Structuring Your Documentary In Three Acts
Feb 7th, 2017
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: