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Act 3

Lesson 19 from: Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Julio Vincent Gambuto

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Lesson Info

19. Act 3

Learn how to design your final act and what it needs to include to be truly powerful.

Lesson Info

Act 3

Act three is our final act of your screenplay. Now you'll often hear it said that if you have problems in Act three, the rial problems Aaron Act one. What that means is that in Act three, if you can't resolve it easily or you're struggling with how it resolves, the truth is it probably isn't built that well. So I really encourage you to make sure that all of your story work all of your story fundamentals are really, really highlighted, bold and deepened, clarified so that the story is crystal clear along the way. If that's true, by the time you get to Act three, Act three almost writes itself. This is the sort of final battle of it all. So here's some elements and some moments that typically appear in Act three. The resolution, right? This is the moment where we resolve the movie, so we've gotta have a final finale or a fight or a battle. This is the big moment at the end of the film for Rocky. This is the boxing match at the end, right? This is often called the final battle. After the...

final battle, the hero triumphs, or in the final battle, the hero triumphs again. We're not writing tragedies. If you are go for it. Most of us aren't the hero will win in the end. Then you wrap up the story, tighten up any loose ends and have a hot finish again. Hot finishes, a word that I've used or barred from my media friends. Hot finishes the way you end your movie on a high note with Spark with energy. Sometimes that triggers a sequel or teases a sequel. Go out as strongly as you came in. Let's look at it on the chart at three in your story is your final quarter in the 100 page example, its pages. 75 through 100. It starts out on the left there with the breakthrough, right? That's how Act Two ended. Now the hero has broken through and understands exactly how they're gonna win this battle with the villain. So 75 through about 85 or so, they're going after the villain, and they're gonna have the final battle with the villain. In the end of the final battle, the hero triumphs. The hero has one. We end on a really high note by page 90 95 then we finish out by 100 with our final hot finish. By the end of Act three, the heroes gotten what they want. The world is better. You're gonna tie up loose ends, and you're gonna tease whatever happens after your movie. Part two, The sequel. The next episode. Whatever that ISS so after is really, really important. And if you've structured things well and you're really, really clear about your fundamentals and you've laid out your story structure really well after is going to read really quickly, right? If you're reading that script, your super into it, there's no new characters. There's no new information you have to process. That's complicated. You're just in the story. You're loving the story and you see how it resolves. Quick note the hero getting what they want now, at the end of the movie, the hero always gets what they want, and they also get what they need. So when we looked at the hero earlier as a story fundamental, I asked you to think about what is the hero want and what does the hero need emotionally. If you've structured it well by the end of the story. The hero has not only gotten what they want, but they have also gotten what they need emotionally. They've gone out on this journey. They ventured out into a new world, possibly a place that they've never understood or been to before and along the way they have gone after what they want. Found conflict found new tactics. Gone after what they want again, people have come along to help them. A villain or an opposing force has gotten in their way. They've conquered it. They battled it. They've won, and they've got not on Lee what they want. But what were they needed? Emotionally as well, So that wraps up basic story structure. I know it's a lot, but I hope that it was clear you can always find story structure worksheets down on the bonus materials on this page. I want you to see those charts up close, study them, spend some time with them, really get into them. And when you start to do your story analysis and start to look at movies again, you'll look at them in a totally new way, right? You'll watch totally different. And the more screenplays you read, the more these moments will jump out, you know, at you. Oh, that's the inciting incident. Oh, that's how they opened it. That's the hook. Oh, look. This is the climax of Act One. Oh, look. They have declared a new tactic. A new way to go about getting what they want. This is the second act climax. This is the dark out of the soul. This is the final battle, etcetera. Etcetera, etcetera.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Case Study Films
Story Analysis Template.xlsx
Sample TV Scripts
Story Design Worksheet
Story Fundamentals Worksheet
Seed to Script Process

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Sandoval

Just a great way to start on your path to screenwriting. A clear and concise class with a friendly tone and humor. I think it is important that a teacher has actually worked in the field. Kudos.


Perfect for a beginner or actors who need a better understanding of what is and why is. Info packed and FUN too!

Asem Nurkina

I took this class last year. And after one year of working with presented tools (story design worksheet, story fundamentals workseet, seed to script process) on different projects I can say that it is very powerful and useful course I ever taken. I can strongly recommend this detailed screenwriting guidance by Julio Vincent Gambuto.

Student Work