3 Steps to Creating A Great (Explainer Video)

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You probably don’t realize it, but your short, 60 to 90 second explainer video has a lot in common with some of the greatest films Hollywood has ever made.  Or at least, it should. How so, you ask?

Let me introduce you to a little something we like to call the Three Act Structure.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 3 Act Structure, it’s basically how every great (and even not so great story is told).  

It’s a basic diagram that helps an audience or reader engage with a story, understand it, stay engaged, and feel that they got something out of the story by the end.  

So what is this magic elixir we call the Three Act Structure and how does it work?  Glad you asked. Let’s take a look, and along the way, we can compare it to how you structure your explainer video.


It all starts with a First Act.  This is where we carefully establish our main character and his or her world, and build in an empathy and relatability.  

For screenwriters, the book “Save the Cat” does a great job of explaining the importance of the early moments of a first act and getting the audience to root for your main character.

The first act also introduces us to the main character’s nemesis, also known as the antagonist. The antagonist is the person (or thing) that keeps our main character (or protagonist) from achieving his or her goal.

For your explainer video, we spend the first act establishing the world in which your product or company exists.  It’s usually dark and foreboding. That’s because there’s a need for your product or service.


So by the time Act Two begins in moviedom, the protagonist has experienced a life changing event, and now he/she is off to face a new challenge.  

Think Harry Potter after he finds out he’s a wizard.  Think Luke Skywalker after he finds the message from Princess Leia.  They’re off to learn new things about the world and themselves.

And throughout Act Two, they’re going to continue to encounter the antagonist.  They’re going to go through ups and downs. They’re going to go through a journey of discovery and choices – some good, some bad.

For you, this comes as we introduce you – your company and your product/service – and how they’re going to change the world and life of the people who use them.


By the end of Act Two, a film’s protagonist is at their lowest point.  All hope appears to be lost.

But in Act Three they find the strength to fight through and persevere, and hopefully get to that main goal at the end of Act Three that provides redemption or transformation.  

The caterpillar becomes the butterfly.  Luke becomes the Jedi knight. Your customer becomes a savior to his/her business by using your product.

That’s a Three Act Structure.  Give Rip Media Group a call, tell us about you – the protagonist – and we’ll tell you how the Three Act Structure can help you tell your story.