A detailed illustration of a screenwriter analyzing the beat sheet of 'Ghostbusters', with iconic ghosts from the movie hovering around and interacting with the script pages.

Ghostbusters Beat Sheet Analysis

Ghostbusters, the iconic 1984 supernatural comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman, has not only left an indelible mark on popular culture but also serves as a fascinating case study in structuring a screenplay. Using the beat sheet approach, a tool for outlining the structure of a story, we can dissect how Ghostbusters effectively meshes comedy, character development, and supernatural elements into a coherent and engaging narrative. Here, we examine key beats of the film, showing how each contributes to its storytelling success.

Opening Image & Theme Stated

The film opens with a seemingly ordinary scene at the New York Public Library before quickly diving into the supernatural, setting the tone for the entire movie. This opening scene not only hooks the audience’s attention but also introduces the main theme of science versus the supernatural.


In the setup, we meet our protagonists – three eccentric parapsychologists: Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler. Through their interactions and the skeptical world around them, the audience is introduced to their personalities, dreams, and the ridicule they face. Additionally, Dana Barrett’s encounter with the supernatural in her apartment sets up the main storyline.


The dismissal of the trio from their university positions acts as the catalyst, forcing them to confront their future. This moment propels the story forward, as they decide to become ‘Ghostbusters,’ thus embarking on their new venture.


The debate phase sees the characters questioning their path. Can we really do this? they ponder. This internal and external conflict is critical, showing their uncertainties and the challenges they face in establishing their ghost-catching business.

Break into Two

Break into Two signifies the Ghostbusters’ first successful capture of a ghost, marking a shift in their fortunes and the story’s direction. They’ve crossed the threshold, and there’s no turning back. They are now officially in the ghostbusting business, and public recognition begins to grow.

B Story

The B Story, focusing on Venkman and Dana’s relationship, serves as a counterpoint to the main plot, offering character development and a personal stake for Venkman in the supernatural disturbances.

Fun and Games

Dubbed Fun and Games, this portion of the film showcases the Ghostbusters’ adventures and misadventures in ghost-catching, their rising fame, and the comedic elements that make the film so memorable. This section culminates with the appearance of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, an iconic climax of comedic and supernatural elements.


The Midpoint occurs when the Ghostbusters are arrested, throwing a wrench into their operations. This moment shifts the narrative, introducing higher stakes and revealing the main antagonist, Gozer, setting the scene for the film’s dramatic conclusion.

All Is Lost & Dark Night of the Soul

The All Is Lost moment is literal when the Ghostbusters are incarcerated, their equipment confiscated, and the supernatural threat looms larger than ever. However, it’s their Dark Night of the Soul, reflecting on their journey, that reignites their determination, setting the stage for their comeback.

Break into Three

In the Break into Three, a synthesis of the A and B stories, the Ghostbusters are released and head to confront Gozer, armed with new resolve. This beat represents their final commitment to their cause and each other.


The film’s finale sees the Ghostbusters face off against Gozer in a battle that tests their courage, ingenuity, and the strength of their bond. Overcoming their final obstacle, they save New York City, and in doing so, fully realize their journey from skeptics to heroes.

Final Image

The final image, echoing the opening, shows the Ghostbusters celebrated as heroes, having changed the city’s and possibly the audience’s beliefs about the supernatural. This closing beat not only concludes the story but leaves viewers with a lasting sense of satisfaction and closure, mirroring the journey they have just witnessed.

The Best AI Screenwriting Software!

Posted in

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are beguiled and demoralized by the charms pleasure moment so blinded desire that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble.