One important thing regarding screenplay lessons is diving deep into the writer’s psychology. Often new writers and amateurs wonder about how to describe a character perfectly. Describing a character with an opposite personality, mindset and values are not so easy. Such writers that are hesitant to explore their hidden darkness are unable to produce top-quality villains. Getting in touch with the dark side of your personality is the only way to write a dark character. Whereas those who are afraid can never achieve their target. A great writer always stays in touch with his inner self.
Everyone has a dark side regardless of what they claim. But the ability to accept your truth and ignore that darkness makes someone a better person. Whether a writer is trashy, evil or a saint doesn’t make a difference. Being able to stop yourself from doing evil allows you to understand both sides. Some people are uncomfortable around the idea of evilness. They have certain hang-ups where they don’t like the way their plotline unfolds. However, they need to accept it as it is. Only by putting yourself through that situation can you truly develop proper understanding.
When a writer experiences something, he or she is more capable of writing about it. Actors transform into a character with whom they have no relationship at all. Playing dark and disturbed characters is not easy. Portraying someone you don’t feel comfortable with in real life is a challenge for the actor. Still, they know that they are stepping into a different mentality so they tune themselves in a way that helps them switch into that phase. A scriptwriter who is outlining a scene of an ax murder needs to come out of that phase once he is done.
The writer needs to grip the idea that he is stepping into the shoes of the antagonist just to understand the scene. Under no circumstances does this character affect the personality of the writer in real life. It can also be a way to overcome your fears. Most writers are not even able to write love scenes. It’s quite common even in the best screenwriting schools that early writers find it difficult to put their heart out. Having to shed a layer of cynicism or accessing your emotions can be tricky. According to experts, writers need to stop being afraid. Showing your love through your dialogues is not clichéd. Certainly, it won’t cause any harm. Sometimes storytellers, skip the part of falling in love and directly jump to the narrative.
It’s their inner fear which stops them but it shouldn’t. Let’s say a writer works on the character development of a racist man. If writers want to explore that racist person, they need to get inside his head. Experiencing a character is the only way to understand them. Artists do the same thing with their roles. The art industry is all about immersing yourself in a role that is extremely different from your nature. No matter how uncomfortable it might be, it’s the actor’s job to do so. Otherwise, the result would be inauthentic and the acting would look fake.
Some actors like Leonardo di Caprio put in extra effort to do justice to their role. In Django, as the main lead, he did much more than just reading dialogues. That’s what made the audience like him. Honestly, people have ruined their mindsets by watching good actors. In acting schools and screenplay lessons, you don’t only look at the good actors but the mediocre ones as well.
How to create a good villain?
An audience can easily figure out when an actor is faking it and when he is completely immersed in the role. Bad writing is connected to bad acting. Actors desire good roles and if the writer isn’t producing quality content, they lose interest. Without meaningful dialogues, actors are unable to do their job. When these actors don’t have enough material they are unable to shine or delve deeper into their character. Character development might be initiated through goals but certainly, require a personal touch as well. Even actors want that.
Authenticity matters the most. Putting up your strong values against a weak opponent isn’t right. Portraying antagonists as cartoonish characters isn’t fair. Making the villain sound dumb doesn’t prove your argument is right. It’s the journey and overcoming obstacles that matter. In film schools, students are taught to make their hero go through hell because it creates entertainment value. People want to see the struggle of the main hero, they want them to hit rock bottom and then crawl their way out. Don’t be scared of getting in touch with a side your uncomfortable with. Whether it is a love scene or an immoral scene, don’t be afraid of incorporating it into your script. Just be willing to put your heart in it and face things as they are. Hope this helps new writers and actors regarding taping into your characters.
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