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story structure - are the STC beats for the audience?

 
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rocknroll
Cub


Joined: 14 Mar 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: story structure - are the STC beats for the audience? Reply with quote #50711

This may be the most obvious Aha! that anyone's ever had, I dunno.

Are the beats needed at certain stages in order for the audience to progress through the emotional journey of the story?

Obviously for the story to make sense and for the audience to become invested in the MC, the progression needs to have an individual hero moving through the sequence of beats. But we know from stories that play with how linear time is presented (Pulp Fiction, Memento) that there are infinite ways to tell that story. Yet the emphasis throughout STC is that things happen in a certain spot in the script, meaning that the beats are anchored to the audience's experience of the story unfolding in audience time - not how the story literally happened in linear time if it were told on a sequential timeline.

Again, perhaps the most obvious observation of all? Not sure, this lightbulb only just went on for me.

Can anyone confirm or correct me on this?


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dawilliam
Bengal Tiger


Joined: 20 Oct 2015
Posts: 235
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50741

Hey Rocknroll,

I'm a great fan of the STC method, as it really breaks down the scriptwriting process and makes it easy to understand. However, it is just one popular way to tell a story. If you've read Blakes books, for me STC tries to identify what makes a satisfying and great story by dividing it into story beats, which are a sequence of scenes which move the story forward. These beats are essentially the basic structure of the story and give the story its direction and purpose.

However, we've seen with filmmakers like Christopher Nolan that, you don't have to follow the STC structure to make a great film, I would say though, that you really need to understand story structure really well, to do something like Momento.


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RobbRoss
Liger


Joined: 04 Jan 2012
Posts: 1654

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50744

The beats and the story's chronology are two different things. The beats were an observation of Blake's, not an invention (he came up with catchy phrases, like Fun 'n Games), so they're for the sake of the story's construction and the reader's/audience's experience. Blake's books discuss ensembles and nontraditional plots. Any thought that STC limits a story is a misunderstanding.

For the chronology part, check out this breakdown of Deadpool for proof that the beats are in place even when the story plays out of order. http://savethecat.informe.com/viewtopic.php?t=6164


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dawilliam
Bengal Tiger


Joined: 20 Oct 2015
Posts: 235
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote #50752

Quote:
Blake's books discuss ensembles and nontraditional plots. Any thought that STC limits a story is a misunderstanding.


Absolutely, its just another tool in the scriptwriting process, even though it has been criticised for producing formulaic films, when misused.


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