structure

David Lynch catches big fish.

Article: David Lynch catches big fish.

Sundance Channel salutes David Lynch this month with a series of screenings every Thursday, beginning this week with INLAND EMPIRE. See screening times and more.

Last week I was talking to a student about his screenplay and the “rules” of screenwriting, basically the formula that most stories get plugged into (you’ve got your “normality” and then “disturbance” in the first few pages and then the “first act turning point” … and so on). If you’re not familiar with it, please stay blissfully ignorant. It can make movie watching a little less fun when you can too easily predict exactly what is going to happen and when.

My own writing experience using this structure has run the gamut from… get-down-on-my-knees-thankfulness for the backbone it provides especially when you have a bunch of ideas that felt like loose body parts…. to feeling like creative choices have been reduced to something akin to the choices you hear parents give their kids… you can either eat your asparagus or go to bed (i.e. you can either do a strong first act turning point by page 30 or risk alienating your audience). But story structure is hard to knock, as a well structured movie moves and moves well.

“What about Lynch?”