Connect to the Emotional Core of Your Characters

The crisis in a movie will usually compel protagonists to exert control over a situation that is particularly challenging to them. They've got a pressing problem that must be handled. This might be a life and death problem, or a more nuanced dilemma. In any case, their quest is to put out this “fire” and get on with their lives. But, in general, in trying to control, manage, and/or overcome the issue, they just might find themselves confronting their destiny. This simple sentiment is expressed beautifully in the animated film, Kung Fu Panda, when Grand Master Oogway says: “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.”

In Juno, her dilemma is how ...

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