Tyler Mowery discusses a fundamental with screenwriting “How to Give Your Story a Good Foundation”
The main idea is that a good film presents its protagonist with clear stakes, practically and then philosophically.
So for me, its 1961. My parents go on a road trip to visit me my freshman year of college away from home Thanksgiving. Black Friday they visit friends in another city and my father gets a surprise phone call from a dean at the college, That sets up a situation for my parents’ marriage.
It would be challenging to formulate the goals and stakes for a dramatic situation this diffuse.