Bending the Rules of the Three-Act Structure – Premiumbeat

Bending the Rules of the Three-Act Structure – Premiumbeat

The three-act structure has long been the standard for storytellers — but bending the rules can lead to exceptionally cool results.

The principles of the three-act structure have been employed by storytellers for ages. In the early 20th century, filmmakers adopted the three-act structure to develop compelling stories for their burgeoning art form. While this traditional structure remains the standard, filmmakers have found ways to bend the structure to their creative will.

What Is the Three-Act Structure?

Three acts. Three elements of a narrative arc. Makes sense, right? The set up. The rising action. The resolution. Let’s look a little closer at this concept.

The Set Up

Rules of Three Act Structure and How to Bend Them: Star Wars
Image via Lucasfilm

The set up is exactly what it sounds like. This is when characters are introduced and the world of the film is established. Near the end of this act, the first turning point is introduced — and the game changes.