Film dramaturgy deals with the sequence and structure of a story for the medium of film.
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Film dramaturgy in 9 easy steps
Who is the main character?
The first step is to introduce the main character in their familiar surroundings. Right at the beginning of the film, viewers should receive essential information about the external appearance, the past, and the current life of the main character.
What does the main character want?
The next step is to represent the internal and external needs of the character. What exactly does the main character want and what is their motivation to achieve this goal? These points should generally be made clear at the beginning of each story so that the subsequent reaction of the main character can be understood.
The door opens
After the main character and their needs have been introduced, the first conflict-inducing moment occurs. In most cases, there is a problem, a change, or a new possibility, from which the main problem or the main conflict later arises.
The main character masters the situation
The fourth step is about the superficial satisfaction of the external need. The main character does not want to face the problem properly and tries everything to maintain his normal life. The protagonist initially finds a superficial solution to eliminate the problem for the time being.
A stick comes flying
In the fifth step, the inevitable happens: a catastrophe or a major event occurs. The main character no longer has the opportunity to evade the problem and solve it superficially. The main character has to face the problem.
Everything is falling apart
The problem just keeps getting “worse”. The main character slowly begins to despair as everything slowly falls apart.
The main character hits rock bottom
Now the time has come, the moment of truth has come, everything seems lost and the main character has to make a decision: Will she give up or, despite bad chances, would she like to fight to the bitter end?
The main character risks everything
Now comes the big fight, the final showdown: The main character has made up his mind and wants to fight. In doing so, she often risks everything, even her own life.
What does the main character get?
The last step is to portray the end of the story. It doesn’t matter how the film ends – happy ending, catastrophe, catharsis, open ending – there are many ways to bring a story to a close.