Film Courage: Is there a certain structure you used or guidelines you followed [for Andrew’s first feature film COME INTO YOUR OWN]?
Andrew Guerrero, Writer/Director/Actor: Yes, the basics, the basics story arc structure. First, introduction of the world by page 10 or 11, inciting incident, that kind of offers the character a new look at life, being mindful it’s a MacGuffin, it’s a physical object, it’s a cellphone.
By page 25-ish he has made the choice to enter into this new journey, this new world. By the mid-point of the film, a big something happens and he gets to the point where he is at the point-of-no-return. He is going to make this decision to go into this new way of life or not. When a character does that they are either a hero (The Hero’s Journey) or the tragic hero’s journey. At that point-of-no-return by the last 15-minutes (the last 15 pages of the film) you’re entering back into the old world forever changed. It’s classic formula, it’s classic storytelling arc. Three-act structure with a mid-point and the beat breakups between each act. That’s classic and it works, so do it!
Film Courage: So down to the page?
Andrew: One hundred percent to the page. It makes everything easy. It’s color-by-number at that point. You’ve got 90 pages (90-minutes), first 10 pages, establish the world, establish who your character is by action. What are they doing that they are telling the audience (or he or she), what are they doing that tells the audience who they are. That will then let the audience know who they become and then for the next 10 pages I have to rustle some things up so that this character learns something.
Alright now we are into Act 2. In Act 2 I am going to throw some curveballs at him. Alright, now we get to the mid-point, let’s have something big happen…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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Now on Kickstarter! UNCONDITIONAL (or Berznosacjiuma In Latvian) is a short film that tells the story of an English man that moves to Latvia with his wife. Shortly after they have their first child, she passes away. He decides to stay in order to raise his child as close to how he and his wife intended. With this, come the struggles of single parenthood and living in a foreign country.