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Friday, July 21, 2006
 
Hero's Journey, Screenwriting, Story Structure - Meeting The Supernatural Aid


The Heros Journey is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters.

The Heros Journey:

Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.

Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on.

Interpreted metaphorically, laterally and symbolically, allows an infinite number of varied stories to be created.

The Hero's Journey is also a study of repeating patterns in successful stories and screenplays. It is compelling that screenwriters have a higher probability of producing quality work when they mirror the recurring patterns found in successful screenplays.

Consider this:

Titanic (1997) grossed over $600,000,000 uses the Hero's Journey as a template.

Star Wars (1977) grossed over $460,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.

Shrek 2 (2004) grossed over $436,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.

ET (1982) grossed over $434,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.

Spiderman (2002) grossed over $432,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.

Out of Africa (1985), Terms of Endearment (1983), Dances with Wolves (1990), Gladiator (2000) All Academy Award Winners Best Film are based on the Hero's Journey.

Anti-hero stories (Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) etc) are all based on the Hero's Journey.

Heroines Journey stories (Million Dollar Baby (2004), Out of Africa (1980) etc) are all based on the Hero's Journey.

Supernatural Aid

One critical element of the Heros Journey is the Meeting with the Supernatural Aid. During this stage, it is not uncommon for the Supernatural Aid (or Mentor) to appear (and sometimes disappear) mysteriously in some way. From another perspective, luck plays a significant part in the meeting:

a) In The Big Lebowski (1998), The Stranger (played by Sam Elliott) suddenly seems to appear (and disappear) from nowhere.

b) In Star Wars (1977), Ben Kenobi appears from nowhere to help Luke battle the Sandpeople.

c) In Gladiator (2000), it is fortunate that the slave caravan picks up the distraught Maximus and delivers him to Proximo and his Gladiator school.

Learn more

The Complete 188 stage Heros Journey and FREE 17 stage sample and other story structure templates can be found at http://managing-creativity.com/

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA

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You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.
 
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