Groundhog Day - An Inescapable Premise

Lessons from the Screenplay
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The premise of Groundhog Day is expertly constructed to drive natural, organic character change. In this video, we examine how Phil is designed to be a character that seems like he could never change, dissect how the premise of the story traps him in a world that will constantly attack his character flaw, and explore how the relentless nature of the premise ensures that the protagonist will have no choice but to transform.
Produced by: Michael Tucker (twitter.com/michaeltuckerla)
Written by: Tricia Aurand (twitter.com/TriciaJeanA)
Edited by: Alex Calleros (twitter.com/alex_calleros)
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Film & Animation



2 Feb 2019

Groundhog DayBill MurrayHarold RamisDanny Rubincomedypremiseinescapabletrappedtimerepeatingneedflawweaknesscharacter arccharacterssettinghow tostorytellingbasicsvideoessayscreenwriterlessons from the screenplayMichael TuckerScreenwriting techniquesScreenplayScreenwriting tipsWriting tipsScreenwritingScriptStructureCharacterWritingFilmmakingFilmmakerTips



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Lessons from the Screenplay
The news is in! Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring for 2019! Did you see your shadow this morning?
TheGalacticCrafter Vor 6 Monate
We've barely even had winter so this makes sense
2nd3rd1st Vor 6 Monate
You are right, always assume he is up to no good. Phil must have a vested interest in our adherence to his predictions, maybe he is in cahoots with the easter bunny to get a big share of his sweet sweet candy! @Jon McClung
Jon McClung
Jon McClung Vor 6 Monate
@2nd3rd1st in that case, shouldn't you just assume Phil is lying? That seems to be the most reliable method.
Anna C. Grajales
Anna C. Grajales Vor 6 Monate
Can you please do Spiderverse (2018) ... I keep thinking that this film should not work but it does. Reading the script is as thrilling as watching the film.
2nd3rd1st Vor 6 Monate
Don't change your winter tires anytime soon though. Phil is right ca. 39 percent of the time, that's worse than flipping a coin, which has a 50 percent accuracy rate. So you'll be better off asking Punxsutawney Penny rather than Punxsutawney Phil for accurate weather predictions.
Tim Buktu
Tim Buktu Vor 8 Stunden
I notice that in the long run, Phil becomes Ritas perfect man. Who's fantasy is this?
brodysdaddy Vor 19 Stunden
wait....the next best thing to having infinite time is....skillshare??
T T Vor Tag
Question if phil was caught in a time loop for 10 years how many times did he bang nancy?
jjthesavage Vor 2 Tage
Hey there woodchuck chuckers!
nobody important
nobody important Vor 3 Tage
Had that been me trapped in the time loop, that film would have been the most banned film in the history of censorship.
Captain Bob Smiley
Another stellar video and another amazing movie. Great work!
Simon Randall
Simon Randall Vor 4 Tage
This should happen to Trump.
stephen stewart
stephen stewart Vor 5 Tage
What was the film called starring Bill Murray in which he kept living the same day over and over again?
kangarool Vor 7 Tage
Has anyone ever really questioned or attacked the idea that “selflessness” really is the ideal/only/inevitable state of being for a ‘good life’? This analysis, and the movie and ideas explored, don’t seem to question it whatsoever... that, becoming “un-self-centered’ is the place you HAVE to go to be ‘happy’. I know, obviously, that is the crux not just of Christianity, but i suppose all religions and most/all philosophies. But, i don’t want to automatically buy into that, for the same reasons we don’t automatically buy into its anti-position of (e.g.) shoot heroin, it feels good so nothing else matters. My point is, it (“selflessness is unequivocally the highest state”)... i don’t just accept that. Some, indeed MUCH ‘selfish’ shit feels and is incredible. It feels like having a 100000000 year go at the selfish state might be OK, even if it gets a bit boring eventually. What does Day 2 with Andie McDowell look like, once he’s broken free of Groundhog Day? Day 3? 4? 1,268? What about the 32nd anniversary? Still made the right choice, Phil? Watch out for Day 2 and beyond... IT’S A DOOZY
Thorpes Atkins
Thorpes Atkins Vor 7 Tage
Who else avoids products they see ads for? I know many, but are we millions
Jordan Gadd
Jordan Gadd Vor 7 Tage
What if the universe was caught in a loop.
perfectionbox Vor 8 Tage
A temporal loop effectively gives one infinite resources, so without fear of poverty, our usual tendency to self-gratify would also erode. Give a man a magic pocket that always has money, and he would go through a similar arc as Phil.
Paul Schober
Paul Schober Vor 2 Tage
Yeah sometimes I wonder if Phil ever became "good" and selfless. Maybe he just got bored of every form of hedonistic desire that gave him pleasure, so he tried the altruistic route, simply as a means for getting pleasurable feedback.
Marlena Sien
Marlena Sien Vor 8 Tage
Yes, one lifetime is certainly not enough. Your first few lifetimes are spent very much obsessed with the material world; it is only as your soul becomes accustomed to the human experience that you begin to realize there is more then physical security and temporary happiness. You search for something more. This is why there IS such a thing as Old Souls (who have been died and reborn in human form multiple times). They are often very mature and knowing for their human ages, are very sensitive and often artists (or humanitarians). Many do not even realize they are here to help the human race advance with their other-worldly emotional intelligence. They have been here many times, and as Adult Souls are here to help the rest of us Children grow up (as much as you will allow them to help). They are often perceived or feel secretly like odd-balls, like they just don't fit in. Some examples areHildegard von Bingen, Audrey Hepburn, Angelina Jolie, Min Yoongi, Lana Del Rey, Jake Bugg, Bob Dylan and Kurt Cobain.
Fredrik Olsson
Fredrik Olsson Vor 10 Tage
I want a film with the same premise but with an angry female feminist instead of Bill Murray, set in a remote village with only single men. I think it could be great, but no one would dare do it in today's political climate.
Fredrik Olsson
Fredrik Olsson Vor 6 Tage
@NotBanned_ Just learning to be humble, like Bill's character in this movie. Too much shouting and hating going on, treating anyone with a different opinion like a leper. And third wave feminism IS toxic. Equal opportunity is good, equality of outcome is an awful idea.
NotBanned_ Vor 6 Tage
Why would that be good? What would be the story? And do you think basic "feminism" is bad?
mrpopsful Vor 11 Tage
I wonder why he bothered to put bread in the bath toaster
Jonathan Nicoll
Jonathan Nicoll Vor 11 Tage
The breakdown of Groundhog Day was entertaining The promotion of your sponsor was just a blatant attempt to extort money.
God Of Spaghett
God Of Spaghett Vor 11 Tage
Or you could conclude Phil only changed because it was what's required to fix the loop lol. But great video.
BWGgy Vor 12 Tage
He obviously wouldn’t rather die than change, because he did change. If he had known he only had to put people first to break the loop, he would’ve taken it first. Who wouldn’t.
Sanghoon Lee
Sanghoon Lee Vor 12 Tage
Probably not the first time-loop movie, but the best. All others afterwards were ripoffs. Edge of Tomorrow, Source Code, X-Files, Haruhi Suzumiya...
Davis Hatler
Davis Hatler Vor 13 Tage
Groundhog Day, Truman Show, and Avengers I III and IV are my favorite movies
Joe Eachus
Joe Eachus Vor 14 Tage
Is he ego-centric or self-centered?
Joe Eachus
Joe Eachus Vor 6 Tage
@NotBanned_ are ego and self the same?
NotBanned_ Vor 6 Tage
Isn't that basically the same thing?
Billy the dog -
Billy the dog - Vor 14 Tage
l really like this film, but there must be some people who, like me, find the endless enthusiasm and optimism of Rita more than a little nauseating. ln real life l would avoid her like the plague. All Phil has to do is be a bit more selfless and caring, without going the full distance to cloying, syrupy mawkishness.
Nomo Hakon
Nomo Hakon Vor 15 Tage
Its a bit sad that Groundhog Day (movie) never happens irl...
James Miller
James Miller Vor 15 Tage
'Become the person that you want.'
apollion888 Vor 17 Tage
A traumatic experience has caused me to live the same day over and over again for just over 7 years. "Time to die" (the trauma, not me)
Michael Stone
Michael Stone Vor 17 Tage
Always wondered if the toaster was set on light or dark
All this premise detail and commitment ment nothing to me, because the lingering question of "How did Phil end up in an infinite loop?" was never answered. I hated it! However, I respect anyone's positive opinions.
Sigh Phi Guy
Sigh Phi Guy Vor 18 Tage
the film doesnt out right say it, but Phil is dead. the scenario he is trapped in, is his opportunity in purgatory, to show that he deserves heaven over hell. hell being an everlasting life wallowing in ritas disdain for him, and heaven being the winning of ritas heart. or it could just be saying that, any person can change for the better, given the right motivation.
Makaroification Vor 17 Tage
The film certainly represents this concept, but you can't say "Phil IS dead" and 'this is the afterlife'. The film never says it, because its simply not the truth. Its just an interesting concept bring used to tell a story and teach a lesson. There's no religious background to the film.
NewGoldStandard Vor 20 Tage
Thank you. Your content is always top notch.
Dad Vor 21 Tag
John Paul
John Paul Vor 27 Tage
Don't forget "The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin," by P.D. Ouspensky, the Russian novel upon which this movie is based. I've read that both Harold Ramis and Bill Murray were Gurdjieffans of one degree or another.
Mr Bubble
Mr Bubble Vor Monat
Maybe I'm taking it too far, but I think the day repeating itself over and over shows the feeling of being trapped in a routine, in a situation, a problem, from which you cannot escape. A lot of depresed people feel like that, like no matter what they do, everything stays the same. Seriously routines can drive some people mad, even to suicide.
Mr Bubble
Mr Bubble Vor 26 Tage
@Jerrell Simmons I also have depression so I get what you're going trough. Many times I felt exactly like Phil. The thing is, no matter how much I try, I am aware of being a slave to something biger than me. I hate how we are blamed as individuals for feeling hopeless in the kind of world we live in. It's the fault of the system, if it produces mentally and physically ill individuals. I see the world around me falling apart. I really hope to see a change in the political system in the future. To be exact I dislike capitalism and bureqruacy. I hope you are doing well.
Jerrell Simmons
Jerrell Simmons Vor 26 Tage
As a man with severe depression, this has always been one of my favorite movies for that exact reason. If ever I empathized with something fictional it was this. Only thing is the movie finally ends. As silly as it sounds I often wonder if I need to go through the same character arc as Phil to escape this.
Jere616 Vor Monat
Great allegory with a great premise and resolution. On another note, the premise, if taken literally, that a man is reliving the exact same day and can remember the preceding days, he would have very soon gone irretrievably insane from horror. He may not have even lasted 3 days with his mind intact. What keeps the audience from realizing this is Connors' mostly facile, sometimes humorous, acceptance of the trap he's in.
A A Vor Monat
Masterpiece of a film.
Otis De Marie
Otis De Marie Vor Monat
what's the jazz song playing from 7:30 to 8:20 ??
Carlo Lao
Carlo Lao Vor 3 Monate
Dear LFTS, can u pls talk about Alita 2019 and Y it nails an Anime live action movie
Danilego Vor 3 Monate
This is one of my favorite movies ever, and it is the most unexpected one to be there, I never would have guessed how much I love Groundhog Day before watching it!
Jari Fuller
Jari Fuller Vor 4 Monate
such a great movie...very rewatchable
Crisantechell Muse
Crisantechell Muse Vor 4 Monate
Well, what if there is no tomorrow!? There wasn't one today!😂😂😂😂😂
Nguyen Ha
Nguyen Ha Vor 4 Monate
This lesson is so underrated
D.K Weeks
D.K Weeks Vor 4 Monate
Phil went through all that crap, killed himself multiple times, learned to play the piano, learned to make ice sculptures, saved a kid falling from a tree, just tons of stuff... But the Universe was just trying to get him laid.
thedarkmoonman Vor 5 Monate
what if there is no tomorrow there wasn't one today
jordel2010 Vor 5 Monate
One of the finest films ever made. They seldom do it like this anymore.
Michael Allred
Michael Allred Vor 5 Monate
Everyone focuses on Phil being stuck but wouldn't the entire universe be going through the same thing?
TDHoang Vor 5 Monate
cảm ơn bạn @khang lu vì đã dịch ^^
Jurij Fedorov
Jurij Fedorov Vor 5 Monate
I wrote a short film script using the same premise.
Mitch Finn
Mitch Finn Vor 5 Monate
I like that the screenplay doesn't try to explain why the day keeps happening. If it did, it would drag down the script by showing contempt for the mystery. A hacky science fiction-like exposition would only be a letdown. Rather because the main character doesn't understand it, we too feel what he feels and go along with his experiments.
Eugene InLaw
Eugene InLaw Vor 5 Monate
skillshare is too obvious now, i can tell when they're the sponsor and what the transitions will be now
Nader Issa
Nader Issa Vor 5 Monate
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a video on INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. I've learned so damn much as a screen writer from your videos and id love to see your breakdown of that script. Sony officially released it online
Bowls Götzke
Bowls Götzke Vor 6 Monate
From "Learn to be selfless" to "Skillshare"... pointless plot twist, dude.
PlexyPanda Vor 6 Monate
5:22 That is frickin excellent haha 😅
Silver Game Dog
Silver Game Dog Vor 6 Monate
I used to think that Phil was stuck re-living Groundhog Day for a few months. Then I saw an interview with the writer that said it’s more like 8-10 YEARS! Wow that’s a long time!
Veronica Vor 6 Monate
Great video! Thanks 🌟
Arvindh Mani
Arvindh Mani Vor 6 Monate
Russian Doll fans, put your hands up!
Alexander Sakhnenko
Alexander Sakhnenko Vor 6 Monate
One of the best script concepts out there.
Aditya Varma
Aditya Varma Vor 6 Monate
waddup bois
TheGalacticCrafter Vor 6 Monate
That lead in to Skillshare though!!
TheGalacticCrafter Vor 6 Monate
The Netflix show Russian Doll that came out a few weeks ago put a slightly new spin on this premise and it was so satisfying, highly recommend
dane kelly
dane kelly Vor 6 Monate
BFM.....WE LOVE YOU.........
TheTuubster Vor 6 Monate
Fun fact: A year earlier, the Star Trek episode "Cause and Effect" explored the concept of time loops, only escaped until a puzzle is solved, too.
Gagan Bansal
Gagan Bansal Vor 6 Monate
Hey.. I am a big fan of your videos. Just a request though... Can you mention which movie you are going to do in next video at the end of each video. Because many time I hadn't watched that movie. First I watch the movie and then watch your video😅.
smtucker0419 Vor 6 Monate
He does make that information available on Patreon to subscribers, but only to those who want it. Some people like to be surprised.
Bemine4fun Vor 6 Monate
Loved the clever segue into the SkillShare ad.
Kevin Watson
Kevin Watson Vor 6 Monate
seriously ? This is a channel and an actual video ? WOW !
Richard Baker
Richard Baker Vor 6 Monate
A beautiful analysis Of this great film
PD Zombie
PD Zombie Vor 6 Monate
One of my favorite comedies of all time... If you could go back to the same day over and over again, wouldn't you try to make the perfect day? Thanx!!!
Jack Smith
Jack Smith Vor 6 Monate
I read from some one directly involve that for him to be skilled in all acts, he’d have go through 20/30 years of reliving the same day
eriel7 Vor 6 Monate
in my opinion, before I fall is a great example of this type of concept as well! I recommend it
John M
John M Vor 6 Monate
Did you ever have deja vu? I don't think so, but I can check with the kitchen...
Sun RA
Sun RA Vor 6 Monate
An amazing breakdown, as always.
5ilver42 Vor 6 Monate
HAHAHAHA that advert segue..
Doug Mcwilliams
Doug Mcwilliams Vor 6 Monate
Big fat clue from The Universe
Caged Vor 6 Monate
Greatest movie ever!
David Anders
David Anders Vor 6 Monate
great narration and commentary!
Thirst Fast
Thirst Fast Vor 6 Monate
Never saw it. Looks good.
grumplepig Vor 6 Monate
Nice job
TehMorbidAtheist Vor 6 Monate
Death is not the escape because you will get erased and replaced immediately and that other person will more or less go through a similar sensual life experience that you experienced.
jv7x Vor 6 Monate
Masterful analysis! I didn’t realize i could love this movie any more but you made it happen. Thanks!
Lisa Kirmsse
Lisa Kirmsse Vor 6 Monate
I love your channel so much :)
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