Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_2 - UCLA Extension -...

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UCLA Extension - Screenwriting 1 L. Saber 1 (Week 2 Lecture) Now that you’ve had a few days to think about your story idea and come up with a premise, let’s talk about premise and character. Your premise or story idea will certainly involve a central character -- the person we watch from fade in to fade out. If this character isn’t interesting to watch then chances are the audience will not want to sit in a dark room for two hours. So how do you make a character likeable, interesting to the point that someone (your audience) will want to know more about the character and the story? This question can be answered with several other questions such as – 1. What does your character do? I don’t mean, what does he do for a living -- I’m talking about your character’s actions. Is he/she passive? Do things happen to them or do they make things happen? If your character just lays back and allows things to happen to them throughout the movie, wanting the audience to feel sorry for them, then it will be a very boring experience. So you have to make sure that your character is passionate about whatever it is that he’s trying to overcome. Which brings us to the question of – 2. What is the central character’s obstacle? How big of a dilemma is it? Are they tasked by the heavens to save the world? That’s a pretty tall order, but a tall order is what raises the stakes (we’ll talk about raising the stakes in the weeks to come), but for now just know that the higher the gamble, the higher the risk the more interesting the story. In last week’s lecture, I used “Die Hard” as an example, so let’s revisit that story line. If
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This note was uploaded on 12/23/2011 for the course EXTEN SCNWRT at UCLA.

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Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_2 - UCLA Extension -...

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