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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Twenty-ThreeSet-Up

Stepping Stones of Act One

“A beginning is that which does not follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be.”

(Poetics, Part VII)

As we’ve seen, the function of Act One is to provide the necessary events to launch the hero into the plot of the movie. This is where we establish the dramatic question that will be debated through the second act and answered in the third, and where we provide the hero the objective that will be pursued through Act Two and either accomplished or not at the resolution.

If one were to examine the principle events of the first act of Some Like It Hot, they would look something like this:

There’s an exciting car chase and shoot-out between police and ...

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