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.