Jun 18, Scene by scene breakdown: What is a scene-by-scene breakdown? Just what it sounds like: You breakdown a script you read or movie you watch per each scene and scene sequence. For example, here is a scene-by-scene breakdown I did for one of my screenwriting classes of the movie Shakespeare in Love: Shakespeare in Love Scene-by-scene breakdown 1—4: Henslowe visits Will who has not finished play. Will states his goal: Henslowe begs Will to finish the play — to deaf ears.
Will agrees to sell his new play to Burbage, potentially double-crossing Henslowe. Will gives bangle to Rosaline. Will has left to write.
Fennyman presses Henslowe about the play. Will lies and tells Henslowe the play is done. Henslowe puts out the call for actors. Marlowe gives him some helpful tips for the story. Auditions, but scant talent. Will is astonished at her talent.
Pressed by Will to remove her hat, Viola runs away. While Viola changes, her mother talks with Nurse about party that night: Will sneaks into the party. Will spots Viola — immediately smitten. A changing partner dance. Offends Wessex who puts a knife to his throat. Will identifies himself as Christopher Marlowe. Will climbs the wall. Will goes outside to look for Thomas Kent. Inspired, Will goes off to write a sonnet. Wessex announces arranged marriage.
Viola writes Will a note about impending marriage. Tells Ned about his role as Mercutio. Thomas gives Will the letter from Viola. Will grills Thomas about Viola and she grills Will about Viola.
Caught up with emotion, Thomas kisses Viola, then runs to her house. Will now knows Thomas is Viola. Next morning, Viola urges Will to write more of the play.
Rehearsing the middle of the play. Will kisses Viola as Thomas playing Romeo, then goes off to write. Will delivers more pages. Will indicates the play will not turn out well for Romeo and Juliet. Viola remembers the visit to Greenwich with the Queen.
Viola must still marry Wessex. Viola appears to Wessex. Wessex asks Will in drag about Marlowe and Will continues to set up Marlowe. The Queen meets with Viola and a 50 pound wager is set: Marlowe interrupts Burbage having sex with Rosaline. Informs him Shakespeare is doing Romeo at the Rose. Burbage tries to assault Will, setting off a massive fight on stage with Fennyman emerging as the hero.
Marlowe has been murdered. Wessex meets Viola, riding her horse to church. A grieving Viola enters.
Wessex runs away screaming. Viola admits her love for Will, but she must marry Wessex. Will tells the rest of the cast the end of the play — with one scene missing. Will presents a copy of the play to Viola and recites the missing scene — farewell words.
Wessex arrives, knowing the truth about Will and Viola. But Tinley closes the Rose due to woman actor — Viola revealed. Sees Viola leaving with Wessex to be married. The cast preps for the play. Will dressed to perform as Romeo — devastated at losing Viola. Sam as Juliet — his voice has dropped. Viola and Nurse hustle toward theater, as does a furious Wessex.
Viola talks with Henslowe and takes on the part of Juliet. Will shocked to see Viola. Tilney marches toward the theater with guards — to shut it down [ticking clock].
Will throws himself into the role of Romeo. The play continues through its sorrowful ending — and rapturous applause. Tinley interrupts celebration to arrest everyone because of Viola — woman on stage. But he is interrupted by the Queen who has seen the play. Recalls wager with Wessex. Invites Will to meet with her.
Queen can not undo wedding. Has Wessex give fifty pounds — lost wager — to Viola to dispense with. Viola gives Will the money.
They talk through plot elements which emerge from their relationship, then kiss and say good-bye. What is the value of doing a scene-by-scene breakdown? Have you ever done a scene-by-scene breakdown? What did you get out of it? Like what you read? Give Scott Myers a round of applause. From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.