The Problem Statement
[Melissa Cassera ] Let's talk about the problem statement. Like I said, very important to capture your client's language there. But we're also going to use Hollywood's 3-Act Structure. This is a narrative that is used by all Hollywood movies. Every movie has a 3-Act Structure. You guys are going to learn it, you're going to love it, and then you're going to start using it. ACT ONE, you establish the setting. I'm going to show you examples. So if this is way over your head, don't worry it's coming. Then you're going to establish the characters and in this case the characters are our clients. So, that's cool. We don't have to make them up from scratch. Then the Inciting Incident, this is the main conflict, main problem for your client. We just call it Inciting Incident in scripts. ACT TWO, is when more obstacles are presented. Then events conspire to prevent your client's success and then they have an all-is-lost moment. All of our clients have an all-is-lost moment because they're comin...
g to us. They wouldn't come if they didn't feel like all was lost. There's some conflict that they feel everything is lost about and now they're here. So there's always something. ACT THREE, we have the climatic battle and we end on a cliffhanger. I'm going to show you this real-time. Our example today is [Melissa Reads Entire Slide] ACT ONE, this is how I would structure the ACT ONE of my problem statement. I'd say, "You're an award winning chef. The first vegan chef to crush the culinary competition on screen. Your vegan thin mint cookies put girl scouts to shame. So why didn't your last book hit the bestseller list?" What we did is we established character and setting. She's an award winning chef, right. We know who she is and then we know 'chef' it's taking place in the culinary world. We also got the Inciting Incident here. She came to me because her last book didn't hit the bestseller list, okay. Now we're going to hit ACT TWO of the problem statement. "It's not like you didn't try. [Melissa Reads Slide] So, what we did here is, there was an Obstacle/Events Conspiring for my client. "If only that rival cookbook didn't drop the same week." That was Events Conspiring for her. Her book probably would have hit best seller if it wasn't for this other cookbook that came up in here. These are all the things that she told me in our meeting. The all-is-lost moment: The news coverage completely buried her launch, right? Now she feels like "augh" so all this conflict, events are conspiring, and then all of a sudden WOMP. Because she didn't get any press coverage because this other book took everything over. ACT THREE: [Melissa reads Slide] What we did there is Final Battle: put up a serious fight, but the timing crushed your plan. So I'm saying I'm reflecting this back to her. She put up a fight, she tried in her last launch. But the timing was off and so the cliff hanger I'm leaving her on is that, you have another shot, right? You have that opportunity to reach the millions you wanted to reach before, you ready? And that's how we leave it, right? Now that's a way more exciting problem statement than probably any of you has ever seen before. Because usually they're just like 'mwah' you know. You struggle with this or you do that and everything feels like WOMP. This is exciting. Like I said, I don't expect all of you to walk out of here today and be like, "Oh, I'm a Hollywood screenwriter." And rip all this together. It takes time but I'm teaching you these tools so you can be mindful of them when you are writing. And even if you just infuse a little bit of excitement. Even if you just use one of these tips for the problem statement, it's going to be so much more exciting and stand out, because at the end of the day, we need to stand out from our competition. This will help you do it.