In the last article, I talked about the first, and most
important, part of a Directors job - understanding the
: what the story is about; the themes; the story
points; and the characters. In this article, I will focus on
Character Development and Analysis.
After reading the program and working through the code
structure and scene analysis, its instant to figure out the
development and objectives of the characters.
1) Character Functions
Each character has at least one function (or role) in any
story, such as:
c) best friend
d) love interest
i) comic relief
There are many more, but this is a basic list for you to
2) Character Emotions
Here are the three main character emotions:
a) Sympathy - the audience IDENTIFIES with the characters problems and triumphs
b) Empathy - the audience UNDERSTANDS the emotions that drive the character
c) Antipathy - the audience desire the character to "GET WHAT THEY DESERVE"
3) Character Components
These are the Internal and External factors that shape each
a) Interior - form character
b) Exterior - reveal character
4) Character Background
a) where is the character from (background)
b) what was he doing just before this scene
c) what does the writer say about this character
d) what do others say about this character
e) what does the character say about himself
5) Character Objectives (Most Important!)
These are the main needs and target
of a character (what
want out of life)
a) SUPER OBJECTIVE (example: "Power over People")
- what is the primal motivation of the character
- what are the main needs of the character
b) OBJECTIVES (example: "Wants to Dominate Character A")
- what does the character want (motives)
- what are the active choices to achieve the Super Objective
c) MAIN ACTIONS (example: "What they DO to Character A")
- what the character DOES...
- to get what he WANTS...
- to fulfill his NEEDS
NOTES ON OBJECTIVES:
a) there might
only be one objective per character - per scene
b) the simpler the objective, the easier it is for an actor to play it
c) objectives rise out of the characters needs and feelings
d) objectives help actors react to each other - rather than just "say the lines"
e) an objective should be an active choice for an actor
f) an actor should always play their objective in every scene
When coming up with character objectives, ask yourself: what
does each Character want in this story - in this scene?
a) look at the characters behavior (what he does)
b) look at what the character talks about (what he says)
c) remember: Motive (inner life ) Determines Behavior (outer life)!
6) Character Breakdown
Go through your code
and write down all the characters.
You should list the main characters first and the secondary
characters last and then assign them a function. Your first
character should be the main character - or the protagonist.
NOTE: if you are doing a TV Series, the main characters will
already be established for you. They are usually numbered