Sunday, May 19, 2013
Back to the Future part 5, ACT TWO storybeat functions
Well, I'm finally back to the present and here is the next installment of Back to the Future's complete story weave. When I took on this assignment for myself, I did realize how complex mapping all the beats of a story would be or how long it would take to just identify the function of each beat. There's that and the fact that ACT TWO is twice as long as ACTS ONE and THREE.
As you last remember, Marty hopped into the DeLorean time machine and tried to escape from the terrorists, whom Doc stole the plutonium from, and accidentally turned on the time machine set to 1955.
BACK TO THE FUTURE ACT TWO STORY BEATS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS:
41. ACTION- CRASH INTO A NEW WORLD:
A scarecrow suddenly appears startling Marty. He crashes into a barn.
The noise wakes up the farmer and his family. Seeing the DeLorean, they think it’s an aliens spaceship. When Marty emerges wearing his radiation suit.
Marty tries to explain but the farmer shoots at him.
Marty escapes in the DeLorean.
42. REALIZATION- I’VE GONE BACK IN TIME!
Marty thinks he’s having a nightmare until he sees his future home site.
The DeLorean runs out of gas so Marty hides it and walks to town.
His home town in 1955 is completely foreign to Marty.
43. ACTION- GETTING ORIENTED:
Marty goes to a malt shop and finds Doc’s address in the phonebook.
Marty sees his future father, George, next to him at the malt shop.
Marty tries to understand what’s happening.
45. REALIZATION- RELATIONSHIP:
Biff comes in bullying George. Marty realizes Biff has bullied his father since they were teenagers.
46. REALIZATION- RELATIONSHIP:
Marty follows George and discovers the reason that George was in the tree when his parents met, he was peeping on a girl in her bedroom.
47. ACTION- REPLAY OF EXPOSITION OF WE’VE HEARD
George falls in the path of an oncoming car.
48. ACTION- MARTY DOES IT WRONG- HE INTERFERES WITH HISTORY:
Marty pushes George out of the car's path gets hit himself.
49. CONSEQUENCE- MARTY CHANGES HISTORY
Marty is knocked out and taken to the driver’s house.
50. IRONY PAID OFF: MARTY’S MOTHER ACTS JUST LIKE SHE TOLD HER DAUGHTER NOT TO:
Marty wakes up hearing his mother's voice. He discovers she’s a teenager. And she begins to come on to Marty. Marty’s saved by a call to dinner.
51. ACTION- GATHERING INFORMATION:
At dinner, the family eats while watching "The Honeymooners" on their first television. Marty asks how to find Doc's address, which Lorraine's father says is over on the east end of town.
52. DRAMATIC IRONY- WE KNOW MARTY WILL BE HIS KID:
Lorraine's father tells his daughter, if she ever has a kid like Marty, he'll disown her.
Marty finds Doc Brown's house. Doc answers and he hooks Marty up to an invention to read other's thoughts. But it doesn’t work.
54. INFORMATION GIVEN:
Marty tells Doc about his time machine works and he's from the future.
Doc doesn't believe him. Marty tries to prove it with photos but Doc thinks they’re forged.
56. DISCOVERY OF CONSEQUENCE OF MARTY’S ERROR:
Doc notices that Marty's brother's head is beginning to disappear.
57. EXPOSITION LEADS TO BELIEF:
Marty explains how Doc hurt his head and led to the vision of the flux capacitor- Doc finally believes him. Shows him a drawing.
Marty takes Doc to the DeLorean, Doc’s elated that his time machine works.
Doc vows to send Marty, “Back to the future”!
Watching the video from 1985, Doc panics when he learns time travel requires 1.21 gigawatts of power. Doc explains plutonium is not easy to get in1955.
61. OBSTACLE COMPOUNDED:
The only power that can generate that power is a lightning bolt you can’t predict a lightning strike. Marty’s stuck in the past.
62. PAYOFF EXPOSITION:
Marty remembers the flier about the lightning strike at the Hill Valley clock tower in one week.
63. ACTION PLAN:
Doc begins to plan to harness the power of the bolt and send Marty home.
Doc warns Marty about interfering with things that may change the future and jeopardize his existence. Marty mentions interfering with first meeting between his father and mother.
Doc looks at the photo of Marty and his siblings. Marty’s brother is fading from the photo as a result of Marty's interfering with his future parents.
66. ACTION & INFORMATION:
Doc takes Marty to the high school. They spot George being picked on.
67. PERSUASIVE ACTION:
Marty tries to get George to talk to Lorraine but Lorraine has eyes for Marty.
Doc worries that Marty has changed the past irreparably, George doesn’t have the guts to ask Lorraine out.
69. ACTION- LIE:
Marty lies telling George that Lorraine wants him to ask her to the dance.
Marty asks George what he's writing. Sci-fi stories.
71. CHARACTER REVEAL:
Marty asks to read one and George refuses, fearing rejection.
72. RELATIONSHIP MISUNDERSTANDING:
George sees Lorraine with Biff and thinks that Lorraine wants to go to the dance with Biff.
Biff is across the cafeteria and harassing Lorraine.
74. MARTY’S WRONG ACTION:
Marty stands up for Lorraine pulling Biff off her.
75. CONSEQUENCE ACTION:
Biff begins pushing Marty and he pushing back.
76. INTERRUPTED ACTION:
Strickland breaks up the fight.
Marty follows George begging George to ask Lorraine to the dance.
78. OBSTACLE & SETUP:
George continues to refuse and no one will make him change his mind.
79. PAYOFF ACTION:
That night, Marty wears his radiation suit and sneaks into George’s room. He tells George he's from another planet and orders him to ask Lorraine out, threatening to melt his brain if he doesn’t. George believes him.
Marty takes George to the malt shop where Lorraine is and gives George love advice to use on Lorraine which seem to work.
George's efforts are foiled with Biff shows up.
82. MARTY’S WRONG ACTION:
Marty defends George and fools Biff. Marty grabs a scooter from a girl and escapes turning it into a skateboard.
Biff and his gang follow Marty in Biff's car.
Marty tricks Biff into crashing into a manure truck.
Lorraine becomes even more attracted to Marty.
86. ACTION PLAN DEMONSTRATES EXPOSITION:
Doc shows Marty his plan, using a model car and scale model town, to use the lighting bolt to power the DeLorean. When the lighting strikes, the energy will travel a cable from the clock tower, cross the street to a hook attached to the car providing the 1.2 gigawatts necessary for time travel. It works great.
87. CONSEQUENCE DEMONSTRATES STAKES:
Except that it starts a fire.
Lorraine interrupts them and she asks him out to the dance.
89. SILVER LINING OF OBSTACLE:
Marty see a way to get George and Lorraine together and accepts her offer.
90. ACTION PLAN INFORMATION:
Marty tells George his plan. George will find Marty taking advantage of her in her car. George will pull Marty out of the car, pretend to beat him up saving her.
NARRATIVE QUESTIONS REMAINING:
Will Marty's plan succeed in getting George to kiss Lorraine at the dance or will Lorraine stay hooked on Marty until he fades from existence?
Will Doc's plans clock tower lightning plan work to power the DeLorean back to the future or will Marty go up in flames?
We want to keep watching to learn the answers. It's great how the filmmakers gave you vivid pictures of the hopes and the fears of these narrative questions.
These narrative questions are different from the ones that ended ACT ONE. There we wanted to know will Marty escape the terrorists?
(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Stay tuned for the story beats and their functions from Act 3.