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Old 04-15-2010, 11:26 AM   #1
Tsinogatorp Eht
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Default Without a character arc?

Are there any ways to write a screenplay without a character arc?

What are some examples of recent films without a solid character arc?
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

Personally I don't think your protagonist needs to arc, but somebody does.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
What are some examples of recent films without a solid character arc?
Book of Eli.

Denzel's character relentlessly pursues his goal from start to finish, with only some irritating complications in the New Mexico desert, emerging with his internal and external architecture unchanged. His sidekick Mila does arc, however (but we hardly care).
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

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Originally Posted by Donreel View Post
Book of Eli.

Denzel's character relentlessly pursues his goal from start to finish, with only some irritating complications in the New Mexico desert, emerging with his internal and external architecture unchanged. His sidekick Mila does arc, however (but we hardly care).
I don't completely agree with this.

While his pursuit of his goal is unflinching, before meeting Mila's character, he doesn't get involved in other people's problems, lest it sway him from his task. After she decides she wants to be his sidekick and gets herself into trouble, he puts himself and his goal at risk by going to her aid when she gets into trouble.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

It's not about whether the protagonist has a character arc or not.

Don't stop there.

It's about whether or not the story would be better with a character arc.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

I've seen discussions on screenwriting forums of the Arc of Awesome, where the protagonist has no arc, but the story arcs with those around him realizing he's the man to get the job done (whatever that is). As you'd expect, most often seen in action movies. Unfortunately, I can't recall any examples right now.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBrad Bradley View Post
It's not about whether the protagonist has a character arc or not.

Don't stop there.

It's about whether or not the story would be better with a character arc.
I think that about nails it.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

I think Eli is a pretty close example.

If you have a character who is obsessed with a single task, completion of the task can work as an arc I think.

Look at Once Upon The Time In the West. Charles Bronson doesn't really arcc
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

Here's a link to the "arc of awesome" idea from the original author, who's a producer with several award-winning independent films to his credit:

http://keithcalder.com/post/52191389...arc-of-awesome
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Without a character arc?

Yeah, it just depends on the type of story. Archetypal action heroes don't always have an arc. Indiana Jones, James Bond, etc. But on the other hand, Luke Skywalker has a beautiful arc.


Speaking of westerns, The Man with No Name -- does he ever arc? Doesn't seem so. And he got THREE chances.

But for the most part, I'm always thinking about how characters will change, why they need to, and what the consequences are if they don't.
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