How does a shift in status or power reveal character?
Stu and Chas explore an idea they both came across studying theatre: status and by extension (or juxtaposition) power. Is a story where a character changes status or experiences loss (or gains) in power more compelling?
In order to explore this source of drama, Stu and Chas limit themselves to scenes where the status or power of a character shifts without the writer resorting to violence or revelation or plot.
- People Triggers: Keith Johnstone’s Status Transaction
- People Triggers: Status Transactions and the Actor
- Swap Gas: Improv Acting Game: Status Therapy Session
- Amazon: Taking Stock – The Theatre of Max Stafford-Clark
- THE KING’S SPEECH by David Seidler – We analyse pages 18-25, the scene where Lionel and Bertie first meet.
- Youtube: “Bertie” from THE KING’S SPEECH
- THE PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman – We analyse the Man in Black and Vizzini showdown (Search for “Picnic Spread” in the text).
- THE SOCIAL NETWORK by Aaron Sorkin – We analyse pages 97-105, Sean Parker’s entrance.
- TRUE GRIT adaptation by Joel and Ethan Coen – We analyse pages 9-13, where Maddie sells the ponies (except the gray horse).
- Examples of scenes with power shifts:
- Youtube: Cypher’s Death in THE MATRIX
- Youtube: Agent Kujan realises the truth in THE USUAL SUSPECTS
- Youtube: Get Busy Livin’ scene from THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
- Youtube: Luke refuses the Emperor in RETURN OF THE JEDI
- Youtube: Joey tries to make peace in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
- Youtube: Santa’s Little Helpers scene in COLLATERAL
- Stu and Chas’ iMessage history:
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