Intro to the Three Act Structure

Prior to coming to university, I was ignorant to many of the theories in film. This time, I will discuss my enlightenment of the Three Act Structure.

I find the Three Act Structure to be very significant because no story can be told effectively without it. My studies back home was based on graphic technology with a strong passion in photography. I was invited to film by the way of a journalist for a magazine, Source Magazine. My role was to film the lives of special figures in society; musicians, sport players, artist, you name it.

It was after my first week of classes that I discovered how much better these documentaries would have been if I had known what I know now.

With act one being how a film is setup, I realise that it is key in film making because this is where you present the vehicle for the rest of the story. This includes from relationships to the world they live in. Furthermore, act one is also where you introduce the inciting incident which is usually defined, exercised, and solved by the end of the film.

Rather in feature film, television, or documentary, you will always discover confrontation, which defines act two in the Three Act Structure. This is where action rises and get provoked. The protagonist typically attempts to resolve the problem. Reevaluating work I have done in the past, I notice that I have had a challenging time trying to create a strong enough plot. Parallel to film, a persons life resembles that of act two. When life presents us with challenge and controversy, we must develop new skills to arrive to a new sense of awareness. Like any good story, it is inevitable to avoid the forces of antagonism, no matter how good things may seem at the moment. This analogy is closely related to film.

Last but not least we have act three, often associated with the resolution. In this stage of film, we meet the most intense point of tension in the plot.

All in all, a formal introduction to the Three Act Structure has helped me dramatically in my studies thus far and as I begin to exercise lessons from lectures, it becomes more apparent how each film follows the Three Act Structure.


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