The Three Acts - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Go Back   Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum » Avatar » Plot and Script Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-09-2010, 09:24 AM
Woodsprite's Avatar
Olo'eyktan
Woodsprite is very busy.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 3,162
Default The Three Acts

Ever notice how Avatar has a screenplay fit to the guidelines of different acts? as in a play? I've looked over the whole thing, and the events fit perfectly; I've never noticed this before.

Act 1: Begins with Jake's dream and Jake opens his eyes; ends with Jake falling asleep in the hammock. (approx. 49 minutes) This would be the introduction into the story, the characters, the basic plot, and Jake meeting the Na'vi.

Act 2: Begins with Jake being awakened by Grace, ends with Neytiri looking back at Hometree destroyed. (approx. 60 minutes) This would be primarily focusing on Jake's training and assimilation into the clan, his thoughts on his life on Pandora, and the destruction of Hometree.

Act 3: Begins with the shot of Jake, Norm, and Grace in a detention room, ends with Jake opening his eyes. (approx. 55 minutes) This would sum up escaping Hell's Gate, Grace's death, and the final battle.


Of course, this couldn't possibly be portrayed on the stage, but the screenplay still stays within the confines of a basic playwritten script. Many films do the same thing, I'm fully aware. But I never really payed any attention with this concept when watching Avatar because it's simply too engrossing to notice, at least, not at first viewing. Any thoughts on the acts?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-09-2010, 09:27 AM
zongtseng's Avatar
Administrator
zongtseng is starting a new life
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 475
Default

I hadn't thought about it, but they do fit nicely into the 3 act format just as you laid out. They even have clear break points. Between 1 and 2 the screen goes completely white for a few seconds, and between 2 and 3 the screen goes completely black.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-09-2010, 02:19 PM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default

I never really thought about it, but one thing I did notice is that the biggest change is after Jake and Neytiri at the Tree of Voices. That's the part when you start actually disliking the humans, rather than just loving the Na'vi and Pandora.
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-09-2010, 02:26 PM
rapunzel77's Avatar
Ikran Makto
rapunzel77 has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: florida
Posts: 881
Send a message via ICQ to rapunzel77
Default

I have noticed it too. Its true that many movies work in a three act formula, sometimes four acts. If I recall from watching some Cameron interviews, he refers to it as three acts as well.
__________________
You wont walk alone
I'll be by your side
There will be no empty home
if you will be my bride
the rest of my life will be
Song for Rapunzel and me.


I see you

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-10-2010, 01:52 AM
Fighter-of-Wars's Avatar
Adventurer
Fighter-of-Wars is alive and well
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 945
Default

I never noticed that before, but as said it really does fit the three act pieces well. Good observation.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-10-2010, 03:04 AM
Pamtseo Vitra
Fkeu'itan hasn't been here in years.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Aberystwyth, Wales.
Posts: 2,562
Send a message via Skype™ to Fkeu'itan
Default

Yeah I did notice this somewhat, not in specific shots though, but in general content of the sections themselves.
__________________
"When the time comes, just walk away and don't make any fuss."
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-16-2010, 08:02 PM
Alan's Avatar
Karyu
Alan has no status.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Derbyshire
Posts: 1,330
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
Ever notice how Avatar has a screenplay fit to the guidelines of different acts? as in a play? I've looked over the whole thing, and the events fit perfectly; I've never noticed this before.
....
Many films do the same thing, I'm fully aware. But I never really payed any attention with this concept when watching Avatar because it's simply too engrossing to notice, at least, not at first viewing. Any thoughts on the acts?
Kaltxi Woodsprite,

I am member of Avatar Forums and I saw a post mentioning that there was a partner forum called Tree of Souls, so I thought I'd came and have a look round - as you do. Anyway, I saw your interesting thread on the three acts to Avatar. Funnily enough, I made a similar post on Avatar forums! Great minds think alike!

One of the things that Avatar inspired me to do was dust off a synopsis for a short film I wrote way back in 2001. So I bought a couple of books about screen play writing. I was then intrigued in analysing the structure of Avatar's screen play, which led me to put a post on Avatar Forums to see what other people thought.

Anyway to cut a long story short I ended up coming up with the following breakdown of the film, which I have copied below. Hope it is of interest:

Act 1 - The Set-Up:
This introduces the characters and setting. It is where the story tells us about Pandora, why the humans are their. It introduces us to Jake, Norm, Grace, Selfidge, Quarich, Neytiri and the Na'vi. It gives us a little of their background so we know where they are coming from and what their motives are. Once that job is done we move to plot point one...

Plot Point 1:
This is where the story really starts and with a 'twist'. Can you guess what it is? For me this was the moment the atokirina, the seeds of the sacred tree, land on Jake. Up until that point Neytiri was pushing Jake away, but the seeds landing on him was the 'twist', that changed Neytiri's mind. And so begins the journey and adventure into Act 2...

Act 2 - The Confrontation (Part 1- Jake learning to be a Na'vi):
You will notice during the main part of the story there is nothing but conflict. This is to give the drama. The first part of act 2 is all about the confrontation Jake has in learning the way's of the Na'vi. Obstacle after obstacle is put in his way: learning to ride a direhourse, putting up with Tsu'tey's attitude, keeping up with Neytiri, following Quaritch's orders, being the outsider with the scientists. All these obstacles he overcomes until he goes back to Hells Gate. And so we reach the midpoint...

Mid-Point:
For this you can read 'the point of no return'. For me this is where Quaritch talks to Jake back at Hells Gate, saying he can go home to get his 'real legs back'. At this point Jake could just walk away from the situation and leave the Na'vi to the mercy of the RDA - but no. With a point of his finger and the words 'No, I can do this. There this one thing I need to do...', he leads us into the second part of Act 2...

Act 2 - the Confrontation (Part 2 - battle)
And so our illustrious hero returns to the Na'vi to become one of them. There will still be conflict, but this time Jakes 'confrontation' changes from being with the Na'vi to the RDA as Home Tree is brought to the ground. The confrontation changes to be with is own kind and we see him switch sides leading him to end up in jail with the others, before escaping and coming to the rescue of the Na'vi. And that leads up onto Plot Point 2...

Plot Point 2:
May folks seemed to get this one. It is the twist in the story where Jake becomes Toruk Macto. It is the point that turns the story around and leads us the the final act - Act 3 - The Resolution...

Act 3 - The Resolution:
This follows the low ebb that the Na'vi have found themselves in having had their Home Tree destroyed. Jake comes the the rescue as Toruk Macto and the ensuing battle twists and turns in favour of the Na'vi, then for the RDA and back to the Na'vi. It eventually sees the resolution of the conflict in favour of the Na'vi as 'Eywa has heard you!'. Jake's adventurous journey takes its final leap as he becomes a Na'vi for good and his life becomes complete. Queue welling up of eyes and a yearning to see the movie again and again!

Well, that's my take on it, but of course the only person who really knows is Mr JC himself! Hope it was of interest.

Oel ngati kameie,

Alan
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-16-2010, 09:07 PM
SaphirJD's Avatar
Ikran Makto
SaphirJD The World is mine now, i win :D
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Universe... Evil is everywhere
Posts: 972
Send a message via ICQ to SaphirJD Send a message via AIM to SaphirJD Send a message via Yahoo to SaphirJD Send a message via Skype™ to SaphirJD
Default

Never thaught much about that, but i have to say, the 3 act scheme fits perfect for avatar
__________________


www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEpcjgYHE4U
- So bad that it's coming close to Awesome - No, not my personality

SUPER Villain and SOON UPRISING GOD of


VfSCaM - Villains for Strawberry Cruelty against Mankind


Only awesome sweet white Wine can bring you back epic Sunshine

If you want to succeed in life, be evil, mean and show no mercy. But ALWAYS posess A GOOD TASTE !
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-16-2010, 09:36 PM
neytirifanboy's Avatar
Tsamsiyu
neytirifanboy has no status.
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 620
Default

I know all about the three act rule. It is used for all movies. I even wrote a full screenplay once. But it was rubbish.

I think Woodsprite is very close in his definitin of the three acts. I certainly agree with the split between acts 2/3, although I think that the split between1/2 may be a bit earlier. Not that I am an expert or that it really matters.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-11-2011, 01:35 AM
Ketuwong
Hiccup Haddock has no status.
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
Kaltxi Woodsprite,

Mid-Point:
For this you can read 'the point of no return'. For me this is where Quaritch talks to Jake back at Hells Gate, saying he can go home to get his 'real legs back'. At this point Jake could just walk away from the situation and leave the Na'vi to the mercy of the RDA - but no. With a point of his finger and the words 'No, I can do this. There this one thing I need to do...', he leads us into the second part of Act 2...
The movie definitely follows the three-arc formula, and very well, too. However, I felt that the midpoint of the story is Jake's first encounter with the Toruk, and his conversation with Neytiri about it right after.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-12-2011, 06:56 AM
Pa'li Makto's Avatar
Palulukan Makto
Pa'li Makto : Once ate an octopus.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,909
Default

I like the three act rule.
It helps to balance Avatar out instead of making it a drawn out movie like a lot of the ones out now.
__________________
Always listening to The Orb: O.O.B.E...



My fanfic

"The man who learns only what others know is as ignorant as if he learns nothing.
The treasures of knowledge are the most rare, and guarded most harshly."
-Chronicle of the First Age


"Try to see the forest through her eyes."

Réalisant mon espoir, Je me lance vers la gloire. Je ne regrette rien. (Making my hope come true, I hurl myself toward glory. I regret nothing.)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-12-2011, 07:10 AM
iron_jones's Avatar
Olo'eyktan
iron_jones seldom washes his hair.
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,874
Default

You smart bastard.

You are a gentleman and a scholar.
__________________


Misery Forever.

O vos ómnes qui transítis per víam, atténdite et vidéte
Si est dólor símilis sícut dólor méus.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-12-2011, 08:58 PM
Moco Loco's Avatar
Dandy Lion
Moco Loco is a lion in a low place
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,915
Send a message via Skype™ to Moco Loco
Default

I think it's easy to divide up any movie and assign it acts. I don't really see how this is significant, however, and I know many many people disagree with me (irl), but meh.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-13-2011, 09:00 AM
Ashen Key's Avatar
Ikran Makto
Ashen Key is writing
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 796
Send a message via AIM to Ashen Key
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
I think it's easy to divide up any movie and assign it acts. I don't really see how this is significant, however, and I know many many people disagree with me (irl), but meh.
Some of us like looking at the nuts and bolts and actual craft of story-telling, be it because we are writers ourselves or just because that's how we look at things, and from that perspective, the three arcs are very interesting.

Woodsprite, I never noticed that before, thanks for mentioning
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-13-2011, 10:45 AM
Advent's Avatar
Mother Falcon
Advent is feeling bittersweet
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Somewhere home
Posts: 2,972
Default

It seems Cameron used a smart tactic of properly dividing the movie. Therefore, much smoother plot line.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



Visit our partner sites:

      pandoraworld.ru



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:04 PM.

Based on the Planet Earth theme by Themes by Design


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
All images and clips of Avatar are the exclusive property of 20th Century Fox.