daring cast and grounded in a solid foundation of character. ACT ONE SEQUENCE A – Tony Stark visits soldiers on duty …

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Arcs and Endings (3)

In a Q&A for Creative Screenwriting Magazine, Michael Arndt made the point that “happy endings are really underrated”. It got me thinking. What’s wrong with a Hollywood ending? If you have a truly well-written story, why would a happy ending diminish its value? Why is it that writers believe happy endings are a cheap Hollywood device? The majority of cinema …