Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Character - Developing & Building

I've started out reading the book 'Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting" by Syd Field, which is a great book and one I've had for quite some time, but just haven't had the opportunity to read. So far, I've taken great interest to his chapters on developing and building characters and how that combines and possibly creates, at times, plot points. As most film students, amateurs, and professionals know, there are three main plot points: Act 1, 2, and 3. On a feature length screenplay, these usually occur around pages 1-30, 30-90, 90-120.

He piqued my interest when he mentioned how one goes about building characters. Now, there are many ways to do this, and coming from an acting background, I am familiar with the technique he explains: starting from birth and working your way towards the present time of the character and script, including major facts such as family lifestyle to minute yet still important information like a character's favorite color. One of the reasons this is important is that you can pull this information out not only in a character's actions and the events that take place, but that you are able to create scenes that propel the story forward even more. Characters that are built 'from the ground up' are more relatable and therefore more believable — all things a filmmaker wants.

Now most of this information you can get from the book itself, or even other books, so I'd like to tie this in a bit more with Lambent Fuse. First and foremost, these findings come at a perfect time, since we will be shooting some more poster ideas for early promotion of the film to be launched in the near future. Lambent Fuse has always been a film built around an ensemble cast, and it's important for us to illustrate and represent each separate character in the best possible way. Picking out scenes (locations), attire (style, color), bodily features (hair, makeup), etc. are all factors that need considering. Each character brings their own set of these factors and by doing the analysis as a filmmaker simplifies this process and is something we have done for each character (even more in depth than we had originally done).

This was definitely a great discovery, and the adaptation towards film will become a much more simplified process with this information. I've also came across a few interesting pieces, which I think I'll try to do every week:

Links of Interest:
Movie: Oldboy
-The technique used in the filming, along with coloring was simply stunning. Check out a fluid, one-shot fight scene HERE. The direction, choreography, along with acting required for this scene was quite impressive.

Magazine: Film Comment
-I read a few articles so far, including a back issue of one of my favorite films 2046 (a film shot without a script and one that apparently took very long to create) and 'No Country for Old Men', another Coen Brother film. The magazine is more of a review for films than one that looks at film techniques, but that is still important for filmmakers to engage in, since it is their audience who develop explanations for the images presented to them.

Until next Tuesday, thanks for reading.

§ Matt
If you have any questions or comments, please write them below, or email them to me at mcici@lambentfuse.com

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