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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
 
American Screenwriting Course; Hero's Journey - Resistance to the Transformation


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.

The Hero's Journey is also a study of conventions. Before screenwriters can decide whether to accept or reject the conventions, they must appreciate their purpose and value.

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.

Resistance to the Transformation

Once the Hero pushes past the Physical Separation (Belly of the Whale), he enters the New World of the Transformation. But there is often a resistance to entering (even if the hero is willing) the New World of the Transformation and engaging in the Transformation itself.

In Elizabethtown (2005), Drew tries to get to Elizabethtown but he, frustratingly, loses his way. Even though he is somewhat keen reach his destination.

In Star Wars (1977), the Millenium Falcom has a bumpy ride on the way to Alderran and the Death Star.

In Gladiator (2000), Maximus is taken as a slave against his will and, initially, refuses to train as a gladiator.

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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