Iron Man – Save the Cat Beat Sheet

Iron man Save the cat Beat sheet



Opening image – Tony Stark in an APC with military guards living a carefree life.

Theme stated – “Yeah, peace. I love peace. I’d be out of a job with peace.” He doesn’t see the human cost of war, only the profit. He will learn to better appreciate the value of each.

Set up – Tony is a genius, billionaire, playboy making his fortune from weapons manufacture.

The Catalyst – He’s captured by terrorists and forced to build a weapon for them.

Debate – He refuses but is tortured until he agrees to do it. Secretly he’s building a suit of armor so he can make his escape.

Break into two – He escapes the terrorist camp as Iron man and returns to America and the first thing he does is announce that Stark Industries will be getting out of the weapons manufacturing industry

B Story – Tony Stark’s new outlook on life transforms his working relationship with Pepper Potts into romance.

Fun and Games – Tony builds and tests his new Iron man suit and has to deal with his company trying to remove him.

Mid Point –  Tony flies to Gulmira as Iron man and protects the innocents.

The bad guys close in – Obadiah is working with the terrorists. He wanted Tony killed. Tony learns his company has been illegally trading weapons with the enemy. Obadiah knows that Pepper was spying on him.

All is lost –  Obadiah paralyses Tony and steals the arc reactor out of his chest

Dark night of the soul – Tony staggers into his laboratory and replaces his chest arc reactor.

Break into Act three – Tony flies to his head quarters to face Obadiah

Gathering the team – Pepper and SHEILD move in on Obadiah and he attacks them as Iron Monger.

Storm the castle – Iron Man and Iron Monger fight throughout the city

Dig down deep – He makes a dangerous play, flying to a very high altitude with hardly any power left to trick Iron Monger to follow him and make him suffer the icing problem

Execution of new plan – Iron Monger survived the fall and Iron Man lures him over the giant arc reactor and makes it explode

Victory – Tony, with the help of Pepper defeats Iron Monger

Final image – Tony Stark declaring he is Iron Man to the world.


Compare with Iron man – The Hero’s journey


Aliens – Save the Cat Beat Sheet


Opening image

Ripley floating alone in hypersleep.

Theme stated

“If one of those things gets down here then that will be all. Then all this bullshit you think is so important you can just kiss all that goodbye.”

It’s a deadly situation and no one seems to be listening to Ripley or giving her the respect she deserves.

In the directors cut there is a scene where Ripley lost her child , so motherhood is the theme and this ties in nicely with the B story and the mother alien but it wasn’t in the theatrical release. Is it possible to remove the scene which states the theme and still have that as the theme of the film? Often the Dark Night of the soul moment is a moment where the hero acknowledges, understands, accepts the theme. Motherhood, where someone is willing to sacrifice their own life for their child. The Alien Queen is also a mother facing obliteration from Ripley. Most accurately the theme is Motherhood in a deadly situation.

Ripley is recovering from spending fifty seven years in hypersleep, suffering from post traumatic stress and her employers don’t believe her story about what happened to the ship.

Inciting Incident
Burke tells Ripley they’ve lost contact with the colony.

Burke wants her to go as a consultant but she isn’t refuses to go until she wakes from a nightmare and feels like the only way to end the nightmares is to face the fear.

Break into two

She flies to the planet with the Colonial Marines.

B story

Often the B story is the love story and in this case it’s motherly love. Ripley lost her daughter at the start of the film and the B story is maternal love story between Ripley and Newt

Fun and Games

They explore the empty space colony and discover clues as to what happened. They discover where the entire population of the colony is located and the marines go in after them

They enter the alien lair and the aliens kill some of the marines and Ripley rescues them but their shuttle crashes and they are stranded on the planet.

Bad Guys Close In:
Burke releases two face huggers to get Ripley and Newt implanted with aliens and the stations nuclear reactor is going to explode.

All is Lost
The aliens infiltrate all the defences and kill the remaining marines except for Hicks. Newt is taken by the aliens and Hick is wounded by the alien acid blood.

Dark Night of the Soul

They get the shuttle but they can’t leave because Ripley has to go back and save Newt

Break into three

Ripley enters the hive to save Newt

Gather the team
Ripley’s on her own but assembles her weapons and fortifies herself for the upcoming battle.

Storm the Castle:
Ripley blasts her way into the hive, saves Newt, burns all the eggs and has the alien queen chasing after her in hot pursuit.

High Tower Surprise:
They think they escaped but the alien queen hid on their craft.

Dig Down Deep:
Ripley in a loading suit fights the alien queen.

Victory (or Defeat):
The alien queen is sucked into space. Not bad for a human.

Final image

Ripley and her new family, asleep in their pods


You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.

Alien – Save the cat Beat sheet


Opening image

The Nostromo star ship in the middle of space

Theme stated

“Anybody ever tell you that you look dead?” You’re doomed and you don’t know it yet.

Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo wake up after their hyper sleep

The computer woke them up because it detected a strange signal which may be a distress call.

Parker and Brett don’t want to go as it’s not their job and but they are contracted to go and so they must. Ripley and Ash have a soft argument over whether or not the signal is a warning or a SOS.


Break into Two

They land on the planet and Kane ends up with a face hugger

B Story

The closest thing to the B story is her relationship with Ash the robot. It’s the secret smaller battle going on while the larger battle between the crew and the alien is happening.

Fun and Games

This bizarre alien creature has acid for blood and can’t be removed from Kane’s face. However a short time later the creature just falls off his face and Kane seems fine.


The Chest burster explodes out of Kane and runs away.

Bad Guys Close In:
The creature grows and kills Brett. Dallas arms himself with a flamethrower and goes after it in the vents but he is killed as well

All is Lost:
Ripley gets access to Mother and discovers the real reason behind Ash’s behaviour. He has orders from the company to protect the alien and the crew is expendable. Ash tries to kill Ripley but she is saved by Parker

Dark Night of the Soul:
They find out from the robot they have no chance to survive, they are in the middle of deep space and their company wants them

Break into three:
They decide to take their chances and make the ship self destruct..

Gathering the team:
Lambert and Parker are killed by the Alien and Ripley is the last one standing.

Storm the Castle:
She executes the plan to self destruct the ship.

High Tower Surprise:
The Nostromo explodes and she thinks she’s safe but the alien is onboard with her. Surprise!

Dig Down Deep:
Ripley has to put on her space suit and strap herself into her seat without alerting the alien to her presence.

Execution of new plan

She opens the airlock to purge the cabin to suck the alien out to space

Victory (or Defeat):
She returns to hypersleep and the Alien is dead.

Closing image

The escape pod deep in space.


You can also find the links for

Alien – The Hero’s Journey stages

Alien – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Save the Cat beat sheet

Aliens – The Hero’s Journey stages

Hero’s journey and Save the Cat work very well in concert with each other. If you’ve discovered one but not the other I recommend having a look.


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

Star Wars A new hope Save the Cat beat sheet


Star Wars Save the Cat beat sheet

Opening image

Tiny rebel ship verses the might of the gigantic Empire

Theme Stated

“Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”

The situation is dire, a hero is needed before all is lost.

Set up

Two droids escape with plans and land on the same planet as Luke, the farmer


Buys two droids which have a hidden message


“You can waste time with your friends once your chores are done”

Obi Wan asks him to learn the ways of the Jedi but he refuses

Break into Two

Mos Eisley Space port. Luke is completely out of his element. Criminals want to fight him and they have to negotiate a deal with a smuggler.

B story

Luke yearns for adventure at the start of the film and meets Han Solo who lives a life of adventure but Luke believe his morals and ethics are corrupt. Han thinks he’s just a farm boy. They don’t respect each other. Ultimately they will earn each other’s respect. Han will display he is a moral character to Luke and Luke will prove he’s not just some stupid farm boy “Great shot kid that was one in a million”

Fun and Games

Escape tattooine, make Hyperspace, begins Jedi training, Alderaan destroyed,


Captured by death star

Bad guys close in

Leia is to be killed,  They rescue her and barely escape the pursuit by the storm troopers

All is lost

Ben commits a form of seppuku and allows Vader to strike a fatal blow.

Dark night of the soul

Whilst Luke mourns the death of his mentor he must fight an attack of tie fighters and the Empire is tracking them. “It will be a day long remembered, it has seen the end of Obi Wan, it will soon see the end of the rebellion.”

Break into three

After analyzing the plans they devise an attack which requires a near impossible shot from an x-wing. Ticking clock introduced here in the form of the death star coming into range from behind Planet Yavin

Gathering the team

Pilots board their X wings, Artoo installed on board, Han asked to join but refuses. All fighters call in, Red five standing by.

Executing plan

Dog fights with tie fighters over the death star and attempts at making the shot on the exhaust port. It’s not easy and rebels are killed, Luke is nearly killed twice

High tower surprise

The team leader makes the shot but it just impacts on the surface (No Princess – the symbolic reward) and then he’s killed

Dig down deep

Luke has to step up and be the one who makes the shot. He loses his wingmen and Artto and is the Rebels only hope.

Execution of new plan

Use the force Luke. He’s going to attempt the shot without targeting computers. Han shoots the fighters on Luke’s tail and Luke makes the shot.

Final Image

Luke has been transformed into the honored hero and the rebellion rejoices


The Empire strikes back/Return of the Jedi Breakdown






The Avengers Save the cat beat sheet



1. Opening Image

The Tesseract, another world, aliens and the world burning.

2. Theme Stated  

“As of this moment we are at war”

3. Set-Up  

SHEILD, a military organization, has no idea of what is going on with the Tesseract and when Loki arrives through a portal they are easily defeated. This is no ordinary opponent and they are going to need help.

4. Catalyst

Loki has arrived from another world and has stolen the Tesseract, they are hopelessly outgunned and Nick Fury wants to assemble his response team The Avengers

5. Debate

Gathering the individual members of The Avengers.

“I can’t I’m in the middle of an interrogation” Black Widow

“What if I don’t want to” Bruce Banner.

Iron Man doesn’t want to meet with Coulson or get involved.

“You should have left it in the ocean” Captain America

6. Break into Two

The team are united on the Helicarrier but it is false unification because “We’re not a team, we’re a time bomb”

7. B Story

The A story is stop Loki and recapture the Tesseract. The B story is the heroes having to learn to work together as a team.

8. Fun and Games

Fights between members of the avengers and themselves and against Loki

9. Midpoint

Loki’s plan has been uncovered, gather the Avengers together and unleash the hulk on them. The Avengers argue with each other until the Helicarrier is attacked.

10. Bad Guys Close In

Led by Hawkeye, a group of soldiers attack the Helicarrier and Iron Man and Captain America have to repair the ship

11. All Is Lost

The Hulk and Thor have been removed from the group. The Helicarrier is disabled.

12. Dark Night of the Soul

Agent Coulson has been killed and Loki has escaped. Tony tells Cap they are not soldiers.

13. Break into Three

Tony Stark figures out the invasion will be in New York and they have to get the team there.

14. Finale

They can’t stop the portal from opening and the invasion begins

Rally the troops The Avengers unite

Storm the castle The Avengers battle the army and hold their own against them.

High tower surprise; When victory is in the balance they get betrayed by SHEILD command and a nuclear missile is launched on New YorkThis is when A and B stories unite as Fury goes against orders to protect The Avengers.

Dig down deep; Iron Man makes the self sacrificing move and goes through the portal hole on a one way mission

Victory or defeat: Iron Man sends the nuclear missile into the mother ship and the Hulk rescues him before he crashes into the ground.

15. Final Image

Loki is captured, the Tesseract secured and The Avengers are a team, ready to answer the call next time it comes


You may also like to look at the other breakdowns of The Avengers;

The Avengers – The Hero’s journey

The Avengers – John Truby’s 22 steps