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The 3 elements of a Whydunit are:
1) The detective does not change, we do; yet he can be any kind of gumshoe — from pro to amateur to imaginary.
2) The secret of the case is so strong it overwhelms the worldly lures of money, sex, power, or fame. We gots to know! And so does the Whydunit hero.
3) Finally, the dark turn shows that in pursuit of the secret, the detective will break the rules, even his own — often ones he has relied on for years to keep him safe. The pull of the secret is too great.

Save the Kitten: STC! and Micro-Shorts

Save the Kitten: <i>STC!</i> and Micro-Shorts

Watch a captivating short film and follow along with its beat sheet!

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The Silence of the Lambs Beat Sheet

By on May 12, 2017 in Beat Sheets, Buddy Love, Whydunit
<i>The Silence of the Lambs</i> Beat Sheet

See how writer Ted Tally hits the beats.

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The Big Lebowski Beat Sheet

By on March 31, 2017 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<i>The Big Lebowski</i> Beat Sheet

Download the pdf of this Whydunit.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Beat Sheet

By on May 20, 2016 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<i>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</i> Beat Sheet

See how this Whydunit hits Blake Snyder’s beats.

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Zootopia Beat Sheet

By on March 25, 2016 in Beat Sheets, Buddy Love, Whydunit
<i>Zootopia</i> Beat Sheet

See how the Disney hit hits all the beats.

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Body Heat Beat Sheet

By on August 28, 2015 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<I>Body Heat</I> Beat Sheet

There’s plenty of heat in each beat of Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 classic.

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The Conversation Beat Sheet

By on May 22, 2015 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<I>The Conversation</I> Beat Sheet

The beats of the winner of the esteemed Palme d’Or in 1974.

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Despicable Me 2 Beat Sheet

By on July 19, 2013 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<i>Despicable Me 2</i> Beat Sheet

  Our thanks to Master Cat! Ben Frahm for this Gru-some beat sheet. Directors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud Writers: Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul Genre: WHYDUNIT: DETECTIVE, SECRET, DARK TURN Sub-Genre: COP WHYDUNIT. Opening Image: — Cold. Snowy. And dismal. Some place like Antarctica. Guards watch an army base. And a hovering object appears. To our […]

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Memento Beat Sheet

By on September 24, 2010 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit
<i>Memento</i> Beat Sheet

Our guest blogger today is Tillery Johnson. Born and raised in rural North Carolina, Tillery graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 where he studied English and Creative Writing. These days, he is a comedian, musician, and aspiring screenwriter living in Hollywood. You can occasionally see him performing musical stand-up and improv on stage at Improv […]

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