MWA Calendar

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Montgomery County Chapter April Mtg - The Skeleton in the Closet: Film Structure and Crafting Stories

April 11, 2020
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Mid-County Community Recreation Center
2004 Queensguard Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906

The world of film is filled with comedy and drama, sci-fi and fantasy, thriller and romance, and everything in-between, but what many don’t realize is that nearly every film boils down to the same three-act structure. Novels and memoirs are different, based upon a less precise formula of inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. But there’s a lot we can learn about general story structure by focusing on three-act film structure. This talk will explore what three-act structure teaches us about how and why stories are constructed, and how these lessons can be incorporated into our own writing.

Three things this presentation will teach you are:

1.) How inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement are reflected in the precision of three-act screenplay structure.

2.) What the precise location of plot points in film, specifically points of no return, can teach us about building a story through the principle of cause and effect.

3.) Why the protagonist typically faces his lowest moment, sometimes called the all is lost moment, shortly before the climax in the third act—and why novels and memoirs can benefit from this approach as well.

Harrison Demchick is a developmental editor who has worked on more than seventy published books, several of which have been optioned for film. He's experienced in manuscripts as diverse as fantasy, science-fiction, literary fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, women’s fiction, young adult, memoir, and everything in-between. An optioned and award-winning screenwriter as well, Harrison is an inaugural fellow of the Johns Hopkins University/Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Screenplay Lab, and his first film, Ape Canyon, made its festival debut in November 2019. He's also the author of the 2012 literary horror novel The Listeners (Bancroft Press), and two of his short stories, "Magicland" and "The Bead," appear in the 2019 editions of Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism and The Hunger.

For more information email: [email protected]