Blake Snyder Beat Sheet for Dodgeball

July 23, 2011

“Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.”

I was assigned watching this movie as homework for the Storywonk novel revision workshop, and we’re probably going to be talking about the plot in terms of Lucy’s own structure diagram tomorrow, but I thought that I’d do a Blake Snyder outline for it. It’s really very well written.

Opening image – Peter asleep, the dog nuzzling at his crotch, while the Globo-Gym ad plays on the TV.

Theme stated – I think that it’s stated in the negative, in the Globo-gym ad: “We’re better than you, and we know it!”

Setup – Peter goes to work at Average Joe’s, and we meet all the regulars and hear a bit of their story as Peter talks with them.

Catalyst – Kate is waiting for Peter in his office, and tells him that the gym is in foreclosure. which sends him over to Globo-gym to talk to White and find out that White is looking forward to putting up a new parking garage.

Debate – Can the Average Joes find a way to save their gym? With a car wash? Of course not! But there’s this ad about the dodgeball tournament in Vegas…

Break into two – In the qualifiers with the girl scouts, when Peter actually starts to play it hard. They don’t actually win, but they qualify anyway.

B story – the complex plotline involving Peter, Kate, and White.

Fun and games – The training sequence with Patches, and the first few tournament games.

Midpoint – I’m not sure, but I think the scene where Kate signs on with the Average Joe’s team is a midpoint beat. Nothing is going to be the same from there on, better or worse.

Bad guys close in – The Globo-gym team has made it to the finals before Average Joe’s.

All is lost – Patches dies, crushed by an ironic ‘Luck of the Irish’ sign, and Peter loses his confidence and lets White get to him. White offers to buy Peter out for 100 grand, and we don’t know what he decided. But Peter tells the team that they’re probably going to lose and that they should be ready for it. He even tells Steve that he’s not a pirate.

Dark night of the soul – The team is one player short. Peter ends up in a casino bar. And Lance Armstrong shows up, just to rub it in a little about being a quitter.

Break into three – Peter gets there just as the Joes have officially forfeited, but Gordon finds the appeals rule, and Chuck Norris casts the deciding vote to let them play in the finals!

Finale – Sudden death with blindfolds! Not only that, but Peter took White’s 100 grand, used it to bet on the Joes, and has 5 million to buy out a controlling share of Globo-gym! And Steve is a Pirate again.

Final image – White watching Peter’s big ad for Average Joe’s gym – ‘You’re great just the way you are.’

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