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Week 3

by: Nicholas Spriggs

Week 3 Com 316

Nicholas Spriggs
Elon University

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About this Document

These week we covered characters. I know some of you might have been a little confused so I elaborated a bit on what the teacher said in class.
Writing for TV and Cinema
Youssef Osman
Class Notes
hero, AverageJoe, LostSoul, Underdog
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicholas Spriggs on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Com 316 at Elon University taught by Youssef Osman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Writing for TV and Cinema in Communications at Elon University.

Similar to Com 316 at Elon University

Popular in Communications


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Date Created: 09/17/16
Writing For Cinema and Television Weeks 3 There are three main dimensions to character: 1. Physical: This refers to their appearance and how it affects the way a character’s personality and circumstance 2. Social Status: Consider the characters role in society. How does it influence the way he sees himself. Is he trying to escape his status? 3. Psychological: How does their psychology affect other characters? How does it affect their decision-making. In screenwriting its best to create your character in the order presented above: first physical, then social, and finally psychological Remember characters are allowed to evolve. The best ones evolve a lot. BUT you need to make sure their character is consistent. Ex. A cowardly character is allowed to be come more heroic overtime but an intelligent character shouldn’t make stupid decisions when he’s been established as smart Guidelines for a good character -They must be active -The must have a well-defined problem -The character MUST be the one to solve their problem A good rule of thumb to remember is that the problem needs to be huge. So make the antagonist great. Above all a character has to be INTERESTING 4 Basic Archetypes Now I know some of you had trouble on this so I hope my explanation is helpful. Hero: The first archetype is the hero. Typically they are presented as being to superior to the audience, however, this is not always the case at the start of the movie. The key thing to remember is that you DON’T identify with them you FANTASIZE about being them. Elaboration: If a character begins the story as an average Joe and ends the story as the hero such as Luke Skywalker or Spiderman this character should be considered a hero all the way through rather than an average Joe or underdog who undergoes a transformation. Simply put: A hero is a character who by the end of the movie is superior to the audience or has been superior to the audience the entire time Average Joe The second archetype is the average Joe. This character is extremely relatable, you’re meant to empathize with him/her. Underdog The third archetype is the underdog. This is a character that the audience can’t help but sympathize with. They're constantly fighting an uphill battle. Film’s centered on Underdogs typically involve them overcoming extreme odds or struggling to fit into normal society. Elaboration: On the surface this archetype and the underdog archetype are extremely similar however its easy to distinguish between the two if you look out for several key traits. Firstly, an Average Joe is less likely to be a pushover or overcome adversity. Their main struggle is dealing with an obstacle or antagonist that they’ve never encountered before. Secondly, an Average Joe is more assertive and confident than the underdog. Think of it this way an Average Joe is someone struggling to be exceptional and the Underdog is someone struggling to be average. Lost Soul This is a character that the audience has never encountered before. Lost Souls are defined by their unique personalities and their inability to fit into normal society. Unlike the underdog this character isn’t specifically motivated by acceptance. Of the 4 archetypes Lost Souls face the most internal conflict. ….or just remember Griffyndor: Hero Ravenclaw: Average Joe Hufflepuff: Underdog Slytherin: Lost Soul


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