The Third 15 Minutes

The first part of Act II is where the hero first enters a new world and initially succeeds.

Act II typically takes 60 minutes of time, but divide Act II into two separate parts and you’ll get two 30-minute segments that I call Act IIa and Act IIb.

In Act IIa, the hero gradually wins but by the midpoint, the end of Act IIa, the hero achieves a False Victory that seems to reach his goal, but doesn’t truly solve his problem.

In Act IIb, the villain asserts his control and gradually gains control, culminating with the villain seemingly winning at the end of Act IIb while the hero is lost, isolated, and alone.

The third 15 minute segment of the 15 Minute Movie Method begins the first segment of Act IIa. The Inciting INcident occurs when the hero makes the conscious decision to enter a new world. This is crucial since the hero must make that choice. Even in “Star Wars,” Luke finds his uncle and aunt’s farm burned to the ground, but he still makes that choice to leave with Obiwan Konobi. In WALL-E, the robot chooses to cling to the rocket ship that takes Eve off the planet. In “Die Hard,” Bruce Willis chooses to run away from the terrorists and hide in an empty floor above.

The Rising Action occurs when the hero is trying to achieve his initial goal of getting acquainted with this new world. In WALL-E, this occurs when the robot is trying to contact Eve and has to chase her down as she’s brought to the captain’s quarters. This hero is striving to reach a goal that he thinks will be what he needs, but it won’t.

The Climax occurs when the hero momentarily achieves a small victory. In “Die Hard,” Bruce Willis gets a machine gun and learns more about the terrorists. In WALL-E, the robot contacts Eve in the captain’s quarters. In “Star Wars,” everyone arrives at the planet that the Death Star has just blown up.

This third 15 minute segment of your screenplay is all about your hero adapting to a new world and succeeding in the process. Minor obstacles may get in the way, but the hero is having fun while the villain is tucked away in the background. At this point, the villain may think of the hero as only a minor nuisance.

In crafting your own screenplay, make sure your hero voluntarily leaps into a new world, has fun exploring this new world, and pursues a minor goal to lead him to an ultimately False Victory.

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