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Types of Characters in Film


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Types of Characters in film

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Types of Characters in Film

  1. 1. Character Arcs Paths of transformation
  2. 2. Characters Unfold A character arc is the status of the character as it unfolds throughout the story. ●It is the emotional change of the character within the narrative. ●Characters begin the story with a certain viewpoint and, through events in the story, that viewpoint changes. (Often this change is for the better, but it can also be for the worse or simply different. )
  3. 3. Some examples ●In Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman’s character begins as a misogynistic chauvinist but when he is forced to play the part of a woman, he also experiences a change in how he views women and becomes a different character by the end. ●In Empire of the Sun, Jim begins as a carefree young boy. After the Japanese take over Shanghai and he is separated from his family, he is forced to suffer trauma because of the war. ●In The Godfather, Michael Corleone at first does not want to have anything to do with his father’s crime business. When his father is attacked and barely survives, Michael realizes his love for his
  4. 4. Character Development drives Conflict All stories are about people, even when they're about rabbits. And the stories that move us most, the ones that stick inside years later, are those inhabited by characters we can connect with and admire. And no characters resonate more than those who in the course of a story learned how to transcend their own flaws and weaknesses to do something great—this is a Character Arc. And by great I don’t mean saving the world, for often the quietest moments are the ones in which characters find their greatness. The moments that truly define us are almost always personal, times when we’re able to overcome our own limitations and rise to be something more.
  5. 5. Character Arc—the rocky path of personal growth and development a character undergoes in a story, usually unwillingly, during which the character wrestles with and eventually overcomes some or all of a serious emotional fear, limitation, block or wound. In a character's development he or she might overcome: 1.lack of courage or inner doubts 2.lack of ethics 3.learning to love 4.guilt 5.trauma from the past 6.errors in thinking, etc.
  6. 6. Weaknesses, imperfections, quirks and vices make a character more real & appealing ●They humanize a character. The audience can identify with them. ●Flaws and imperfections give a character somewhere to go and progress toward in the story. ●The development of a character is only interesting if they overcome something.
  7. 7. ●A great example of a character arc – Tom Cruise’s character in "Rain Man." ●Beginning – Cruise is a ruthless car dealer who kidnaps his autistic brother because he feels cheated about not receiving any money from his father's will. ●End of Arc – After a cross- country journey with his brother, he learns the importance of family and turns down the money.
  8. 8. Role of a Character Arc ●Keeps the tension high and the conflict going. ●Serves as the “inner” conflict and is always mirrored by the story's “outer” conflict. e.g. DieHard: Inner conflict = overcome internal weaknesses to be able to get back together with wife; Outer conflict = fight bad guys who have taken over wife’s building.
  9. 9. The Arc is the internal change the hero goes through ●It can be positive change of character—a happy ending ●Or a negative or no change—which gives us a tragedy. Characters who remain essentially the same from beginning to end are fatally flawed. They have learned nothing from their experience and have shown no growth. ●Or the character is already ‘good’ and doesn’t change (e.g. James Bond, Braveheart, John Wayne).
  10. 10. Development of a Character Arc Personal changes in a Character’s Arc require smooth development—changing is really hard. ●Flat verses Round Character development oFlat--Jumping abrupt changes in character create 2 dimensional characters. oRound--natural, step-by-step development of a character create 3 dimensional characters We see how the personal beliefs that cause internal flaws are torn away little by little by forces within a character and by his surroundings. The filmmaker shows us conflicts/transitions as the character evolves from one state of mind to another in a slow even pace until he is compelled to make a life changing decision.
  11. 11. Conflict and Character within Story Structure The Basic Three Act Structure The simplest building blocks of a good story are found in the Three Act Structure. Separated by Plot Points, its Act 1 (Beginning), Act 2 (Middle), and Act 3 (End) refer not to where in time in the story they lie but instead fundamental stages along the way.
  12. 12. In the Beginning the reader is introduced to the setting, the characters and the situation (conflict) they find themselves in and their goal. Plot Point 1 is a situation that drives the main character from their "normal" life toward some different conflicting situation that the story is about. Great stories often begin at Plot Point 1, thrusting the main character right into the thick of things, but they never really leave out Act 1, instead filling it in with back story along the way.
  13. 13. In the Middle the story develops through a series of complications and obstacles, each leading to a mini crisis. Though each of these crises are temporarily resolved, the story leads inevitably to an ultimate crisis—the Climax. As the story progresses, there is a rising and falling of tension with each crisis, but an overall rising tension as we approach the Climax. The resolution of the Climax is Plot Point 2.
  14. 14. In the End, the Climax and the loose ends of the story are resolved during the Denouement. Tension rapidly dissipates because it's nearly impossible to sustain a reader's interest very long after the climax. Filmmakers finish the story and get out.
  15. 15. The character’s arc follows the rising and falling action of the plot as they transform through the choices they are forced to make by the events of the plot
  16. 16. Character Arc and Story Structure Act 1 In the Beginning of a story the main character, being human (even if he of she isn't), will resist change (inner conflict). The character is perfectly content as he is; there's no reason to change. Plot Point 1 – Then something happens to throw everything off balance. It should come as a surprise that shifts the story in a new direction and reveals that the protagonist’s life will never be the same again. oIn Star Wars this point occurs when Luke's family is killed, freeing him to fight the Empire. It puts an obstacle in the way of the character that forces him or her to deal with something they would avoid under normal circumstances.
  17. 17. Act 2-- The second Act is about a character’s emotional journey Characters face all sorts of challenges to overcome during Act 2 that make them struggle towards their goal. The key to Act Two is conflict. Without it the story can’t move forward. And conflict doesn’t mean a literal fight. It could be any obstacles (maybe five, maybe a dozen— depends on the story) leading up to your plot point at the end of Act 2.
  18. 18. In the second act the stakes are continually raised in the character’s emotional journey. Simultaneously the character encounters both inner and outer conflicts—the character alternates up and down internally between hope and disappointment as external problems begin to seem solvable then become more insurmountable than ever. Reversals of fortune and unexpected turns of events—surprise the viewer with both the actions of the main character and the events surrounding him.
  19. 19. Plot Point 2 Act Two ends with the second plot point, which thrusts the story in another unexpected direction. Plot Point 2 occurs at the moment the hero appears beaten or lost but something happens to turn the situation around. The hero's goal becomes reachable. Right before this unexpected story turn, the hero reaches the Black Moment—the point at which all is lost and the goal cannot be
  20. 20. In order to have a "Climax", where the tension is highest, the hero must have a "Black" moment, where the stakes are highest and danger at its worst. During this moment, the hero draws upon the new strengths or lessons he's learned in order to take action and bring the story to a conclusion. oDorothy’s gotta get a broom from the Wicked Witch before she can go home. oLuke’s gotta blow up the Death Star before fulfilling his destiny. oNeo’s gotta do battle with Agent Smith
  21. 21. Act 3 dramatically shows how the character is able to succeed or become a better person. Resolution/denouement ties together the loose ends of the story (not necessarily all of them) and allows the reader to see the outcome of the main character’s decision at the climax. Here we see evidence of the change in a character arc.