What is a beat? • A beat is the smallest unit of conflict. Sequences of beats create a larger conflict. • Three mainparts of a beat: • Objective • Obstacle • Action
Objective • An objectiveis what the character wants. • What do I want now, and from whom? • Why are objectives important? • An objective is the reason why people act. • An objective is the reason why a person speaks. • If an actor doesn’t know why they are doing or saying something, the audience won’t know either.
Objectives Examples • to enrapture you • to torment you • to seduce you • to amuse you • to win approval • to soften • to stall • to kill • eating dinner • checking pockets • Walking • Talking • to scramble Non-examples
Obstacle • An obstacle is something (physical, mental, time, place, etc.) that stands in the way of action. An obstacle creates the conflict and the tension. • What is preventing me from attaining my objective? • Why are obstacles important? • An obstacle focuses action and increases intensity. • If an actor doesn’t have an obstacle, no suspense or interest is created for the audience.
Obstacles Examples • no silverware • empty wallet • driver’s indifference • poor visibility • tiredness • girlfriend doesn’t listen
Action • An action is a physical activity. Something you can do. • What will I do to overcome my obstacle? • Why are actions important? • Audiences remember what you do. • The audience cannot see your emotions or feelings. They can only see your actions. • Actions are immediate.
Actions: Strong vs. Weak Strong Actions • To moan • To escape • To needle • To collapse • To spotlight • To scramble • To coo • To cuddle • To whine • To avoid • To annoy • To complain • To fall • To blame Weak Actions