Rocky: Why You Don’t Need Writing Formulas
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Rocky is my favorite movie of all time. In this episode, I take a look at how the film makes its hero so likable and empathetic. I think part of the reason is that the film takes its time to get to the main plot, and focuses heavily on character for nearly a full hour. This goes against some common writing advice in Hollywood, specifically, the beat sheet created by Blake Snyder in his influential book, Save The Cat.
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An idea I didn’t get to in the video is this: the movie takes its time to get to the “catalyst” because it’s engaging the audience with a dynamic story in the first hour, except that the story isn’t happening to Rocky. It’s happening to Adrian. She’s the one who has someone barge into her life, force her to go on an “adventure” that she initially declines, and undergo a character change.
In a modern movie, these two plot lines would probably play out at the same time. In Rocky they happen sequentially. Almost the entire love plot is resolved before Rocky gets the chance to fight Apollo.
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