Save the cat beat sheet – Blade Runner

Save the cat Beat sheet – Blade Runner

Opening Image – City of the future is a giant industrial hell.

Theme stated – It’s a test. Can you tell if someone is human?

Set up – It’s a futuristic world. Deckard is reluctantly arrested and dragged into the office of his former boss

Catalyst -Deckard has to hunt down and kill four Replicants

Debate – Who are these replicants? Why are they coming back to Earth? What do they want with the Tyrell organisation? What if the machine (the replicant detection device) doesn’t work on the Nexus 6 replicants?

Break into two – Deckard goes to the head office at Tyrell orporation.

B Story – The B story is the love story between Deckard and Rachael. He meets her at Tyrell’s office and discovers she is a highly advanced replicant with implanted memories to make her think she’s real.

Fun and Games – Detective work. Deckard follows up clues. Analysing images hidden in a photo. A fish scale turns out to be a snake scale which gives him another lead to explore. The other side of the hunt shows the replicants closing in on their objectives, using violence against the frozen eye guy and then use the replicant Pris to seduce Sebastian. This brings them one step closer to Tyrell. The love story develops further between Deckard and Rachael when she turns up at his flat.

Midpoint – He kills the first replicant and is told he has to kill Rachael as well. The detective has become an executioner and his love interest has had her head put on the chopping block.

Bad guys close in – Deckard is nearly killed by Leon stuffing his fingers in to his eyes but is saved at the last moment by Rachael. The grip is tightening on Deckard, he is falling in love with Rachael, he has orders to kill her and she just saved his life.

All is lost – The All is lost moment is flipped onto Roy Batty, the leader of the replicants, he confronts Tyrell, his creator, and discovers that there is no way he can alter his destiny, he is going to die. In one last act of defiance he kills Tyrell. Everyone is doomed.

Break into Three – Deckard tracks down the replicants to Sebastian’s house and he kills Pris.

Gathering the team – There is no team, Deckard is on his own but he does strengthen his position to prepare for the finale.

Executing plan – He tries to kill Roy but he is no match for him physically.

High tower surprise – Roy has the chance to kill him but saves his life instead.

Dig down deep – He reflects on what has just happened and resolves end the life of being a Blade Runner.

Execution of new plan – Escape with Rachael and head north.

Final image – “It’s too bad she wont live for ever, but then again, who does.” He’s been given a chance to live by Gaff.

Compare this to Blade Runner – The hero’s journey

Smash pilot – Episode breakdown

The first episode of the TV series Smash is brilliantly written. Here is a brief scene breakdown covering the conflict in each scene and how it sets up conflict for the series.



  1. Two actresses, one treated like shit because she’s green and the other very sexy
  2. Introduces Musical writing team of Julia and Tom
    1. They are meant to be on a break
    2. They get inspired to write Marylin the musical by Tom’s new assistant
  3. Green actress fails to get the part but has a very supportive BF
  4. Julia in the process of adopting
    1. Mocks the idea of doing the Marylin musical but her husband makes her think again
    2. Husband reminds her she is supposed to be on a break and not writing
  5. Parents  of green Actress coming to visit and they are against her being an actress they want her to come back to Ioha
  6. Julia gets sucked into the idea of doing the musical
  7. Tom concerned about his favorite actress leaving the show
    1. Sexy actress crying over not getting a part
  8.  They are going to record one song
    1. husband is furious she is going back on her word
    2. she loves the idea of doing the show so much she doesn’t want anyone else to do it
    3. husband is pissed off she’s not totally committed to the idea of adopting
    4. Julia saves the day because the social worker is a fan of the theatre
  9. They record a song
    1. Sexy actress sings the song
    2. Julia doesn’t like the assistant because he’s poking his nose in
    3. tom and Julia are happy they are doing the musical
    4. New assistant secretly records it

10. Meet the green actress’s parents

  1. Mother wants BF to marry and so does the BF
  2. Parents are from Midwest
  3. Parents think she is wasting her time as an actress

11. Assistant records the demo and puts it online

  1. Theatre blogger critic says it’s brilliant

12. Green actress sings the song from online

13. Executive producer in middle of divorce

  1. They can’t settle the divorce terms and their company is put in escrow

14. Assistant begs for his job back and gets it

  1. Julia not happy with assistant

15. Tom and Julia have meeting with executive producer

  1. EP wants a director that Tom hates
  2. The EP claims her financial situation isn’t bad

16. The EP talks the director into doing it

  1. Director refuses but ends up doing it anyway

17. The number is brilliant and he gets the job

  1. Director fobs off Ivy the sexy actress
  2. Fobs off Julia as well
  3. Tom defends actress
  4. The director comes on board

17. Green actress auditions

  1. She is the only one who doesn’t impersonate Marylin
  2. Sexy actress auditioning but she’s throwing up
  3. Green actress nails audition and gets a call back

18. Actresses celebrate getting call backs

  1. Sexy actress has a poor relationship with her mother and has no one to celebrate with
  2. Green actress celebrates with her BF

19. Director calls green actress to his apartment

  1. Director flatters her but warns her she’s green
  2. Director gets her to perform but implies she’s going to have to have sex with him
  3. She performs and he tries to kiss her but she rejects him

20. Call backs

  1. Both girls are equally brilliant



  1. Green actress
    1. Parents – don’t want her acting
    2. BF – wants to get married she doesn’t
    3. Society – difficult to be an actress
    4. Sexy actress – auditioning for same part but she’s not as sexy
    5. Director – wants to have sex with her but she doesn’t want to piss him off
  2. Julia
    1. Husband – they’re adopting and she’s supposed to be taking a year off
    2. Tom – has an assistant she doesn’t like and a previous bad relationship with a director she loves
  3. Sexy actress
    1. Green actress – competing for the same part and the director likes her
    2. Family – doesn’t care about her acting
    3. Society – tough to be an actress
  4. Tom
    1. Director – has bad previous experience
    2. Assistant – very good but has breached trust
    3. Julia – loves working with her but she wants to work with someone he hates
  5. Director
    1. Gay producer – has previous bad experience and they are openly hostile
    2. Green actress – wants to have sex with her but she isn’t interested
  6. EP
    1. Ex husband – getting divorced and he puts her finances into escrow




Hero’s Journey – Refusal of the call

Refusal of the call

The Hero has received the Call to Adventure but instead of accepting it, he refuses.

This is another way to introduce conflict and reverse expectations for the audience. For example, we know exactly what Rocky is about from the poster and the trailer before we see it but when Rocky is offered the shot at the champ by Jergens “Would you be interested in fighting Apollo Creed for the heavyweight championship of the world?” Rocky replies “No.” (Note the B story in the film is the fight the A story is the love story between Rocky and Adrian which is why this refusal happens half way into the film)

In Raider’s of the lost Ark when the Army Intelligence meet with Indiana Jones to give him the Call- Find the Ark of the covenant – Musgrove “Obviously we’ve come to the right men. You seem to know all about this Tannis.” Indy replies “No, no, not really. Ravenwood is the real expert.” But this refusal doesn’t last long, not even to the end of the conversation.

Refusal of the call in two Natalie Portman films which are not as direct as the above examples.


The call to adventure in Thor is for him to replace Odin as king but a refusal of the call in this instance cannot be expressed as Thor having doubt or being afraid or deeming himself not worthy. His character is both courageous and confident. In this example, refusal of the call is represented by the way Thor reacts when faced by his first challenge. Instead of being a ‘wise’ king who doesn’t seek war, he attacks the Frost Giants in direct defiance of his father. Thus he has put the lives of Asgardians in danger and refused the call of being a wise king.

Black Swan

The Call to Adventure arises when lead role for Black Swan becomes available. She’s desperate to do the role, so when the opportunity arises she wants to do it. (No refusal) But during the tryouts she is a brilliant White Swan but cannot perform the Black Swan. She can’t do it, she isn’t able to answer the call, she’s not ready yet for the challenge. Interestingly she puts on lipstick and attempts to seduce the director but instead she feels the director is taking advantage of her and she bites him. Again, she refuses to do what is necessary to get the role. (A clever use of irony comes into play here when that is the exact thing that gets her the role)

Another good use of Refusal of the Call is to use it to create greater conflict for the hero by having him refuse at first but then use something else which forces his hand so he must commit to the journey.

Breakdown of Refusal of the call


Definition – to decline to accept, give or allow something

Synonyms – decline, react, respond, disobey, resist, reject, pass on, bounce, defy, escape, fail


Definition – need, cause for action

Synonyms – alarm, signal, justification, necessity, obligation, scream, signal, peep, roar, awaken, appeal to, summon, warning

Reasons for refusal

1. Not ready

2. Unwilling

3. Unprepared

4. Fear

5. Lacks confidence

6. Unsure

7. Overwhelmed

8. Modesty

9. Secrecy

How to use in your script

Look at the Refusal of the Call stage in your script. -Do you have one? – Does  it suit your hero’s character or have you just put it in because it’s listed as stage and you thought you should put it in? – Is it as creative a refusal as you can possibly make it? – Does it increase conflict? – Do you get anything out of the refusal? – Does it make the task ahead seem harder?


The Female Avengers

The Female Avengers would be insane. Insanely awesome.


A potentially awesome limited series from Marvel

I like the idea of setting it in an alternate universe and having a cross over with male Avengers.

Obligatory fight scenes between both sides of the Avengers and even more obligatory love scenes. Basically I can imagine Tony Stark saying “Hey check it out, I’m hot.”

Only once the male and female versions work out how to co-exist and compliment each other can they defeat the evil etc etc.

This film would go bananas at the box office.

It would also be a cool limited series like Marvel Zombies or Marvel Apes.

She-Hulk already exists and could be the lynch pin of the story, being the one who crosses over, maybe it has her debating on whether to live in this universe or the alternate universe where women rule.

Please help support this idea and hassle Marvel until they make it.


Asking the right questions

Asking the right questions is a technique to open your mind to other possibilities when you are struggling to be creative.


I’ll show you this example but it applies in all areas of thinking and creativity.

A guy says he wants to be invisible so to answer that question directly we need to spend trillions of dollars developing metamaterials which are able to bend light around an object and thus make him invisible.

However, if we ask him why he wants to be invisible and his answer is because he wants to sneak into women’s change rooms, this opens the question up to a far wider group of answers.

Invisible can redefined as ‘something nobody notices.’

The answer to that question in terms of sneaking into women’s change rooms can be;

a) Dress as a woman

b) Hide inside a change room locker

c) Install a tiny camera

We can also explore the question deeper by asking why do you want to sneak into women’s change rooms and what are the alternatives to that;

a) Visit strip clubs

b) Get a girlfriend

c)Find other forms of entertainment

Here are six answers to the question of How do I become invisible. All of them are vastly less expensive than actually developing invisibility technology but they will provide a satisfying resolution.

So, if you’re suffering from writer’s block or you’ve painted yourself into a creative corner and you can’t get out of it, take a step back and start asking questions.

“I want to kill my main character’s mentor at this point but it’s essential to have the mentor at the end of the story”

Redefine kill to mean “I no longer have any respect for you and you are dead to me”

Is it possible for your character to have an experience with his mentor where he feels betrayed or let down by his mentor so the mentor doesn’t have to physically die but is dead for all intents and purposes.

Can the mentor’s death simply mean a physical separation so they can’t communicate?

The thing about asking questions is that it gives you options to explore and eliminate depending on their suitability for purpose.

I hope this helps, in the meantime if anyone needs me, I’m going to dress as a woman. Mwha ha ha