Adventure Superplot No. 2: Escape
“I want to report a truck driver who’s trying to kill me.”David Mann – in: Duel (1971)
|Short info: Escape|
|Mostly wild animals or gangsters hunt a person or a group of companions.|
What is the superplot “Escape” about?
A pursuer is hot on the protagonist’s heels. The protagonist and his companions are chased by something evil. At some point, the pursuers turn the tables. Persecutors can be: secret services, killers, wild animals, gangsters, police, etc. Ideally, the centre of the plot is a person who is good-natured at first, but extremely fearful, who takes flight as soon as danger appears. However, she must learn to face her fears and to defend herself. If you want to survive in the world, you have to fight and show assertiveness.
What are the figure targets?
For example, a person makes a small mistake and suddenly finds himself in a wild chase that is meant for him. The plot is strongly focused on escape and pursuit and is very visual. The pursuers should be close on the heels of the pursued person, otherwise the tension decreases.
The construction of an escape plot…
At the beginning there is always an ideal world, over which the misfortune of persecution breaks in. Mostly it is blameless, unsuspecting citizens who make a small mistake and are suddenly persecuted. The crucial thing is to build up the necessary pressure and to get the action rolling through the protagonist’s mistake. Persecutors can be secret services, contract killers, wild animals, gangsters or the police.
It is not uncommon for there to be a first death on the side of the fugitives at the end of the exposition or a very close escape from death. But what the fugitives do not see: There is often disagreement on the part of the pursuers, if they are made up of several parties.
From this, in the end, the rescue of the persecuted person can develop. The persecutors like to argue about the further procedure or about their competences. If it is a group of wild animals that are chasing their victims, they can decimate each other, for example out of food envy.
The middle section tells the story of the search for a safe place. But there is no such place, or only ever for a limited time. The persecutors are almost omnipresent and usually in great numbers. Therefore, the fugitives have to find a particularly clever strategy to shake them off.
Film samples are …
Duel (1971) with Dennis Weaver
The Defiant Ones (1958) with Tony Curtis
Surviving the Game (1994) with Ice-T
Eight Legged Freaks (2002) with David Arquette
Bird on a Wire (1990) with Mel Gibson
The Sugarland Express (1974) with Goldie Hawn
Jurassic Park (1993) with Sam Neill
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