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Since action/adventure is only on one level, does that mean that there is not much of a character arc? - Question/Answer Now Playing


Since action/adventure is only on one level, does that mean that there is not much of a character arc?

Nov 26, 2010

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Since action/adventure is only on one level, does that mean that there is not much of a character arc? - Question/Answer Q & A Discussion


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at Nov 27, 2010 - 11:42 AM
And I feel like even having him just write something on here is fine enough- it seems more accessible than filming it. For instance, I would LOVE to hear what he'd have to say about "UNSTOPABLE"...

Or... in another Q And A, he mentioned that movies like "State of Play," "Taking of Pelham 123," and "Transformers 2" were bad movies... oh! Why? That peaked my interest. If he'd take a part those movies and say X, Y, and Z elements make them this way, that would be fantastic!
at Nov 27, 2010 - 11:35 AM
I hope they see all the responses- that this kind of lesson gets everyone chattering!

More examples! Like Bass said- we're willing to go out and buy the movie to watch and see what he's talking about. I know I would have never seen Ordinary People otherwise....

But I gotta' say I'll never go see a play. Embarrasing... but I just love moviiees!
Bass wrote
at Nov 26, 2010 - 9:39 PM
A good example of a straight action/adventure with a character arc is STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN. There is definitely a good/bad division in the characters (that, by the way, is a great insight into action/adventure in this Q&A I hadn't considered), but there's also a number of sub-plots based around fatherhood; Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and Khan, all have father/child sub-plots (Kirk's is the only one to end up), but the protagonist, Captain Kirk, actually has an education sub-plot. He begins the movie viewing himself as a dead man, who treats his birthday as a funeral. He feels old and obsolete, but through the course of the film, his attitude towards life changes for the positive, as he ends the film feeling young and not only believing he has a future, but is optimistic about it.

THE DARK KNIGHT definitely has a degeneration sub-plot in terms of Harvey Dent's character, and one could say IRON MAN has a redemption sub-plot woven into it, as does AVATAR.

Some people would say STAR WARS is a maturation plot, but I don't think so. I think STAR WARS is in the sub-genre of the Hero's Journey which externalises the maturation plot, but the character doesn't change, he just becomes more powerful and his true character, that of a hero, is revealed, not changed, as is the case in THE MATRIX, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, or AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER.

So I think that character arcs are something you can put into action/adventure, but they will always be a sub-plot woven into the action-based central plot. Otherwise the 'arc' is actually just character revelation and an arc of fortune. The arc, if the story has it, is never the major focus of the work.
henrymann: setting
at Nov 26, 2010 - 4:36 PM
a place where "values are so mixed and confusing for people."

hmmm...I wonder where that would be...
Geoff wrote
at Nov 26, 2010 - 3:06 PM
What Tgetty1 said.
at Nov 26, 2010 - 2:21 PM
i LOVE when Mckee talks about movies from the past couple of years -"Dark Knight," "Iron Man". It would be amaaaziiingg if he would talk about movies out in theaters more often and did lesson plans on THAT, would talk about why they work, why they don't. Mckee is at his most helpful when he points to movies and why he thinks they work or don't work.

More of THIS! 
at Nov 26, 2010 - 2:12 PM
I love this.
Thank You

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