March 4, 2017
How do Hollywood screenwriters structure a screenplay?
There’s no such thing as “the right way” to write a script, but there are certainly well-trodden paths that countless professional screenwriters take to craft certain story structures. And though these structures might seem overused or formulaic, they do provide a great framework for new writers to cut their teeth on. In this video from The Film Look, we get to take a look at Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, or The Hero’s Journey, which is one of the most common story templates, to not only learn what it is and how it works, but to also see how it unfolds in other films as well.
Maybe the best way to start talking about this is by explaining exactly what a “beat” is. Well, a beat is the smallest unit of measurement in a screenplay represented by an event, major decision, or important piece of new information. A beat sheet, or as they call it in the video, a “beat list,” is a breakdown of every important moment that occurs in your screenplay in the order in which they occur.