How to apply The three-act structure into video products

The three-act structure is a familiar framework in cinematographic storytelling works, but is that structure applicable to documentary films, YouTube videos or other commercial video products? Of course.

We all know how important the three-act structure is in making feature films, it is used in storytelling and time division, and if you make a drama or TV shows, you can also use the three-act structure. But what if you make a documentary, a video on YouTube, or a commercial video product? Should we follow the traditional storyboard style? Are the same rules applicable? Sure.

When it comes to the three-act structure of a work, we often think it is in the context of a script, but this idea was long before film technology was born. Before the cinema, there were books and stories written in this way, but long before that people were interested in telling each other stories by mouth. The idea of ​​the three-act structure was created by the first storytellers. The famous legendary novelist Josehp Campbell used this method to write “Heroic School”, so that we can clearly distinguish the beginning, middle and end of the work. Today’s stories no longer use the traditional three-act structure, but the idea is still based on this structure. Come to think of it, every story needs a hero, starting the story, some conflicts going on, a few knots were resolved and then the story ended. The three-act structure is not complicated at all.

These modern stories no longer use the traditional three-act structure but the idea is still based on this structure.

Emma Coast, Pixar story writer, best known for 22 rules of storytelling (View on HERE), and hidden deep in the rule that is a combination of the three-completed act structure: Once upon a time …… Each day passed …… ..One day …… Such sentences guide the story clearly dividing the beginning until the end of the story. How to lead from “once upon a time” to “each passing day” to “one and the other” reminds the audience of something interesting that is happening. The structure of the second act is “Until then”. Let’s dive into each chapter structure to see how it can be applied to realistic works.

The first introduce (ACT I):

Coast uses the phrase “Once upon a time”. Although it’s a pretty funny way of thinking, using such a phrase makes it easier for your ideas to reach the goal. This chapter is an introduction to the world, where the story takes place. In this section we will learn about the main character, who they are, what they like, and then introduce some dramatic episodes that will take place.

In your realistic work, it’s an introduction to the context of what’s going to happen. This is the part where you set the premise and expectations of the work. A prime example of the use of the first structural structure in a reality television series is CNN’s “Undiscovered Things with Anthony Bourdain”. To be honest, the “Undiscovered things” and the program team are really a great example of every aspect of implementing a reality program. An episode of “The Undiscovered” begins with the land Bourdain visits, what he thinks about it, his expectations, then we find the information may be misleading, then we see next are the contradictions, the direct axes in the next journey of the program.

It sounds stupidly simple, but there have been many failure stories, just because they lacked dramatic contradictions and interesting contexts. The first episode of a successful show is always simple and short. In a very natural way, this is how you invite your audience to join the protagonist on a reality journey.

Second (ACT II)

act : The second episode is the longest chapter in the three-act structure, which takes up over half of the show duration. In this second episode where the protagonist’s journey takes place, they face conflicts and obstacles that they need to find a way to overcome. For reality shows, this is your main meal.

As for “Undiscovered things,” this is what Bourdain has to face with experiences and challenges that are different from what he had thought, leading to new experiences, different from what Expected audience. While the Second Chamber is a journey, the third episode is the final destination.

Finally (ACT III):

This is the last and the shortest. The third act is the culmination of your story, traditionally when the protagonist has a confrontation

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