By Glenn M. Benest
In studying great films for many years now, the one lesson I’ve learned is that memorable screenplays all have one thing in common–protagonists with compelling character arcs.
When you think of the films you’ve loved, you don’t usually remember their plots, but you will never forget their heroes or heroines–how they grow from one emotional extreme to another – whether it’s Rick from Casablanca or Kumail from the recent break-out comedy, The Big Sick.
In my upcoming webinar, I will discuss which is more important, character or plot? Is the character there to service the plot or is it the other way around? Should you first devise a story structure and then ask yourself what character you should stick in there or should you first create a great protagonist and character arc and then construct a plot that will force the character to grow?
If it’s the latter, how does one create a rich and emotional character arc? You’d think there would be plenty of books and instructors to help guide screenwriters with this process, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
I think the reason for this is that it’s not easy to teach this skill, you need to understand people and how they change. Character growth is painful and messy, and people don’t usually take those steps unless it’s forced upon them–as addicts rarely seek sobriety until they hit rock bottom.
Join me on March 22nd at 1pm PT (4PM ET) and I will take up this challenge. We’ll go step-by-step, using concrete examples to show you how it’s done. It’s not necessary that you’ve seen the films I reference to get the full benefit of my lecture, as I will take you through each screenplay point by point, providing the exact beats of how you can master this vital skill.
The webinar goes live at 1:00 pm; but you can watch it anytime at your leisure, as it’s archived for a year.
I hope you’ll join me.