2. Scene Breakdown
- Scene is everything that happens on the same location and continuous time.
- A scene should have a purpose and cause a change on the film’s plot. It should propel your
● ANATOMY OF A SCENE
1. Prologue (Exposition)
2. Desire (protagonist + objective + emotion)
3. Action ( Active protagonist + objective + emotion)
4. Conflict (protagonist + objective + action + obstacle)
5. Change (Consequence of the action - positive or negative)
3. Scene Breakdown
● What is a beat?
- A beat is the smallest dramatic unit,
responsible for establishing a value
(+/-) inside the protagonist’s
- A set of beats can transmit emotion
and rhythm to a scene.
- It is a behavioural change that occurs
through action and reaction.
- Beat to beat, this behaviour shapes
the scene’s turning point.
Dialogue is simply conversation, but it is really a core narrative tool
Can be used to drive narrative forward by revealing information and developing characters and
Best way to learn dialogue: practice!
- Use writing prompts
- Come up with simple characters and scenarios
8. Dialogue: Three Key Questions
Who wants what from who?
What happens if they don’t get it?
9. Dialogue Exercises
Bring a notebook into a public space and write down conversations you hear. Great way to
document realistic conversations.
Using two people you’ve recorded in your notebook, create a brand new conversation. How will
these two individuals interact with one another? What are there traits and personalities?
If you’re struggling with what a character should say, write down things they should not say.
Learning what your character would never do helps you narrow down what you think they will
10. Subtext Exercise
● Breakout Rooms!
● Each group will write 5 lines of dialogue for one of the situations.
● Try to convince the audience what a character feels without directly saying it.
11. Anticipation Tools
1. Set expectations - utilize the rising action to set up tension
2. Show, don’t tell - describe character actions and how they prepare
3. Depict emotion - tension leads to conflicting emotions, which can throw off expectations
Dangling Cause: only the first part of cause and effect is revealed
Foreshadowing: indications of future event, often subtle or metaphorical
Anticipation is built around cause and effect - subvert expectations!
12. Anticipation Tools
● Dramatic Irony
- Occurs when the public knows more than the characters
- Commonly used in the suspense and comedy genres
- Usually underestimated by beginners, who thinks that the characters must know
everything at the same time as the public
13. What Happened?!
● Your character walks into a room. Someone asks…”What happened?” Go!
● Give your character a nice, hefty monologue so you can start building the world, and then
start the dialogue with other characters as the scene progresses.
1. Your character walks naked into a room
2. Your character walks into a boardroom meeting in a dripping wet scuba suit
3. Your character calmly walks into his/her kitchen with a gunshot wound in their head