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Structuring Your Documentary In Three Acts

Feb 7th, 2017

ThreeactstructureHappy Wednesday! Today I’m giving away the best tutorial you’ll find on applying the Three Act Structure to documentary films:


We’ve all heard of the three-act structure, and screenwriters have it down to a science. But often I find that documentary filmmakers arbitrarily divide their film into three parts, and label each part an act.

Actually, each act looks very different.

According to screenwriters, Act One (about 25% of film) launches your protagonist’s quest.

Act Two (60%) shows your protagonist facing challenges on that quest.

And in Act Three (15%), we learn if they actually achieve their goal in the climax scene.

For a mind-opening overview of how to apply the three-act structure to documentary films, check out this 33-minute excerpt of my live seminar at the San Francisco Film Society. You can download it for free at:


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