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The Inciting Incident - Film Structure Analysis

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3 months ago
Topics: Art, Film, Movie, Movies, Entertainment, ...

What kicks off the story?
What lights the fuse?

The Inciting Incident is the event that moves our story from normal life into setting up our core conflict, our core dramatic tension, our core story question.

Toy Story -- The core question revolves around if and how Woody will regain his position as top toy.

For this question to be set up, we must first dethrone Woody. To do this we must first see the arrival of Buzz Lightyear, the dethroner.

And this is what incites the story. Buzz shows up.

Jurassic Park -- Get invited to the island to give your expert advice.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -- Reestablish your romantic interest in another person (you could also say -- your ex has erased you from her memory -- as these two story points actually line up together to launch our story).

No Country for Old Men -- Llewelyn finds and takes the money from the botched drug deal.

The Long Goodbye -- Your friend asks you to take him to Tijuana, and you do.

(Toy Story Structure Analysis - Up to the Midpoint)

Some might note that in my analysis of Toy Story I have placed Woody's attempt to "Tell Off" Buzz at the start of Act 2, while in past I have placed it at the end of Act 1. This is a subtlety of film analysis; the act breaks are seen by some as fenceposts of sorts. When the main character takes on the problem, we often note the start of Act 2, and this action can be analyzed as a transition point. In a technical sense, currently, I feel it is the start of Act 2.

As always, for certainty on these, check with the actual screenwriters.

Also, if you have not seen one or any of the above mentioned films, I suggest finding and watching all of these more than once.

Be well.
LionSuit.com
(words and images are original. posts may also be shown on my hive.blog page or my Publish0x page.)

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