Anatomy of a Scene: Building Drama in Apollo 13

Three of your best employees are hundreds of thousands of miles up and their air supply is in jeopardy. 




If you've ever seen the movie Apollo 13 there's a good chance you remember this scene. It's on the movies most iconic and a master class on how to build conflict and leave the audience wishing they were there to help fix the problem. 

When I teach the elements of story, many times I'll use this two minute scene to help explain how you can tell better stories. 

The setup:

The scene happens about 2/3 of the way through the movie. 

Tech 1

Gene. We have a situation brewing with the carbon dioxide. 

Tech 2

We have a CO2 filter problem in the Lunar Module.