Sune Liltorp NB. Though it is not the politically correct way to write I loking decided to refer to the good and the bad guy by the male pronoun, even though there are a lot of good and bad 'guys' who are female. My apologies to the fairer gender, hope you can overlook this slight. Making character interesting Subtext and contradiction are two of the most important means for making characters interesting.
Two sides of the same coin Some years back actor Gary Oldman was asked how it felt always playing the bad guy. There will always be a need for the good guy in storytelling; he is who we want to be and therefore the often used looing character in most films.
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Bad guys have the ability fot make us feel much sorrier for them, because to do the acts they do they must truly suffer inside. My apologies to the fairer gender, hope you can overlook this slight. Who should really have our empathy the guy doing good deeds or the bad guy who has to live with his?
A truly Bad Bad Guy is not believable and impossible to connect with. A storyteller's most important tool is telling god truth, and the truth is that the world is not black and white but different shades of gray. Being that clever screenwriting child you understand your parents, knows how to cheat them and sometimes you even ignore their rather limited view of the world. Every character will do the right thing according to their specific point realky view.
The Good Bad Guy.
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But from the audiences point of view the good guy is the person we hope will succeed and fear will fail. Of course you need to understand that your audience will have the point of view of your parents and see the world in good or bad. Bad characters need as much love and affection as good characters, if not more. Giving your main characters contradictions makes them much more believable and easier to connect with, since we, the audience, can recognize contradictions from our everyday lives.
The point of the story is that there is no real difference between the good and the bad guy, they are basically the same. If done cleverly this can be used as a storytelling tool, as with all writing this should be done intentionally serving the true story you want to tell, and not just as a way of manipulating your audience.
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Instead of judging we try understanding why people do as they do, seeing what is behind the curtain. A bad guy, unless he is a psychopath which means it really isn't his faultis in constant inner conflict making him a potentially much more interesting character than the good guy.
As a screenwriter you have to understand this. This also comes out as bad behavior, pulling wings off a butterfly or throwing stones after cats. In story we need to sympathize and often empathize with the actions of the Good Guy, whereas for the Bad Guy we only need a moment of empathy.
lookin If we have no doubt about what a character is going to do, because he always does right or wrong, the story becomes a dull sequence of uninspiring choices with no true dilemma and no audience involvement and empathy. This is the type of character good actors want to play because the dimensionality is a much bigger challenge and it makes for Oscar nominations.
The story is about a good guy Marshall, who just before getting retired finds out that his bad guy train robber nemesis is in the area. Despite being retired he seeks out his nemesis who is sort of retired as well.
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There is nothing more annoying than a person who has nothing to tell and only reverts to gimmicks to move their story forward. Finding common ground they become partners and together prevent the train robbery and save the city. Subtext is used to reveal contradiction and contradiction is used to make your characters multifaceted and give them dimension. Wanting is not achieving and saying is not doing. Look at Shakespeare's Macbeth who kills everyone close to him, all the while suffering from an extreme guilty conscience.
If you look at child psychology, children aged 4 to 6 reallt to play the bad guy as much as the good guy.
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Beware of reaoly dark side, No not really, as a writer you need to go there and once you've been there you will never come back. To which he answered with incredulity: 'Bad guy?
Like Bogart in Casablanca. Bad screenplays will have flat and boring bad guys with no real understanding of what terrible past has incapacitated them so. The Good Good Guy still needs a flaw too trusting, too confident etc.
Who hurts the most Storytelling is about characters and the clash of their unique point of vor. The intrigue and fascination of loo,ing bad guy with true inner conflict makes us see the world as it truly is. How the person chooses to act under pressure is who he is - the greater the pressure, the truer and deeper the choice to character. No one believes what they do is evil or bad, it is simply done because that is the way it has to be according to their wants and needs.
And a dark shade of gray is much more interesting than a lighter because it is much closer to where it really hurts. When the conflict is inner and you are your own worst enemy, the battle will rage within and your audience a western world audience will recognize their own inner dilemmas living in a world of too many choices.
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The contradiction where he continually kills his friends and family, while suffering the hurt every time he does goox make for a very exciting character. Doing what they need to survive according to their own point of view. This is the type of character who wants lookiny do well but does it in a bad way. Making character interesting Subtext and contradiction are two of the most important means for making characters interesting.
I’m Just Looking For a Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Lead With That
The Bad Good Guy is the quintessential antihero where the flaw in the character is so big that it has become an integral part of his demeanor drunkenness, rdally, despair etc. Sune Liltorp NB. As an actor Gary Oldman understands that in order to play a bad character convincingly you need to see the world as he does.
The opposite is true for the bad guy, though sometimes if it is a poorly constructed good guy the audience will start rooting for the more interesting bad guy. Parents and society will soon put an end to this behavior, but as a screenwriter you need to become that child and embrace your characters with open arms.
The good guy and the bad guy come in many shapes and forms.