The 3 Act Film Structure

The 3 Act Film Structure

How to move your story along

The 3 act structure is the most common of all film structures. The 3 acts are very basic and consist of the following elements

1. Beginning
2. Middle
3. End

These three components make up the foundation of the film’s structure. All scenes hang on this three act structure. Think of the 3 acts as three pieces of the same line that all have the purpose of moving the story along. In the simplest terms, Act 1 sets up the story, Act 2 develops the story and Act 3 builds towards the climax and finally the resolution of the story.

When you’re watching films from this point forward, start paying attention to the structure of scenes and the three act structure in particular. As you watch movies with more of a filmmaker’s eye, you’ll start to see the similarities between films from a formatting standpoint.

Sometimes, I keep a notepad with me, and I break a film down while viewing it.  See if you can find the 3 acts in the movie you’re watching!

PS. Don’t do this when watching a movie with family or friends.  They will find it annoying.  Trust me, no one will want to watch you or hear you break down the process.  🙂