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View Full Version : We don't need no Character Arc. Teachers, leave those screenwriters alone!


Ben
11-08-2008, 01:41 PM
Hi all,

Re: CINEMA AND THE WORLD NEEDS A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHARACTER ARC...

Why would you want a “positive character arc” in your screenplay? Forget about it.

The world is changing and majority cinema goers want a “negative character arc”.

In the following example -- I would say the world would want to see ENDING # 2.

Do you agree?

ENDING #1

Upcoming model, Pari Hart, waits for her long career-making catwalk. Minutes from show time, she gets a message from an assistant disclosing that her best friend, Lisa May, an ex-model, died of a heroin overdose after she escaped rehab. Pari Hart decides not to go on stage and causes turmoil backstage. She dashes out, an emotional wreck. Three months later, we find out she gave up her lucrative modeling career and opened a flower shop at South Beach, Miami.

ENDING #2

Pari Hart receives the tragic news. She rushes to the washroom and takes some painkillers.

Waiting to go on, the coordinator tells her that it’s show time but she freezes. After 10 seconds of soul-searching, she wipes two drops of tears and executes the best show of her life. Pari becomes famous and struggles with more drugs, rehabs, loneliness and three divorces and a son and daughter. At age of 50 she dies in a beach house from an overdose of painkillers. The camera close in on a note she left behind –

“To my only friend, Lisa May, thank you.

Forever,
Pari Hart, model…"


Which ending does the world want to see?

Or do you have an ending that will send shockwaves in the theatres around the world and re-invent the wheel of screenwriting?

Cheers
Benjamin Ray
brscreenwriter@gmail.com
www.hollywoodtoronto.com (http://www.hollywoodtoronto.com)

Allniter
11-08-2008, 03:34 PM
This chick's arc'ing all over the place in both cases. How'bout if the assistant finds out about her friend, decides to withold the info because our girl has always been so fragile, and she goes on to become a super model who fires her assistant when she discovers the truth.

Moviequill
11-08-2008, 03:41 PM
Or do you have an ending that will send shockwaves in the theatres around the world and re-invent the wheel of screenwriting?

at the end it is revealed that the entire story, the entire" world"of everyone we have seen has been happening on a fleck of dust floating in an old house... then along comes a massive vaccuum and sucks it up.

The End

Ben
11-08-2008, 03:52 PM
Allniter,

Good idea, but sounds just a tad too TV. But good TV in this case.
I wish Hollywood one day would make movie about models -- on a romantic level with a Sid and Nancy template.

MovieQuill,

Are you sure you are not the "cousin" of Being John Malkovich.
Good but too good.


Cheers,
Benjamin Ray
brscreenwriter@gmail.com
www.hollywoodtoronto.com (http://www.hollywoodtoronto.com)

IndieMe
11-08-2008, 06:58 PM
I prefer the second one of course. The first one is too much like a story for small children in regards to depth and interest and keeping everything positive.

One thing I don't like about Hollywood movies is how they always have to end on a good note. Vacancy for example, in the original screenplay, the guy dies and the woman drives away alone the sole survivor. IMHO that was a much better ending than him surviving and them driving off into the sunset or whatever.

I like foreign films where they are not so concerned about the "feel good or happy" ending.

If I sound confusing... well it's football night and I've had a few cold ones. Sorry... :o

mcornetto
11-08-2008, 09:04 PM
At the end we discover that it wasn't bullemia after all. She was actually communicating with a race of multi-dimensional beings who are looking to add another dimension to their house. The renovations are on.

BetterThanNormal
11-08-2008, 10:00 PM
Essentially a character arc is the change or transformation that a character experiences during his quest that inevitably affects the course and final outcome of the story. Remember that all stories, regardless of what they're about are only about one thing at their core...the restoration of a balance. If your characters life goes out of control or they lose perspective in some way than their quest is the restoration of that control or perspective again. Good luck.

dpaterso
11-09-2008, 01:36 AM
Now that y'all have found Writing Exercises forum, feel free to vote in the currently running fun short script contest! See sigline below.

-Derek

Kermet Key
11-09-2008, 01:52 AM
very few screenwriting "teachers" (none that I know of) actually teach arcs in actuality.

not to get into a whole debate here, but some characters don't arc. The old Bond for example, a lot of thriller characters don't or it's in simple terms what's known as a "redemptive" arc. Arc just means emotional journey and change.



This is not a story. This is the same beat repeated for how many ever pages until she dies.

Several iconic and classic films have "bad" endings which aren't neccessarily "negative" arcs. If you're going to tell a tragic story (and if Aristotle is to believed) then your character/protagonist has to fall from a great height - in other words, your model would have to be super successful and at the top of her game and spiral downward into depression or what have you. That would in fact be a negative arc. What you described above is no arc and no changing and is rather boring. In fact, a top model spiraling downward is also boring imho.

I concur. A character arc is about change. Not whether the ending is happy or sad. Neither of the examples sound like any type of story worth writing, reading, or watching. Your begging the question.

The Road Warrior
11-09-2008, 03:06 AM
Now that y'all have found Writing Exercises forum, feel free to vote in the currently running fun short script contest! See sigline below.

-Derek

i've read all of the entries and sent my three votes to Adam !

dpaterso
11-10-2008, 10:10 AM
Much appreciated! Tho' if you didn't vote for mine I'll be very hurt.

-Derek

The Road Warrior
11-11-2008, 05:11 AM
Much appreciated! Tho' if you didn't vote for mine I'll be very hurt.

-Derek


I'm sure it's got a vote, even though I don't know which entry it is Derek !

btw-
Is it the 15th - that you folks decide, count up all the votes ?

dpaterso
11-11-2008, 05:31 AM
I'm sure it's got a vote, even though I don't know which entry it is Derek !
Man, I left subliminal clues everywhere! The 4th letter of every 7th word. Didn't anyone notice?! Sheesh!

btw-
Is it the 15th - that you folks decide, count up all the votes ?
That seems likely, tho' it depends how drunk Isaac gets on the 14th, which can affect his letterin' and countin' skills.

-Derek

Signal30
11-12-2008, 09:30 PM
Personallu, it'd sound more interesting (to me) if it turned out the agency was knocking off the models and bring 'em back as zombies. Hell, no one would notice unless a limb fell off on the catwalk.

Fortean
11-13-2008, 12:48 AM
Man, I left subliminal clues everywhere! The 4th letter of every 7th word. Didn't anyone notice?! Sheesh!

How 'bout musical clues? (http://www.resologist.net/Ghost%20Dance.mid)

You can't vote for your own entry.

This may ruiN my chances for any votes, since nobOdy offered to sell me their votes.

Adam Isaac
11-13-2008, 01:05 AM
Personallu, it'd sound more interesting (to me) if it turned out the agency was knocking off the models and bring 'em back as zombies. Hell, no one would notice unless a limb fell off on the catwalk.

For your next birthday, I'm sending you a copy of the zombie porn flick I shot in college. Featuring some of the finest undead strippers in the city :D

mcornetto
11-13-2008, 03:52 PM
For your next birthday, I'm sending you a copy of the zombie porn flick I shot in college. Featuring some of the finest undead strippers in the city :D

Did you really do a zombie porn flick? That is so cool! :cool: