If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:5:29

Video transcript

by the time we hit act 3 the story is now careening towards a final crisis the inevitable climax this is the most intense moment of the film for the protagonist who should be in danger of losing everything they value most hopefully the audience is on the edge of their seats the choice is your character is made in act 1 and act 2 were driven by their wants but now they face their ultimate test are they ready to accept their needs and make choices they weren't capable of making an act 1 for example near the end of Finding Nemo Marlin has found Nemo this was his wand and what's been driving him throughout the entire movie but now dory his companion and friend is caught in a fishing net this is the crisis all Marlin wants to do is take Nemo home and keep him safe but he knows that they have to say dory and that Nemo has the best chance of doing that Marlin needs to let me know go and trust that he'll be ok after the climax the characters in the world return to a calmer place perhaps a more complete or better version of themselves we call this the resolution in Finding Nemo this comes after Nemo frees Dory from the net we return to the reef to see a new version of Marlin trusting and confident letting Nemo swim off to school and checking in with his new shark friends let's get some thoughts on act 3 from our Pixar friends and act 3 the character sacrifices their wants for their needs they've seen the error of their ways and now it's just about demonstrating the change and you should have put your character through a lot of tests and you should be able to to show that your character has learned something learn something that exhibits your theme I mean the reason you decided to make this story in the first place where theme and moral comes into this in act 3 is in the course of act 2 your character has learned what's most important in the course of act 3 they're fighting for that important thing and that usually is the theme of your movie that they're fighting for so in Incredibles in act 3 he's fighting for his family to be able to stay together to survive and to be able to become this super family it's important in a three-act film to understand that you don't really know how well your first and second act are working until you see everything together the last thing you want to feel is that they've been cheated after going through two acts of a movie my personal feeling is that it should just really feel satisfying on many levels you should feel like oh they fixed the big problem with the world oh they've fixed the personal problem with themselves Oh they've vanquished the bad guys things like that and and just sets the world right and so you can walk out of the fear feeling all that was wonderful and I learned something you can have a well-structured story and have a very logical conclusion at the end of act 3 that you have overcome the obstacle you foiled the villain everything adds up but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a satisfying resolution to have it be a satisfying resolution it needs to be emotional it is the end of your characters emotional arc so in up the resolution is when Carl not only chooses that he'll still be friends with this boy Russell but he shows up for Souls Scout ceremony and he's the one to pin the badge on Russell's sash and that symbolizes I will remain present in this boy's life this kid is now family to me in act 3 a film should be resolved sometimes that resolution comes with a surprise and the audience did not expect that ending at all but it can be satisfying I love the resolution of Toy Story 3 because there's a surprise there's an unexpected ending throughout the whole movie woody has felt like there's an either/or situation either I stay true to my kid Andy and go with him to college and sit on a shelf and lose my best friends the other toys or i betray Andy and I disappear with the other toys and he finds this solution right at the end when he comes up with the idea of having Andy donates all the toys together to Bonnie and the surprises that would he put himself in the box he has found the third way he's found a way to be with his friend and still let Andy be the one to make the choice to pass him on that was such a surprising organic and really emotional resolution in summary the third act is where we pull everything together the characters have overcome their obstacles their arcs are now complete the theme has been clearly expressed and we've brought the story to a logical and emotional sometimes unexpected conclusion in this next exercise you'll have a chance to identify the critical components of act 3 in your favorite films as well as develop a 3rd act for your story