The Sabbatical

In this video essay, Taylor Williams examines an important and often overlooked structural step that can be employed in the buildup to a film’s climax: The Sabbatical. During the Sabbatical a character briefly escapes whatever he was caught up in and takes a leave of absence, or something happens to break the momentum and the character is given a chance to reflect on the situation. Using Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash as an example, Williams illustrates how the Sabbatical can add emotional depth to a character’s plight, by raising a conscious moral debate.

The 3-Act Structure

Psychological Drama

Damien Chazelle