Why do audiences engage with films like 'The Wrestler', 'Little Miss Sunshine' and 'The Conjuring', but you're struggling to make your screenplay as powerful as you know it can be?
How do you create genuine, emotional character development and change in your protagonist that isn't forced and obvious?
How did a father taking his son for a walk lead to the highest grossing animated film of all time?
The answers lie in the Cataclysm to the Crux.
If you're a student or aspiring screenwriter, bogged down in complicated theory with a story you're struggling to convey, then grab your copy of 'Finding Nemo' and work with this course as I show you a simple model that cuts to the very heart of a powerful story.
This is a brief course delivered in bite-size chunks, using Pixar's elegantly simple smash hit 'Finding Nemo' to demonstrate a model of character development and change for you to use in writing, developing and perfecting your screenplay.
This course has previously:
but has now been vastly improved, reworked and optimised for Udemy - and you!
This is a brief course:
So you won't get bogged down in complicated theories...
Cue up your purchased or rented copy of Finding Nemo, and let's begin!
Getting to grips with who you are, your protagonist is, and therefore what you should focus on in developing your screenplay
Don't be scared! Science is simply about predicting how the world works, and that's all I talk about here. How do predictions develop and change over decades and centuries? An important starting point for understanding people...
If this is hard to follow, stick with it, then maybe revisit it after finishing the section. It's really just about predictions for the world becoming grander theories that are harder to relinquish, so how they protect themselves from having to change.
How does a model for scientific change help us with character change? First, think about our basic senses and perception of the world. Then, how people's modus operandi for living in the world come about. Then ask yourself - how do people change these mindsets? An important first step is to ask how they refuse to change...
A brief look at some recent stellar films will make all of this clear.
Bringing it all together in one simple model, step by step. Don't worry if the model isn't making complete sense yet, as we work through Finding Nemo it will be explained further and become radically clear.
The first step is the most important ingredient: misjudgement...
Let's meet our protagonist. What's his Hard Core?
How does Marlin's Hard Core affect the world of the story? What's the effect of that change for Marlin? This gets to the central story values, and the main thrust of the story.
....or, how to fill you story world with the most antagonistic forces to catalyse change.
Friends or Killers? The importance isn't in the answer, but in the fact there's a question to begin with.
The introduction of stakes, and what that does to Marlin.
How there is no 'is' in your story - only 'looks according to a character'.
A cameo from the Director for some straight up dialogue.
Staring down in to the heart of Marlin's character.
Be sure to check out the Worksheet in the Lecture resources - there's one for you to fill out, and also one with the answers for you to compare.
Between a rock and a hard place - some questions for you to try.
How to deliver an utterly crushing blow to your protagonist.
That do-or-die scene and how to genuinely bring about change in your protagonist,
With all we've just worked through, let's look again at scientific and character change.
With the model in hand, now let's look again at your story.
Course Summary notes are a resource in this lecture.
A thank-you, a heads-up, and some pointers.
A basic overview of further reading.
*NEW IN SEPTEMBER 2015* - Course Transcript is now a downloadable resource.
This quizzes you on the basic course content to make sure you've grasped the fundamentals of the model Cataclysm to the Crux model.
This tests your knowledge using a script idea of mine, 'The Killer Strain'. You have choices for how to make this story as strong as possible - reflect on the choices you make in this test vs. how your own screenplay has been written.
A Screenwriting Masters graduate, I know all about the frustrations and emotional turmoil that developing your own screenplay can entail. I worked for years on feature film scripts, animation scripts, TV scripts and short films - both my own and my colleagues’, collaborating and supporting each other.
I’m also a McKee seminar student, have worked as a script reader at UK’s Ealing Studios and the late Anthony Minghella’s Mirage Films London offices. I’ve reported on screenwriting festivals, and written articles for the ScriptWriter magazine.
The philosophy, importance and abundance of storytelling in every aspect of our lives remains one of my utmost passions.
While toiling away on my own screenplays, to earn a living I worked on some of the biggest budget films of recent years, supervising the processing of their digital footage. I’ve racked up work on four Marvel films (Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron), the 23rd James Bond outing Skyfall, and worked in the Editorial departments for Disney’s Frankenweenie animation and John Carter extravaganza. The fact that they got released without any of their footage being lost or deleted I guess means I was okay at the job.