# History Main / TheHollywoodFormula

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Compare CastCalculus, CentralTheme, EmotionalTorque, PacingProblems, ThreeActStructure. If you're looking for [[IThoughtItMeant Hollywood-style mathematics]], try EEqualsMCHammer.

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Compare CastCalculus, CentralTheme, EmotionalTorque, PacingProblems, ThreeActStructure. If you're looking for [[IThoughtItMeant [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Hollywood-style mathematics]], try EEqualsMCHammer.

This is not a formula in the way a lot of people think of one, as having a negative connotation. They think 'formula Hollywood movies' means StrictlyFormula, the same cheesy things over and over again. What we're talking about is a recipe for EmotionalTorque. Hollywood has a formula that has been developed over almost 100 years of cinema to get maximum emotional value out of every scene of a film. When you learn the formula, you can use it to [[TropesAreTools shape your own works]], in any medium, to get that reaction from the audience.

to:

This is not a formula in the way a lot of people think of one, as having a negative connotation. They think 'formula "formula Hollywood movies' movies" means StrictlyFormula, the same cheesy things over and over again. What we're talking about is a recipe for EmotionalTorque. Hollywood has a formula that has been developed over almost 100 years of cinema to get maximum emotional value out of every scene of a film. When you learn the formula, you can use it to [[TropesAreTools shape your own works]], in any medium, to get that reaction from the audience.

* '''TheProtagonist''' - the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''. '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", but rather; 'I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND rich.'
* '''TheAntagonist''' - the person who places '''obstacles''' to the goal in the path of the protagonist. ''This does not mean [[{{Villains}} the bad guy]]''. The antagonist's goals are in some way opposed to the protagonist, and they are the one who is blocking the protagonist's journey.
* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to this character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and this character will reconcile with each other.

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* '''TheProtagonist''' - -- the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''. '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", but rather; 'I rather, "I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I " "I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I " "I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND ''and'' rich.'
"
* '''TheAntagonist''' - -- the person who places '''obstacles''' to the goal in the path of the protagonist. ''This does not mean [[{{Villains}} the bad guy]]''. The antagonist's goals are in some way opposed to the protagonist, and they are the one who is blocking the protagonist's journey.
* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The -- the person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to this character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and this character will reconcile with each other.

*Third Act: begins after 75% of the story has been told. The beginning of the third act is the low point - the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal. At ''Climax'' the protagonist confronts the antagonist, reconciles with the relationship character, and claims success or failure in his goal. Then we have ''Denouement''; loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

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*Third Act: begins after 75% of the story has been told. The beginning of the third act is the low point - the point--the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal. At ''Climax'' the protagonist confronts the antagonist, reconciles with the relationship character, and claims success or failure in his goal. Then we have ''Denouement''; loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

*Third Act: begins after 75% of the story has been told. The beginning of the third act is the low point - the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal. At ''Climax'' the protagonist confronts the antagonist, reconciles with the dynamic character, and claims success or failure in his goal. Then we have ''Denouement''; loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

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*Third Act: begins after 75% of the story has been told. The beginning of the third act is the low point - the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal. At ''Climax'' the protagonist confronts the antagonist, reconciles with the dynamic relationship character, and claims success or failure in his goal. Then we have ''Denouement''; loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

**Louise is the dynamic character. She and Thelma share the Main role and act as dynamic character to each other.

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**Louise is the dynamic relationship character. She and Thelma share the Main role and act as dynamic relationship character to each other.

**The Joker is the dynamic character. "Don't pretend you're like them. You're not like them, even if you'd want to be. You're a freak. Like me!" The reconciliation occurs when Batman answers the Joker's question - "Do you know how I got these scars?" "No, but I know how you got these." He tells a joke and accepts his role as the Dark Knight.

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**The Joker is the dynamic relationship character. "Don't pretend you're like them. You're not like them, even if you'd want to be. You're a freak. Like me!" The reconciliation occurs when Batman answers the Joker's question - "Do you know how I got these scars?" "No, but I know how you got these." He tells a joke and accepts his role as the Dark Knight.

* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and this character will reconcile with each other.

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* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic this character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and this character will reconcile with each other.

Summarized as accurately as possible from ''Podcast/WritingExcuses'', where it was described by [[http://www.louanders.com/Home.html Lou Anders]], who himself recounted the version by [[http://www.storylink.com/profile/DanDecker Dan Decker]], whose profession is teaching it to screenplay writers so they can make better films and to film executives so that they know what to look for.

This is not a formula in the way a lot of people think of, as having a negative connotation. They think 'formula Hollywood movies' means [[StrictlyFormula the same cheesy things over and over again]]. What we're really talking about is more of a recipe for EmotionalTorque. Hollywood has a formula that has developed over almost 100 years of cinema, basically to get maximum emotional value out of every scene of a film. When you learn the formula, you can use it to [[TropesAreTools shape your own works]] - regardless of medium - to get that reaction from the audience.

to:

Summarized as accurately as possible from ''Podcast/WritingExcuses'', where it was described by [[http://www.louanders.com/Home.html Lou Anders]], who himself recounted the version by [[http://www.storylink.com/profile/DanDecker Dan Decker]], whose profession is teaching it to screenplay writers so they can make better films and to film executives so that they know what to look for.

This is not a formula in the way a lot of people think of, of one, as having a negative connotation. They think 'formula Hollywood movies' means [[StrictlyFormula StrictlyFormula, the same cheesy things over and over again]]. again. What we're really talking about is more of a recipe for EmotionalTorque. Hollywood has a formula that has been developed over almost 100 years of cinema, basically cinema to get maximum emotional value out of every scene of a film. When you learn the formula, you can use it to [[TropesAreTools shape your own works]] - regardless of medium - works]], in any medium, to get that reaction from the audience.

* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and dynamic character will reconcile with each other.

The story ends when the protagonist ''achieves'' or ''relinquishes'' his goal, ''defeats'' or is ''defeated by'' the antagonist, and ''reconciles'' with the relationship character. The ''closer'' together these things happen, the ''more emotional impact'' the story will have.

*First Act (beginning 0% of the way through the story) - introduces the characters and their goals.
**10%-15% - the protagonist faces a [[CallToAdventure fateful decision]]. The protagonist is presented with a choice, and how they answer determines whether or not there is a story.
*Second Act (25%) - starts piling on the problems.
**50% - Up to this point the story has been raising questions. At this point, it begins to answer them.
*Third Act (75%) - the beginning of the third act is the low point - the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal.
**Climax - the protagonist defeats the antagonist, reconciles with the dynamic character, and claims success or failure in his goal.
**Denouement - loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

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* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and dynamic this character will reconcile with each other.

The story ends when the protagonist ''achieves'' or ''relinquishes'' his goal, ''defeats'' or is ''defeated by'' the antagonist, and ''reconciles'' with the relationship character. The ''closer'' closer together these things happen, the ''more more emotional impact'' impact the story will have.

*First Act (beginning Act; beginning at 0% of the way through the story) - introduces story; Introduces the characters and their goals.
**10%-15% -
goals. At 10%-15%, the protagonist faces a [[CallToAdventure fateful decision]]. The protagonist is presented with decision]], a choice, and how they answer determines whether or not there is a story.
*Second Act (25%) - starts Act: begins after 25% of the story has been told. Starts piling on the problems.
**50% - Up to this point
problems. At about 50%, the story has been raising questions. At this point, it It begins to answer them.
*Third Act (75%) - Act: begins after 75% of the story has been told. The beginning of the third act is the low point - the furthest the protagonist can possibly get from their goal.
**Climax -
goal. At ''Climax'' the protagonist defeats confronts the antagonist, reconciles with the dynamic character, and claims success or failure in his goal.
**Denouement -
goal. Then we have ''Denouement''; loose ends are wrapped up and the story reaches its conclusion.

Summarized as accurately as possible from ''Podcast/WritingExcuses'', where it was described by [[http://www.louanders.com/Home.html Lou Anders]], who himself recounted the version by [[http://www.storylink.com/profile/DanDecker Dan Decker]], whose profession is teaching it to screenplay writers so they can make better films and to film executives so that they know what to look for.

Summarized as accurately as possible from ''WritingExcuses'', where it was described by [[http://www.louanders.com/Home.html Lou Anders]], who himself recounted the version by [[http://www.storylink.com/profile/DanDecker Dan Decker]], whose profession is teaching it to screenplay writers so they can make better films and to film executives so that they know what to look for.

to:

Summarized as accurately as possible from ''WritingExcuses'', ''Podcast/WritingExcuses'', where it was described by [[http://www.louanders.com/Home.html Lou Anders]], who himself recounted the version by [[http://www.storylink.com/profile/DanDecker Dan Decker]], whose profession is teaching it to screenplay writers so they can make better films and to film executives so that they know what to look for.

A Hollywood Formula story involves follows the interactions of [[RuleOfThree three characters]] through the ThreeActStructure.

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A Hollywood Formula story involves follows the interactions of [[RuleOfThree three characters]] through the ThreeActStructure.

*''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' is the TropeCodifier. After it became a success, screenwriters and film companies started analyzing it to figure out why it worked so well and what they could extrapolate to other films. (This is why the pacing in earlier films can seem odd to modern audiences.)

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*''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' is the TropeCodifier. After [[note]]After it became a success, screenwriters and film companies started analyzing it to figure out why it worked so well and what they could extrapolate to other films. (This is why the pacing in earlier films can seem odd to modern audiences.)[[/note]] The antagonist is not always the villain: Rick isn't even aware of Laszlo's interest in Ilsa, and as a Resistance leader he's a hard man to dislike. The villains, if any, are the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]], but they merely create the situation that makes the story necessary (without the Nazis, Laszlo wouldn't have been taken to a concentration camp, meaning Ilsa wouldn't have gone to Paris and met Rick, etc., etc., etc.)

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: not even Rick bears Laszlo much ill-will, since it seems that he is unaware of Ilsa's history with Rick, and even then as a Resistance leader he's a hard man to dislike. The villains, if any, are the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]], but they merely create the situation that makes the story necessary (without the Nazis, Laszlo wouldn't have been taken to a concentration camp, meaning Ilsa wouldn't have gone to Paris and met Rick, etc., etc., etc.)

* '''TheProtagonist''' - the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''. '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", 'I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND rich.'

to:

* '''TheProtagonist''' - the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''. '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", but rather; 'I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND rich.'

*''ThelmaAndLouise''

to:

*''ThelmaAndLouise''*''Film/ThelmaAndLouise''

**The Joker is the dynamic character. "Don't pretend you're like them. You're not like them, even if you'd want to be. You're a freak. Like me!" The reconciliation occurs when Batman answers the Joker's question - "Do you know how I got these scars?" "No, but I know how you'll get these." He tells a joke and accepts his role as the Dark Knight.

to:

**The Joker is the dynamic character. "Don't pretend you're like them. You're not like them, even if you'd want to be. You're a freak. Like me!" The reconciliation occurs when Batman answers the Joker's question - "Do you know how I got these scars?" "No, but I know how you'll get you got these." He tells a joke and accepts his role as the Dark Knight.

* '''TheProtagonist''' - the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''.
** '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", 'I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND rich.'

to:

* '''TheProtagonist''' - the person the story is about. He or she is a person who ''wants a goal''.
**
goal''. '''The goal''' must be something concrete, definable, and achievable. Rather than "I want to be happy" or "I want to be rich", 'I want ''him to fall in love with me'' so that I will be happy.' 'I want to ''win the game show that I'm going to be on'' so that I will be rich.' 'I want to ''[[Film/OceansEleven rob the casino of the guy who's dating my ex-girlfriend]],'' so I can be happy AND rich.'

* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it.
** '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and dynamic character will reconcile with each other.

to:

* '''[[{{Deuteragonist}} The Relationship Character]]''' - The person who accompanies the protagonist on their journey. Typically, they are someone who has been there, done that before, and they have wisdom to communicate to the protagonist, and the protagonist isn't hearing it.
**
it. '''[[CentralTheme The theme]]''' of the story, what the protagonist needs to understand in order to succeed, is expressed either by or to the dynamic character. In many cases, this happens as part of an actual conversation. At the end of the story, this conversation or expression of the theme will be revisited, and the protagonist and dynamic character will reconcile with each other.

*''{{Casablanca}}'' is the TropeCodifier. After it became a success, screenwriters and film companies started analyzing it to figure out why it worked so well and what they could extrapolate to other films. (This is why the pacing in earlier films can seem odd to modern audiences.)

to:

*''{{Casablanca}}'' *''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' is the TropeCodifier. After it became a success, screenwriters and film companies started analyzing it to figure out why it worked so well and what they could extrapolate to other films. (This is why the pacing in earlier films can seem odd to modern audiences.)

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: we the audience don't bear him much ill-will, if any at all (he's barely aware that there's a conflict in the first place); on the other hand, the bad guys in the story are of course ThoseWackyNazis, but they merely create the situation that makes the conflict possible.

to:

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: we the audience don't bear him not even Rick bears Laszlo much ill-will, if any at all (he's barely aware since it seems that there's he is unaware of Ilsa's history with Rick, and even then as a conflict in Resistance leader he's a hard man to dislike. The villains, if any, are the first place); on the other hand, the bad guys in the story are of course ThoseWackyNazis, [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]], but they merely create the situation that makes the conflict possible.story necessary (without the Nazis, Laszlo wouldn't have been taken to a concentration camp, meaning Ilsa wouldn't have gone to Paris and met Rick, etc., etc., etc.)

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: we the audience don't bear him much ill-will, if any at all (he's barely aware that there's a conflict in the first place); on the other hand, the villains in the story are of course ThoseWackyNazis, but they merely create the situation that makes the conflict possible.

to:

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: we the audience don't bear him much ill-will, if any at all (he's barely aware that there's a conflict in the first place); on the other hand, the villains bad guys in the story are of course ThoseWackyNazis, but they merely create the situation that makes the conflict possible.

*** This is also a useful demonstration of how the antagonist is not always the villain: we the audience don't bear him much ill-will, if any at all (he's barely aware that there's a conflict in the first place); on the other hand, the villains in the story are of course ThoseWackyNazis, but they merely create the situation that makes the conflict possible.

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