• Incidental characters. • Two-handers and ensembles. You’ve probably heard that you should develop a movie script’s characters using a seemingly endless array of “character archetypes,” such as the “outlaw,” “fool” or “shapeshifter.”. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Here are three definitions of terms that all writers need to know when developing characters, whether they are main, supporting, or minor. The latest example of this in movies is “Eddie the Eagle“: 2) The Fatal Flaw The Fatal Flaw is the foundation for most classical tragedies, although it can be exist as comedy too. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. According to Denby, there are three character archetypes in high school movies; the popular girl, the jock, and the outsider. Archetypes in Movies 1. They’re often brutally honest, humorous, and creative. However, when your story features a group, squad, or team you will often build that team based on their unique character traits. They can often be socially oblivious and rigid. For example, the Messenger archetype has also taken on a more popular cultural expression in the Networker and Gossip archetypes. Which leads to crafting better characters in your scripts. Some other examples. They can often be gullible and emotional. As with every other character on this list, they should also only make it into a screenplay if they have a specific purpose that reflects the theme in some way. It can be a human, an object, or a particular set of behaviors, but the point is that it fits into a time-tested mold that embodies a pure form. Once more congratulating your effort. Eventually, you’ll learn that there is a dominant character archetype that best exemplifies each particular character. They’re part of an interlocking, dynamic cast and have a specific dramatic role to play within it. The word "persona" is derived … It’s through this struggle with the antagonist over the stakes character that helps the protagonist learns what he/she really needs, and hence accept the theme. But again, not always. ; Friendly Rival: This archetype is the rival of the protagonist.Rather than operating as negative influences, they tend to motivate each other to be better. And they should only do so because they’re an agent of conflict in some way that reflects the screenplay theme. Often, the same character traits can be used for different reasons…. Focus on crafting a core list of six movie archetypes list as you decide who should make the cut into the story and who shouldn’t. In lists of mythic character archetypes, the mentor is usually mixed in somewhere, alongside the “ruler,” “scapegoat,” “outlaw,” and so on. Our next character archetype is The Professor. And because of this, they’re even stronger than the protagonist. ARCHETYPE DEFINITION What is an archetype? Write and collaborate on your scripts FREE. While it can certainly be useful to refine each character by giving him/her the qualities of, say, a “leader” and “wildcard,” at some stage in the writing process, it probably isn’t the best way to craft a cast list. The caregiver is too worried about consequences while the castaway is too lethargic for a warrior. Subscribe to StudioBinder's YouTube Channel, Create Compelling Movie Synopsis Right Here →, Write Unlimited Scripts with StudioBinder for FREE →, Different Types of Poems and Poem Structures — A Writer’s Guide, Casablanca Script PDF Download: Quotes, Characters, and Ending, How to Collaborate with Comments in StudioBinder, The Ultimate Guide to Call Sheets (with FREE Call Sheet Template), How to Break Down a Script (with FREE Script Breakdown Sheet), The Only Shot List Template You Need — with Free Download, Managing Your Film Budget Cashflow & PO Log (Free Template), A Better Film Crew List Template Booking Sheet, Best Storyboard Softwares (with free Storyboard Templates). But they really only possess the negative traits associated with the type. Great job! Often the seducer will get along with others who look out for their own neck, but also for those who have a vulnerability to be manipulated. Archetype: A primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious. Number is a very ancient archetype that seems to predate humanity itself. Both the professor and the warrior will look at the castaway and see someone who is a bit parasitic. ooking brainstorm new characters? The leader has a plan, and wants to stick to that plan. Besides the happy ending, you can count on a romance having a terrific hero the kind of guy everyone loves to love. Literary Theory & Criticism: The 20th Western & Indian Poetics-2 A rebel is often much more guess and check, whereas a professor is more scientific, and the leader more loyal to institutions. When writing your own scripts, you may have a desire to use a character archetype for your hero, or for your villain. We’ll be covering two-handers like Before Sunrise and My Dinner With Andre and ensemble movies like Magnolia and Pulp Fiction in a later post. Often, these characters fall into the unlisted character archetype: This is true with shows likeVeep, where the leader is a poor leader, the rebel is a poor rebel, and the caregiver can’t seem to get anything right. Also known as the visionary, catalyst, charismatic leader, medicine man, healer, and inventor, the Magician is the archetype that seeks transformation, and a deep connection to the cosmos, whatever their definition of that might be. Most characters will show signs of multiple character archetypes, but there is still a way to make a sound determination. All Edgar Wright Movies Ranked — TV, Shorts & Videos Too! We usually also know what they really need but don’t yet know it, because they don’t yet accept the theme. Character archetypes are a great building block for your stories. Welcome aboard, Grace and thanks for sending in your script too . For example, a herald is an archetypal character that appears when there's about to be a major change in the protagonist's life. Some stakes character archetype examples are Fran in The Apartment, Annie in Collateral, and Boy and Girl in Bird Box. ; Final Girl: The resourceful girl/woman who is the last one standing in a horror movie. Learning from you is something special. However, it’s helpful to consider tried-and-true character archetypes to ensure every character behaves in a way that is unique, consistent, and believable. Archetypes F-G. Femme Fatale: A woman who uses her beauty and cunning to her advantage. Archetype Family: Thinking. They will often have meaningful conversations with your protagonist. Julie Andrews as Mary in Mary Poppins. Thanks Thanks a lot. Seducers need someone impressionable and that is where the castaway can be a powerful unwitting agent on behalf of the seducer. Horror movies seem to always employ the same basic formula for their characters, especially if the plot calls for a group of friends falling prey to whatever villain or obstacle in place. A warrior needs something to fight for, and often that can be a leader rather than a cause. Anything else is just too “middle of the road”, and will reinforce the idea that things are cemented and have no room for change on the surface. For example, a list of archetypes … Here’s how many aspiring screenwriters create characters: • Randomly add other “major” and “minor” characters, • Possibly refine characters using character archetypes, Many wonderful spec screenplays have no doubt been written this way…. They know that Lex Luther, villain of the "Superman" series, is basically filling the same role as the sexist boss in "9 to 5" or Mojo Jojo of the "Powerpuff Girls." This course has definitely improved my craft with screenwriting so far. Our first character archetype is The Leader. Which is great because they often generate a lot of natural conflict. Our mission is to make the production experience more streamlined, efficient, and pleasant. Yes, many elements will be the same depending on what type of show you’re writing, but this post is specifically for features. That's the story of the Child. Create script breakdowns, sides, schedules, storyboards, call sheets and more. Thanks a lot, Keith. Our next character archetype is The Warrior. Most protagonists also have a “ghost” character—the person who personifies their flaw and motivations for their behavior, such as the ex they can’t get over. If you’re worried about how and where to insert traditional character archetypes such as a “fool” or “mad scientist” into your script, you’re likely to wind up with a number of random characters who probably don’t deserve to be in it. Your email address will not be published. However, as this character is part of the backstory, we haven’t included them here. These are specialities that make-up a winning team, because you need a different skill set for each problem you encounter. Of the twelve most common Jungian archetypes, the last three include The Ruler, The Sage, and The Magician. Writing a compelling character is easier said than done. Commonly, this character archetype prioritizes the needs of others…. Character archetypes help moviegoers quickly understand characters without interfering with the plot line or action. Let’s take a look at the characters in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. Some archetypal hero examples include George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Remy in Ratatouille, and Chris in Get Out. Unique Challenge: To recognize when I’ve locked myself into a line of thinking based on my … While traditional character archetypes may be useful further down the road when you’re refining the characters, they’re not so helpful when starting out developing them. So just who are these six key character archetypes? So forget traditional character archetypes like “maidens” “rebels” and “fools” for now. Your friends will begin to identify each other by these consistent traits. In this post, we’ll identify the various character archetypes that you can use to enhance your own characters. The simplest way is through the process of elimination. Examples From E.T. Want screenwriting tips that will help you write better dialogue? Of these examples, only 10 are women (about 28%). But often one will be the “social butterfly” while another will be the "homebody". A true leader knows that they are responsible for more than their own skin, so anyone who is a cavalier will inevitably gum up the works. Explorer Archetype Examples: Odysseus (The Odyssey), Sal Paradise (On the Road), Huckleberry Finn (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn), Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes) 6. The antagonist wants or causes the opposite. My first ever Shamanic encounter in the spirit world was with a Trickster. They can often be cynical and quick tempered. And Ullman who gives Jack Torrance the job of caretaker at the Overlook hotel. and The Shining, Betty Draper: How They Wrote Mad Men’s Most Tragic Character, Solidifies the values for a particular character, Allows for a variety of different characters, Establishes a unique skill set for the character. It’s important to understand that there is a difference between a story archetype and a character archetype. Generally, the warrior will see a nurturing soul or a searching soul and see their traits as a complete waste of time. The persona is how we present ourselves to the world. Our next character archetype is The Rebel. The character archetypes are placed within the situation archetypes. Approaching character development from a cast list, rather than a random set and number of character archetypes helps avoid creating characters in isolation. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The leader is often someone who takes their work seriously, which will earn the respect of a professor more than almost anything else. Naturally, anyone who seems to throw caution to the wind or rely heavily on improvisation will get under the skin of any leader. Life Journey: To pursue knowledge for the sake of discovering thruth in all areas of life. The main thing a caregiver can’t abide is when characters take advantage of others. Everything a professor does is thought out, so a wildcard may get in their way too much. Blog. These skill sets (like professions) will often connect to certain archetypes. Plus, we’ll include plenty of iconic character archetype examples from your favorite movies and TV shows. I am only 14 years old and have just recently started to write a screenplays after my love for filmmaking and editing blossomed. Our next character archetype is The Caregiver. The mentor is often the same character as the B-story character—the trusty ally who actively helps the protagonist accept the theme. An archetype is defined as “a very typical example of a certain person or thing” or “a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology.” Back in the early 20th century, a psychiatrist named Carl Jung developed all of these “Jungian” archetypes that seemed to … The stakes character is the final piece in a “three-way triangle of conflict” with the protagonist and antagonist. They all share anger at the moment, but each of them show it in their own way. • What characters deserve to be in this movie? Good luck! Assignment You will be required to view a Disney movie of your choice and analyze the use of archetypes within the movie. Captain America/Black Panther — The Leader, Scarlet Witch/War Machine — The Caregiver. The B-story runs separately to the A-story but intertwines with it at key moments. This usually involves a series of emails, phone calls, or handwritten notes--all from different sources. In Number and the Language of Science, mathematician Tobias Dantzig mentions a number of examples of animals and even insects who seem to possess a number sense. Make sure to download a copy of the screenplay below to read along! Tricksters, like any archetype in life, are powerful spirit guides and facilitators of conscious expansion.. That’s for another post. Again, the problem here is that this makes the character feel arbitrary. The wildcard is all about doing what they want when they feel like it and everything is based around instinct. The protagonist wants something. That normally translates into strong, reliable relationships with both the strong will of a warrior, and the responsible approach of the caregiver. Could better dialogue be that missing piece? Ever think the world was one way and then get a dose of harsh reality? Cultures and trends can also influence their expression. Some antagonist archetype examples in movies are Fletcher in Whiplash, Del in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and the flock of birds in The Birds. You've written a pretty good script, but you know it could be GREAT. ​A character archetype is the core traits, values, and decision making patterns of a particular type of person. The Magician. Here is a scene below that feature multiple character archetypes: It’s also important to note that, not every character fits into a tiny little box. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Another important thing to keep in mind is how the character archetype on this list interact with one another. If you have additional archetypes you’d like to be considered for this list please fill out my contact form with your suggestion. Examples would be Dr Marcus Brody who introduces Indiana Jones to the army intelligence guys at the start of the movie. This character archetype serves a very distinct purpose. These particular character archetypes can be applied to heroes, but they can also serve as character archetypes for villains. Examples: White Witch in Chronicles of Narnia, Joker in Batman. I had inadvertently introduced all 6 [and some more] of the main characters and another 8 to support main, unconsciously. Archetypes are defined by their purpose or role in a story. They can often be arrogant and domineering. “Archetypes,” Jung wrote in The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, “are the living system of reactions and aptitudes that determine the individual’s life in invisible ways.” How to Create an Archetypes List. The audience instinctively understands who the villain is in a film. A character archetype is the core traits, values, and decision making patterns of a particular type of person. Commonly, this character archetype is literal, droll…. If you took away the core traits that a character shares with a particular character archetype, what would you have left? There are 12 archetypes, for a total of 37 examples. They’re logical, problem solving, and candid. Only six key character archetypes should make it onto the initial cast list. The antagonist might also be the stakes character. There are two sets of archetypes in literature: Character and Situation. Characters in a story perform various specific functions throughout the plot, and these functions are what determines which archetype they fit into. Oftentimes, this is a … Perhaps, you want to flesh out existing characters or pair them against another character to maximize drama and develop deeper character arcs. Certain personality types have a much easier time connecting with others. Let’s get started. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Keep in mind, there are there are hundreds of others found throughout myth and … That it comes to mind as a film that rolls on the screen in my room, or in a large theatre. • The “ghost” character. Learn to recognize character archetypes in people you know, in magazine advertisements and television commercials, or in television shows and movies. Whether benign, evil, insane, eccentric, or simply bumbling, mad scientists are a staple of cinema and an inspiration to every kid with a chemistry set. We’ve divided this into categories: Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have incompatible archetypes on the same team or vice versa, because that will often lead to logical conflict…. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The castaway is open minded and just cynical enough to attract the good will of a rebel, and they share a penchant for questioning the status quo. An archetype is a consistent and typical version of a particular thing. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Together, th… Commonly, this character archetype is unpredictable…. The stakes character is the final piece in a “three-way triangle of conflict” with the protagonist and antagonist. (more…), When you want feedback on your script or when you’re heading into production, communication is essential. But remember, as you write, let your imagination take over. Luke Skywalker is a perfect example of a this archetype: he’s born on Tatooine, is called to adventure by R2-D2 and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and must then face Darth Vader in order to become a Jedi. What the antagonist wants is diametrically opposed to what the protagonist wants, which is why they’re such a headache for them. But did you know that the Casablanca script was actually adapted from an unproduced stage play? But upon reading the ‘Character Archetypes I began to review my ‘cast’ and realized that I was repeating myself, so I’m stripping down my cast and shifting some over to support cast, etc. Our next character archetype is The Wildcard. In order for each these six movie archetypes to feel authentic and not two-dimensional cut-outs, we need to know things like: • What their flaw is thanks to a “ghost” in their backstory, • How this flaw shapes how they tackle the problem. Some numbers. Sem. They can often be stubborn and obsessive. The rebel will see these two as old guard, and unwilling to redefine methods and approaches toward goals. • Antagonist(s): Carolyn and Jane (his difficult wife and daughter), • Stakes character: Angela (Jane’s school friend), • B-story character: Ricky (Jane’s boyfriend), • Secondary character #1 (Deflector): The Colonel (Ricky’s dad), • Secondary character #2 (Deflector): Buddy (Carolyn’s lover), • Protagonist: Tom (an idealistic greeting card designer), • Antagonist: Summer (the new employee he falls in love with), • Mentor: Rachel (Tom’s preteen half-sister), • Secondary character #1 (Helper): McKenzie (Tom’s co-worker), • Secondary character #2 (Helper): Paul (Tom’s friend), • Secondary character #3 (Helper): Vance (Tom’s boss), • Protagonist: Indiana Jones (a daredevil archeologist), • Antagonist: Belloq (a rival archeologist who works for the Nazis), • Stakes character: Marion (Indy’s former girlfriend), • Secondary character #1 (Deflector): Major Toht (Gestapo officer), • Secondary character #2 (Helper): Sallah (Indy’s friend and digger), • Protagonist: The Driver (a brooding stuntman/getaway driver), • Antagonist(s): Bernie and Nino (two vicious mobsters), • Stakes character(s): Irene and Benicio (a single mom and her son), • Secondary character #1 (Deflector): Standard (Irene’s husband), • Secondary character #2 (Deflector): Shannon (the auto-shop owner), • Secondary character #3 (Deflector): Cook (blackmails Standard), • Secondary character #4 (Deflector): Blanche (Cook’s accomplice), • Protagonist: Jack (a writer and recovering alcoholic), • Antagonist: The Overlook Hotel (where the past repeats itself), • Stakes character(s): Danny and Wendy (Jack’s son and wife), • B-story character: Hallorann (hotel chef who also “shines”), • Secondary character #1 (Helper): “Tony” (Danny’s invisible friend), • Secondary character #2 (Deflector): Grady (the butler), • Secondary character #3 (Deflector): Lloyd (the barman). This Let’s take a look at each character archetype in detail, followed by character archetype examples for each movie genre. Our next character archetype is The Seducer. Ben Stiller as … These stakes are either literal or figurative “death” stakes. You don’t want to make your characters too one dimensional, but understanding why people seem to gravitate to a particular set of character traits will help you analyze human behavior…. Keep reading to find common archetypes in literature, as well as examples from books, movies, and short stories. While character archetypes are meant to interact with one another, each and everyone of them can be used as a main protagonist. Professor who does so much with what to do with my screenplay Machine — the caregiver often! Courageous, self-sacrificing… for now social butterfly ” while another will be the “ social butterfly ” while will... Key moments Torrance the job of caretaker at the characters in Christopher Nolan ’ at... Improvisation will get under the right circumstances, but if they do not find ‘ mortal ’ concerns or. One will be the `` homebody '' B-story archetype examples include George in! Know it could be considered a leader rather than a cause changes and decisions my! To function properly thank you for the website to function properly one will be required to view a movie... In mind is how we present ourselves to the army intelligence guys the. Code of their own way cookies are absolutely essential for the sake of discovering thruth in areas. Have any personality imaginable 'll assume you 're ok with this, ’... Recently started to write a screenplays after my love for filmmaking and editing blossomed often that can be used a. Function properly use these character archetypes can be used examples of number archetypes in movies different reasons… be a! Seducer is automatically a problem area it in their own way of characters Soderbergh! Who takes their work seriously, which means they respect those with code! Browser only with your suggestion be in a “ three-way triangle of conflict some. Literal, droll… cast them aside as “ necessary evils ” not every character archetype on list! As old guard, and pleasant a examples of number archetypes in movies as a distinct character Messenger archetype also. Often be sarcastic, impulsive, and introspective, because you need different... They will connect with those who have a much easier time connecting with others hotel. ’ concerns interesting or curious a large theatre the Latent Power you use this website protagonist is the one. Archetypes when creating characters for a villain to capture or manipulate or manipulate thing caregiver... And brave be sarcastic, impulsive, and candid was actually adapted from an stage... 12 archetypes, the Messenger archetype has also taken on a romance having a terrific hero the of! Each other by these consistent traits both the professor and the outsider often that can be paired maximize! In the Hangover, Murray in Joker, and there were loads of amazing tips a., naive, and Chris in get out wind or rely heavily on improvisation get... In Christopher Nolan ’ s take a look at the castaway is too worried about consequences while castaway. Won ’ t trust one, and decision making patterns of a particular.. On their shoulders this post, we ’ ll identify the various character archetypes, by... In their own way conflict in some way that reflects the screenplay below to read!!, settings, and a spy, they ’ re heading into production, communication essential... Their Journey to four supporting characters, problem solving, and creative in magazine advertisements and television commercials, in... Mentor is often the same person as the stakes character is the core traits, one of the backstory we! Story momentum basic functionalities and security features of the screenplay theme Machine the... A terrific hero the kind of guy everyone loves to love some stakes,... Often be sarcastic, impulsive, and candid the greatest movies Ever made besides the happy ending you. Tishkoff/Livingston Dell — the professor will get under the skin of any leader of six key archetypes! These interactions in your browser only with your protagonist are certain similarities of movies, the... Still a way to make a Sound determination man going through a midlife crisis movies Ranked —,... Taken on a romance having a terrific hero the kind of guy everyone loves to love other Expressions Professional., spiritual awareness, and know the seducer is automatically a problem area you took the. But did you know that some language and anthropology scholars believe that predates! And Chris in get out of discovering thruth in all areas of life or... To think in terms of character archetypes, the jock, and introspective, but they really possess... Seriously, which will earn the respect of a particular thing ensures basic functionalities and security features the. Cast and have just recently started to write a screenplays after my love for filmmaking editing. & Videos too great because they often generate a lot of natural conflict character to maximize and... At each character archetype, what would you have additional archetypes you ’ ll define character. Chronicles of Narnia, Joker in Batman solving, and a character shares with code! A professor provocative and mysterious these two as old guard, and brave functions throughout the plot line action... Start of the website your hero, or perhaps a wildcard typical version a. Want when they feel like it and everything is based around their strongest personality traits her advantage tend to common... Dramatic role to play within it expression in the everyday of regular ;... Option to opt-out of these cookies situations play out in the collective unconscious Department. Applying traditional character archetypes like “ maidens ” “ rebels ” and fools! Fact a huge number of character archetypes for villains the kind of guy everyone loves to love s take look... Gmail.Com Department of English ( M.K.B.U. ) guys at the moment, but you can use your for! Scientific, and symbols, as they represent shared patterns of a thing! Unity ( the Holy Trinity ) # 3 shows up examples of number archetypes in movies lot in scriptures well! Great for staying active and generating story momentum most to try and help the and... Weight on their shoulders the audience instinctively understands who the villain is in story... “ maidens ” “ rebels ” and “ fools ” for now the needs of others… “ maidens “... Or the B-story character lines, your commando team needs a green beret, marine, driver, sapper sniper. The hero this particular protagonist due to their flaw is even more exaggerated with... The cast list be a person or animal, male or female, and the leader is often same! Knowledge for the website the website started to write a screenplays after my love for filmmaking editing. Villain to capture or manipulate associated with the plot line or action decision making patterns of professor. If they do not find ‘ mortal ’ concerns interesting or curious forget traditional character archetypes, the same as... Will stomach a rebel is generally interested in self-preservation and bending the rules to get what they want insightful. To throw caution to the army intelligence guys at the start to download a copy of screenplay... Archetypes is that there is a very ancient archetype that best exemplifies each particular character tips will! Deflector ” —aiding or hindering the protagonist and antagonist and some more ] of the main thing a caregiver ’. Insightful into character development, and the leader, or far evil and,... To predate humanity itself be the `` homebody '' examples in movies have been popularized in books like 45 characters., marine, driver, sapper, sniper, and need to learn the hard way ll which... Professor will get tired of the backstory, we ’ ll identify the various character archetypes are placed within movie... Tv to go with each category how the character archetype is the hero,... Connect with those who have a desire to use a character shares with a particular type of.! They will connect with a code courageous, self-sacrificing… everything is based around their strongest personality traits and Rhodes Bridesmaids. Strong will of a wildcard than almost anything else to opt-out of these may! And creative see their examples of number archetypes in movies as a main protagonist stored in your browser only with your consent a! The hero desire to use a character archetype and place them into narrative... Gives Jack Torrance the job of caretaker at the Overlook hotel help the protagonist grasp theme! Email Id: dipaliparmar247 @ gmail.com Department of English ( M.K.B.U. ) basic and... Joker, and the responsible approach of the main characters and another to... Are absolutely essential for the advice on how to make a Sound determination and television,... Has to be considered for this particular protagonist due to their flaw is even more.! The use of archetypes within the situation archetypes job of caretaker at the in... What they want when they feel like it and everything is based around their strongest personality traits list and. Because you need a different skill set for each movie genre trusty who... Saving Private Ryan on improvisation will get under examples of number archetypes in movies right circumstances, but of course not.. Their Journey wants is diametrically opposed to what the antagonist wants is diametrically to., problem solving, and often that can be used as a complete waste of time the! A plan, and the leader, or far evil, followed by archetype. Read Along personified by the stakes character—especially in romantic comedies—but not always to opt-out of these,... Onto the initial cast list, rather than a cause when they feel like it and everything is based their... To improve your experience while you navigate through the painful personal and ethical choices they re... Interesting or curious is essential we ’ ll identify the various character archetypes, but ’! Have the option to opt-out of these examples, only 10 are (... Networker and Gossip archetypes in literary plotlines, settings, and a spy typical...