Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Screenwriting
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-17-2010, 06:00 PM   #31
Kevan
Member
 
Kevan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,686
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
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
Ah, but he does..

Once he's killed Henry Fonda's character in the final shoot out he puts his gun down and leaves to resume his previous life..

Harmonica only learned how to draw fast to kill those who killed his brother and once he gets his revenge he puts his gun down moves on..

That's his arc, he acheives his goal - back to normality...
Kevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 06:07 PM   #32
Biohazard
Member
 
Biohazard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold
Posts: 7,329
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan View Post
Ah, but he does..

Once he's killed Henry Fonda's character in the final shoot out he puts his gun down and leaves to resume his previous life..

Harmonica only learned how to draw fast to kill those who killed his brother and once he gets his revenge he puts his gun down moves on..

That's his arc, he acheives his goal - back to normality...
This, and this: good luck with a spec like OUATITW.

Remember - if you are a nobody, you have to play by certain "rules" that James Cameron and Sergio Leone and David Lynch don't have to.
Biohazard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 06:16 PM   #33
JimHull
New User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Biohazard is unfortunately right, when you start out you have to account for everyone's notes. Which is why when it comes to getting paid, I would always do what the boss says (since it's his money ). Money issues aside...

The only time a story needs to have someone change (protagonist or not), is if the author is trying to argue some point-of-view, i.e. provide the audience with some message. The protagonist has his point-of-view (using the traditional definition here ) and some other super important character has theirs. They argue it over and at the end of the story, one changes to adopt the other's point-of-view.

There are tons of stories, however, that are not arguing some greater meaning. For these, that great quote from Monohan would apply. Films like "Inglorious Bastards" or "Where the Wild Things Are" aren't really trying to say something as much as they are trying to entertain or create some emotional experience in the audience. There's nothing wrong with them, and I enjoyed those films (well, really only Bastards but I know some people really like Wild Things), but they're not like "Amadeus" or "Chinatown" where you walk away and go "Damn. Now that was a movie."

Re: the comment about chuckleheads, I don't think gurus are trying to rip people off as much as they're trying to share the excitement over what they consider to be the "keys" to story. I don't think it's a fair assessment, but I understand the point he is getting at.

As far as the OP's question about his manager's comments...

If you followed Vogler's Hero's Journey structure you DID write a typical 3-act structure. The whole part in the middle, when the "Hero" is in the "Special World" is the 2nd act. The "Crossing the Threshold" moment is the break from one into two and the "The Road Back" moment is the break from two into three.

"Hero's Journey" also requires the "Hero" to change, that's kind of the whole point of thing. This is where Vogler et. al. get into trouble because then they start warping their paradigm to fit stories like "Chinatown" or "Silence of the Lambs" where the "Hero" doesn't change. It sounds like you wrote a Hero's Journey story the way it was prescribed, but that it just wasn't strong enough.

If your manager didn't think the arc was working, why not just make it a bigger change? Going from "not fighting" to "leading a whole army" is not as strong as "trying to run away" to "leading a whole army." The second has more dramatic potential because the Hero will be going in a completely different direction. Instead of going from inert to full action, he (or she) will be going from a position of trying to escape whatever responsibilities he has, to actually taking action to end them.
JimHull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 06:21 PM   #34
THEUGLYDUCKLING
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: in a pond with much prettier ducks
Posts: 1,084
Default Re: Without a character arc?

huh? where the wild things are is one of the heaviest movies of last year. it tries to say volumes. the story encompasses a huge pie chart of themes that resonate with the masses. it's universal.

while in theory it's not, in reality it was dark. much to dark for a children's movie and that's why i think it didn't break the 100 million mark. and as far as arcing goes, this movie had everybody arc. it was an arcing machine.
__________________
You only get one chance to rewrite it 100 times.
THEUGLYDUCKLING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 06:25 PM   #35
Kevan
Member
 
Kevan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,686
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biohazard View Post
This, and this: good luck with a spec like OUATITW.

Remember - if you are a nobody, you have to play by certain "rules" that James Cameron and Sergio Leone and David Lynch don't have to.
The worrying thing is James Cameron can get his films made and other people will follow in his footsteps so we can expect to see similar stories with similar themes..

But you won't see movies like Sergio Leone and David Lynch with the characters, stories and themes anymore because they are just not commercial, to ideosnycratic.. Maybe Leone's movies still contain that mythos on them but does David Lynch's? Don't think so.. Lynch's work is too influenced by surrealism..

I'd like to be proved wrong and there's a filmmaker out there with the vision and style of Leone who can wow me.. Peter Jackson comes pretty close but he concentrates on ensuing his work is commercial because that's how it is..

Leone and Lynch are great filmmakers for different reasons and with completely different styles and different voices..
Kevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 06:38 PM   #36
Kevan
Member
 
Kevan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,686
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimHull View Post
Biohazard is unfortunately right, when you start out you have to account for everyone's notes. Which is why when it comes to getting paid, I would always do what the boss says (since it's his money ). Money issues aside...

The only time a story needs to have someone change (protagonist or not), is if the author is trying to argue some point-of-view, i.e. provide the audience with some message. The protagonist has his point-of-view (using the traditional definition here ) and some other super important character has theirs. They argue it over and at the end of the story, one changes to adopt the other's point-of-view.

There are tons of stories, however, that are not arguing some greater meaning. For these, that great quote from Monohan would apply. Films like "Inglorious Bastards" or "Where the Wild Things Are" aren't really trying to say something as much as they are trying to entertain or create some emotional experience in the audience. There's nothing wrong with them, and I enjoyed those films (well, really only Bastards but I know some people really like Wild Things), but they're not like "Amadeus" or "Chinatown" where you walk away and go "Damn. Now that was a movie."

Re: the comment about chuckleheads, I don't think gurus are trying to rip people off as much as they're trying to share the excitement over what they consider to be the "keys" to story. I don't think it's a fair assessment, but I understand the point he is getting at.

As far as the OP's question about his manager's comments...

If you followed Vogler's Hero's Journey structure you DID write a typical 3-act structure. The whole part in the middle, when the "Hero" is in the "Special World" is the 2nd act. The "Crossing the Threshold" moment is the break from one into two and the "The Road Back" moment is the break from two into three.

"Hero's Journey" also requires the "Hero" to change, that's kind of the whole point of thing. This is where Vogler et. al. get into trouble because then they start warping their paradigm to fit stories like "Chinatown" or "Silence of the Lambs" where the "Hero" doesn't change. It sounds like you wrote a Hero's Journey story the way it was prescribed, but that it just wasn't strong enough.

If your manager didn't think the arc was working, why not just make it a bigger change? Going from "not fighting" to "leading a whole army" is not as strong as "trying to run away" to "leading a whole army." The second has more dramatic potential because the Hero will be going in a completely different direction. Instead of going from inert to full action, he (or she) will be going from a position of trying to escape whatever responsibilities he has, to actually taking action to end them.
What you've just posted above is the biggest pile of crap I've read on this forum.. Where did you learn this from?

The MonoMyth derives from Joseph Campbell's THE HERO OF A THOUSAND FACES and Christopher Vogler's interpretation of the MonoMyth (THE WRITER'S JOURNEY) reduces the sequences down but without hurting the way the monomyth structure operates but Campbell's is actually longer - it consists of 19 sequences whereas Vogler's consists of 12..

But the original argument wasn't about the hero's journey as a structure par se but more about a character arc whether the protagonist achieves an arc through the story..

A protagonist in a lot of action films may not have to go through the same journey as others, he may already have the skills and be prepared for battle with an antagonist but he may also acheive a goal which he set out to acheive from the onset and if this was to kill the antagonist by revenge the surely this is a character arc - no?

There's more than one way a protagonist character can arc in a story and it releates to them acheiving their goals.. Those goals are what drove him through the plot and when he pitted himself against an antagonist force so the very fact he wins and then moves on is an example of an arc right there..

Anything else he learns along the way, rises above any personal character flaw is a plus, and if he acheives his goals by rising above those flaws then it goes without question that his character arcs..

Duh!
Kevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 07:30 PM   #37
Rantanplan
Member
 
Rantanplan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,531
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBrad Bradley View Post
I'm really confused. What type of story is it that doesn't call for any change?
I do understand that the protagonist is not the one that always needs to change.

I once got fired for not giving the boss what he wanted.
Lots of stories have characters who don't change. It doesn't make them any less commercially viable. Not every is on some great internal journey. Not every film involves a character "learning about himself." People confuse interesting characters with characters who arc. Or characters t whom interesting stuff happens with characters who arc. Not the same. But certainly, our characters do need to be interesting if we expect people to want to read / watch. And it's true that we tend to become more emotionally engaged when someone with a rough exterior shows tenderness towards the end or whatever, but it does not have to be inherent in every story. Sometimes it's just about beating the crap out of people and saving the day. Or being on the run while trying to prove your innocence. Or getting revenge. Or.. or..
Rantanplan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2010, 09:53 PM   #38
JimHull
New User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Sheesh, Kevan, I'm pretty sure the OP added that he used what he called "Vogler's Hero's Journey" to write his story and he was afraid that it wasn't a typical 3-act structure. I was just trying to help him out by pointing out that the MonoMyth is a 3-act structure.

It might help to actually read every post so you don't try and jump on someone without knowing the whole story.
JimHull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2010, 01:47 PM   #39
TwoBrad Bradley
Member
 
TwoBrad Bradley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,018
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rantanplan View Post
Lots of stories have characters who don't change. It doesn't make them any less commercially viable. Not every is on some great internal journey. Not every film involves a character "learning about himself." People confuse interesting characters with characters who arc. Or characters t whom interesting stuff happens with characters who arc. Not the same. But certainly, our characters do need to be interesting if we expect people to want to read / watch. And it's true that we tend to become more emotionally engaged when someone with a rough exterior shows tenderness towards the end or whatever, but it does not have to be inherent in every story. Sometimes it's just about beating the crap out of people and saving the day. Or being on the run while trying to prove your innocence. Or getting revenge. Or.. or..
Sam Gerard changes.

Even if an un-changeing protagonist causes change in others there's an arc. I can't think of a movie (at least moderately good/successful) without an arc. I won't be surprised if the main reason for a story being less than good/successful is the lack of an arc.
__________________
"I am the story itself; its source, its voice, its music."
- Clive Barker, Galilee
TwoBrad Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2010, 11:31 PM   #40
Tsinogatorp Eht
User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 176
Default Re: Without a character arc?

Quote:
Remember - if you are a nobody, you have to play by certain "rules" that James Cameron and Sergio Leone and David Lynch don't have to.
I am sorry -- but I disagree with that.
Tsinogatorp Eht is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker