Thursday, 18 November 2010

Development of Ideas and Structure In Moving Image

Character Design

In stories there’s four aspects of character design; the Protagonist, who is the main character in a story. They do not have to necessarily be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but the audience tends to see the events of the film through their eyes; the Antagonist is gives conflict in the film. People, pets, items, robots whatever can be the antagonist; the Dialogue that the characters uses affects how we as an audience receive them - it allows us to understand the intentions of the character; Stereotype communicates a character to an audience in a relatively short amount of time.

Those aspects can be acknowledged in Mysterious Skin (2004), directed by Gregg Araki.

The characters Neil and Brian

Protagonist - Neil. A dark character, we are never comfortable liking him as a character though. Also     could be Brian who’s story we also follow.
Antagonist - Could be Coach, the character that abuses the two lads. It could also be Neil himself, who     introduces Brian to Coach so he can abuse him.
Dialogue - Brian speaks softly and never seems to raise his voice until the end, but Neil swears lots so     we can see the difference between the characters there.
Stereotype - All characters seem stereotyped, the paedophile is very paedophiley, the dark one is all dark and fucked up, the simple one wears glasses, simple.

An in depth analysis of the two characters.

Through Neil’s relationship with people that aren’t Brian it enforces the fact he’s a dick. Through Brian’s relationships with people that aren’t Neil it enforces the fact he’s a weird guy. It’s only through the interaction between these two characters that we see other sides to them.

Story Development: The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is a theory explored by Joseph Campbell, who describes (in A Hero With a Thousand Faces - 1949) stories having a journey, and that journey being in three stages of rites of passage:

Although these three stages seem simple, they are built of a number of different sub-categories.

I have chosen to look at the 2009 film Avatar  as a way to explore the Hero’s journey theory.

Avatar poster
1.1) Call to Adventure.
    Jake Sully is called to Pandora.
1.2) Refusal of the Call.
    Dr. Grace Augustine is angry about having Sully work for her, asks for him to not.
1.3) Supernatural Aid.
    The Avatars are created
1.4) Crossing the First Threshold
    Sully gets attacked and lost on Pandora
1.5) The Belly of the Whale
    Night time on Pandora on his own.

2.1) The Road of Trials
    Following Neytiri through the forest.
2.2) The Meeting with the Goddess
    Meeting Neytiri
2.3) Temptation Away from the True Past
    Sully sells information about Pandora to the miners.
2.4) Atonement with the Father
    Sully reconciles with Neytiri’s father
2.5) Apothesis
    Sully tames The Great Leonopteryx
2.6) The Ultimate Boon
    Defeats the Humans

3.1) Refusal of the Return
    Decision to stay or go home
3.2) The magic flight
    Flee from Pandora’s human base
3.3) Rescue from without
    Neytiri saves Sully from suffocating
3.4) Crossing the Return Threshold
    Defeat Colonel Miles Quaritch
3.5) Master of the Two Worlds
    Sully gets turned into Na’vi by the Tree
3.6) Freedom to live
    Humans retreat, Na’vi can live in peace

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