King Arthur has just cut the Black Knight's last leg off.
All right, we'll call it a draw.
(preparing to leave)
King Arthur and Patsy ride off.
(calling after King Arthur)
Oh, oh, I see! Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back
here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!
If you come any closer, I will rip you to shreds.
Who are you?
I am G'mork. And you, whoever you are, can have the honor of being my last victim.
I will not die easily. I am a warrior!
Ha! Brave warrior, then fight the Nothing.
But I can't! I can't get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia!
G'mork laughs and Atreyu gets angry.
What's so funny about that?
Fantasia has no boundaries.
That's not true! You're lying.
Foolish boy. Don't you know anything about Fantasia? It's the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
But why is Fantasia dying, then?
Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
What is the Nothing?
It's the emptiness that's left. It's like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Because people who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control... has the power!
Who are you, really?
I am the servant of the power behind the Nothing. I was sent to kill the only one who could have stopped the Nothing. I lost him in the Swamps of Sadness. His name... was Atreyu.
The ground shakes again and Atreyu is knocked down. He grabs a knife shaped piece of broken stone and stands, ready to fight.
If we're about to die anyway, I'd rather die fighting! Come for me, G'mork! *I* am Atreyu!
One of the things I see a lot of in amateur screenplays, and in my own writing, if I'm honest, and it's a big thing, is a lack of character goals. There aren't any goals for the main character or characters to achieve. This leads to a story without any defined and clear direction. And generally the scenes that play out within the context of that story tend to meander and not actually go anywhere.
Giving the main character a goal to achieve will help structure the story that you want to tell, it will help drive the story forward and give it a sense of direction.
Character flaws and goals can generally be broken down into two categories.
Firstly, there's the INTERNAL struggle that the character is going through.
The internal struggle that the main character is going through usually revolves around some kind of personality trait. This personality trait is the character's flaw, it's their achille's heel that's stopping them from moving forward in their life.
This character flaw could be caused by a whole number of things.
This major event (something bad happened to them) caused them to take on this negative personality trait. They're finding it difficult to get over what happened to them. They might not even be aware of this personality trait (flaw) that they have until it's pointed out to them or something happens (usually something bad) to them that brings it to their attention.
This is their INTERNAL struggle.
This internal struggle that manifests itself in the main character as a flaw could take the form of any number of personality traits.
There are so many to choose from. The list is endless.
Go to character flaws
Over the course of a story, the main character learns to overcome this negative aspect of their personality and hopefully by the end of the story they will be the opposite of how they were at the beginning. If they were irresponsible at the start, they have now learned to become responsible. If they were selfish, they have now learned to be more giving by the end of the story. They have learned something about themselves, their personality has arced over the course of the story. They may not even be aware that they have changed.
But as the reader/audience member, we have seen this change occur.
Secondly, there's the EXTERNAL struggles that characters find themselves in which are usually much easier to see.
Generally, and this is just my own point of view. Dependent on the genre, certain films require that characters are flawed, otherwise those movies just aren't going to work. These are usually character driven pieces, and certainly not your tent-pole summer blockbusters. Generally in these types of movies I just want to be entertained, as long as the story makes sense and the characters don't behave in a stupid manner.
When it comes to a character driven story, I want to see a lot of depth to characters. This is when I want to see characters change over the course of a movie, and the more characters that have some kind of character arc, the better. This is when I want to feel something and possibly even relate to the characters and their struggles in some way. I want to feel their pain and anguish that they go through over the course of the story. This is when I want to be emotionally invested in the characters and the story and situations they find themselves in. And of course, I still want to be entertained with a story that makes sense.
Make sure there are obstacles that get in the way of your characters achieving their goals. Hopefully this will create conflict for your character(s) to overcome.
This is just my take on how I approach my writing.
Movies to check out:
There are loads more.
Scriptnotes: Episode 65
John August and Craig Mazin discuss the common issues they find in screenplays.
Definitely worth listening to. Great advice.
I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only
five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I
kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum,
the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your
head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question:
Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
If there's something you want to do -- just DO IT.
Keep writing -- Keep plugging away -- DON'T GIVE UP
Lady, you take my picture with that thing and I'm
gonna rip your brassiere off... and strangle you with
it! You got that?
Nobody sets out to fuck up your movie. It’s not like the director or the stars wake up in the morning and say, “Let’s screw up this scene. How can I really cause Bill Goldman pain?” It’s just that they’re terrified. I wrote a line once that caught on out there in Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” And they don’t. If we knew what we were doing, every movie would be wonderful. If actors knew what they were doing, every performance would be just swell. It’s a crapshoot. It just is. There’s no answer. I wish there were.
Sue Ellen, you're not a wife, you're not a
mother, and you sure as hell are not a
A dark power has found a way back into the world.
Look, I'm telling ya, there's somethin' movin' and it
ain't us! Tracker's off scale, man. They're all around
us, man. Jesus!
The Show Must Go On
I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at
last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was
but the learner; now *I* am the master.
Only a master of evil, Darth.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to
your enemies, but a great deal more to stand
up to your friends.
Looks like Disney have found the screenwriters for the upcoming Star Wars movies.
Michael Arndt -- Episode 7
Lawrence Kasdan -- Episode 8
Simon Kinberg -- Episode 9
Glad to see Lawrence Kasdan back in the game.
It's also great to see they're planning on releasing the new episodes two years apart from each other. Three years apart is pushing it, especially these days. And anything longer than that, is just plain ludicrous.
Hopefully they'll get Steven Spielberg on board in some capacity.
Looking forward to watching them. Let's hope they stay true to the original Star Wars universe and mythology.
Go to Den of Geek.
Script notes & feedback.
I'm currently hunting for some amateur scripts to read and give notes on. I can't seem to find anything interesting to read at the moment. If you have an amateur spec script and you're looking for some free notes, consider sending it my way. I'll read it and give you some feedback. What you do with these notes is up to you. You may like them, you may hate them. But at least you'll have them.
But there is a catch.
I'll only be accepting scripts in the following genres:
And they must be in PDF format.
If you're up to the challenge.
Send me the script and the reasons why I should give up 6 hours plus of my time reading and giving notes on your baby.
One more thing.
I'm hoping to get at least 20 - 30 scripts to read between now and the end of December.
This offer is open until the 27 November 2012.
Scriptnotes: Episode 63
Craig Mazin and John August do the three page challenge.
Scriptnotes: Episode 62
John August and Craig Mazin discuss Disney buying Lucasfilm.
The young carpenter from Nazareth? I know
him well. Promising young man. He died badly.
Sometimes a man can learn more form other men's dreams
than he can from his own. Come visit me, sir, if you wish to
improve your education.
I got some scotch.
Aged eighteen years. The way I like it.
No, you submit, do you hear? You be strong, you
survive... You stay alive, no matter what occurs!
I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter
how far, I will find you.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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