Save The Cat! Video Tribute 2: ET (The Extra Terrestrial)

(Click here to watch it!)

I’ll admit that as we release our 2nd official tribute video I sure wish Blake were here to see his “beat sheet” put to work on all these great films.  I also can’t help but wonder if he would agree or disagree with the beats we have assigned to each movie.  Interesting to ponder.  Of course any of you reading this, please feel free to give me your opinion on the beats if you’ve read Save The Cat!

We had alot of fun putting the ET tribute video together.  Not only is ET  one of my favorite films of all time, Spielberg & Mathison’s timeless tale lines up flawlessly with Blake Snyder’s beat sheet. If your a fellow “Cat!” (meaning you have read the Save The Cat! book), you will feel right at home watching the Beat Sheet play out in this classic 80’s film.  If your an aspiring Cat! or just curious about the screenwriting & filmmaking process in general, this is an easy and digestable way to see how a great commercial movie works in terms of “story beats”.

Other than the overwhelming strength of each beat in ET, what stuck out the most while breaking down the beats was how long the “Fun and Games” & “Bad Guys Close in” sections are.  The “Fun & Games” section really gives us alot of time to bond with the characters in a positive way, but thanks to “Bad Guys Close In” we have an equal dose of suspense and worry of what will happen to them as we head towards the Finale in Act 3. The most difficult beat to capture in ET proved to be the “theme stated” beat.  After much deliberation and delving into the movie time and time again, we felt strongly that the “Theme Stated” moment of the film was at minute 11 when one of Elliot’s friends says “…its like life, you don’t win at life…”  If you consider what is actually happening in ET i.e. a young boy befriends an alien and then protects it from grown ups until it can go home; then the theme of “winning vs. living” is very relevant.  This theme also applies to Elliot’s family which, like Spielberg’s, is a broken one.  They aren’t trying to “win” they are just trying to live, to make it by with each other, which is what Elliott translates to ET as well.  I really saw the movie in a new light after making this discovery.  It seemed to take on more structure after I saw each beat and its significance to the overall plot.

So, break out your beat sheet, and maybe even a pad and paper for those who want to learn the true structure behind what makes an 80’s Spielberg film successful!  Without further ado, here it is, the Official Mediajuice Save The Cat! tribute to “ET” We are also posting all of our previous tribute videos to The Mediajuice Youtube Channel, as a way to archive these tribute videos for the public, as well as a way for those who don’t have Adobe Flash to watch them.

One final note for those of you wondering which version we used, YES we used the original version of the film.  I don’t have anything against the ET: 25th Anniversary edition but I just wanted to break down the original since its the version I know and love (just a personal preference.)  Tune in next week for James Cameron’s masterful take in the Sci Fi genre, ALIENS.  Oh and here’s the link to ET one more time (below) for quick reference:

(( CLICK HERE TO WATCH “ET” TRIBUTE VIDEO! ))

Sincerely,

Jeremy

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