Directorial beat

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A directorial beat is a unit of script analysis representing the smallest defined action in a play script, typically an exchange of behaviours between characters in a script. It usually takes the form of action-reaction. Each scene beat by beat, with the characters progressing the action in this, the smallest element of story structure.

The directorial beat should not be confused with a screenplay beat, which indicates a short pause.


  • McKee, R. (1997), Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, New York, Harper Collins.

Further reading[edit]

  • Michael Bloom (2001). Thinking like a director: a practical handbook. Macmillan. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0-571-19994-5. 
  • Bruce A. Block (2001). The visual story: seeing the structure of film, TV, and new media. Focal Press. pp. 220–221,248–252. ISBN 978-0-240-80467-5. 
  • Michael Rabiger (2008). Directing: film techniques and aesthetics. Screencraft Series (4th ed.). Focal Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 978-0-240-80882-6. 
  • Terry Schreiber; Edward Norton; Mary Beth Barber (2005). Acting: advanced techniques for the actor, director, and teacher. Allworth Communications, Inc. pp. 188–190. ISBN 978-1-58115-418-4.