notes: “the screenplay,” by margaret mehring

the screenplay: a blend of film form and content,” by margaret mehring, focal press 1990

“the character can clearly identify his or her plot goal but is not able to articulate the personal goal – at least not until it is achieved.  it is the achievement of the personal goal, as a result of change/growth, that enunciates the theme of the screenplay.”  p54

“reversals – unexpected and often times unwanted events – appear in a number of different ways.  there are the major reversals that completely alter the existing circumstances.  these major reversals often come at the end of act 1 and act 2 and, as pointed out above, are sometimes called plot points.  they’re the events that force the protagonist to move in an entirely different direction.”  p63

“the necessity to overcome or sidestep obstacles continually involves the reader/viewer and also serves to motivate a character’s behavior.  the choice of how to overcome or to sidestep an obstacle tells us about the character – his or her thoughts and background.”  p74

“screenwriters work with the characters who refuse to admit to the truths that are staring them in the face; those who direct their hostility toward a non-threatening person rather than the source of their hostility; those who use humor to hide behind; the ones who avoid feelings by engaging in predominantly intellectual concerns; those who accuse others of the behavior they dislike in themselves; the persons who deny their feelings, continuously excuse their own unacceptable behavior, over-achieve, under-achieve, live in fantasy worlds, repress anxiety-producing feelings and thoughts, and adopt and imitate the behavior of other people rather than develop their own.  screenwriters people their screenplays with these kinds of characters because they are reflections of parts of themselves and the people they love and live with; and because these kinds of characters do the things that stories are made of.”  p202

“the final stage of personality development comes with a sense of integrity – when we accept ourselves and the people within the scope of our lives as being important and worthwhile.  this brings an acceptance of responsibility for our own lives, a sense of communion with all people in all times and all places, and the ability to defend the dignity of our own lives against any external threats.  when we don’t have this sense of integrity we live lives of despair and malcontent.  we feel defeated and contemptuous about life and the way we’ve been treated.”  p204


About jeanne

artist, grandma, alien

Posted on April 3, 2010, in research. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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