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Crafting a Compelling Protagonist

Seminar - Studio City Brought to you by Scriptwriters Network
Registration ended: 09/19/2014
Class Begins: 09/20/2014   Ends: 09/20/2014
Class Time: 1:00 pm - (PDT)
FEE: FREE Registration Expired

Event Date: Saturday, September 20, 2014 || Speaker: Ruth Atkinson || Check-in: 12:30 pm


 Movies are about transformation. We go to the theater to see how a character grows and changes in the face of adversity. Many screenplays don't do their protagonist justice. The end result is the protagonist that doesn't evolve or undertakes an arbitrary journey. This makes for an emotionally unsatisfying story.


Knowing how to give your protagonist an emotionally compelling transformation is vital to the success of your screenplay. Creating characters that undergo a meaningful change begins with giving your protagonist a flaw that they reconcile in a clearly defined epiphany. This is a moment where the protagonist sees their flaw and having faced it is now able to change.


In this workshop we'll discuss a roadmap for giving your protagonist a clear flaw they come to terms with over the course of the story. This kind of transformational arc creates memorable characters that resonate and has been used in many successful films such as Gravity, Wedding Crashers, Saving Mr. Banks, The King's Speech and Up.



Ruth Atkinson is a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor with over 20 years of experience in the film/television business. Ruth has story edited and consulted on many films that have won awards and been distributed internationally including Jonas Chernick's "My Awkward Sexual Adventure", multi-award winning short film "Lil Tokyo Reporter" with Chris Tashima, "The Perfect Family" starring Kathleen Turner, celebrated indie "The People I've Slept With", Genie-nominated "Who Loves the Sun" starring Molly Parker and Adam Scott, and the New Zealand hit "Predicament" with Jemaine Clement.