The Fulcrum

In a dramatic scene, a scene where the character whose scene it is wants something that is difficult to obtain, often the most important narrative beat is the fulcrum — the moment in the scene where things can go either way for that character. One could call this the turning point, but I prefer to use that term in regard to the film's overall dramatic structure (turning point is often used to denote the plot point that occurs at the end of the first and second acts). In a feature film with, say, ten dramatic scenes, there might be two turning points but ten fulcrums.

We will now analyze a dramatic scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious. I have named it the Patio scene, and it comes early in the second act. This scene will enable us to explore the dramatic blocks, the narrative beats, and the fulcrum embedded within the scene.

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  • dominik
    What is the fulcrum of a scene?
    7 years ago

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