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BREAKDOWN FOR BACK TO THE FUTURE

Film Analysis of Back To The Future

“BACK TO THE FUTURE”

Written by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale

Hero: Marty McFly (this is a one-hero movie)
Mentor: Dr. Emmett Brown (Doc)
Adversary: Biff
Endangered Innocent Allies: George (Dad) and Lorraine (Mom)
Helper-Follower Ally: Jennifer Parker (There is no HERO conflict with Jennifer in this story, so she is NOT a Love Interest Character.)
Helper-Follower Allies: The Dance Band
Adversary Agents: Biff’s gang
Independent Troublemaker: Principal Strickland
Independent Troublemakers: Libyan Terrorists

DEFINITION OF HERO GOAL SEQUENCES®

A Hero Goal Sequence generally consists of 2 to 8 pages of screenplay (2 to 8 minutes of film) in which the hero pursues a single physical, visible, short-term goal as one immediate step in achieving the main overall story objective driving the plot. The Goal Sequence ends when the hero discovers FRESH NEWS, which is some form of new information that effectively ends the necessity to pursue the current goal and creates a new physical, visible, short-term goal – thereby beginning the next Hero Goal Sequence. FRESH NEWS either provides the hero’s next short-term goal, or sends the hero on a short search to find it.

  • EVERY commercially successful one-hero American movie contains between 20 and 23 Hero Goal Sequences.  
  • Act One ALWAYS contains 6 Hero Goal Sequences, and Stunning Surprise One ALWAYS takes place as FRESH NEWS in sequence #6.
  • Act Two ALWAYS contains 12 more Hero Goal Sequences, and the Midpoint Sequence ALWAYS takes place during Hero Goal Sequence #12 – while Stunning Surprise Two ALWAYS arrives as FRESH NEWS in Sequence #18. 
  • Act Three contains a minimum of 2 Hero Goal Sequences, max of 5.