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Saturday, July 08, 2006
 
The Hero's Journey: Spiritual Guidance


The Hero's 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 Hero's 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.

Hero's Journey: Spiritual Guidance

Following the Refusal, warnings and interdictions, the hero unconsciously searches for spiritual guidance and strength. He seeks a mentor / supernatural aid. Often the mentor is a wretched, deformed old man or woman but it can also be anyone that pulls the hero in the required direction. In the case of antiheroes, the dark mentor is that which provides the hero with the required temptation. Antiheroes differ form heroes in that they succumb to temptation instead of resisting it.

In Star Wars (1977), the mentor is Obi Wan.

In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), it is Yoda.

In Raging Bull (1980), it is Vickie a young blonde sexually alluring teenager.

In Wall Street (1987), Bud Fox has his Dad.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), it is the older Marcus Brody and Sallah.

In The Shawshank Redemption (1994), it is the older, longer serving Red.

In The Big Lebowski (1998), it is Sam Elliott as The Stranger.

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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