“screenwriting #film #character
“This is actually a question that arose in the current prep workshop I am leading. My response:
It’s kind of ironic that in many movies, the Protagonist is not necessarily the most interesting character. Per your references, Lecter is more interesting to most folks I would guess than Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs. Sam Gamgee over Frodo and certainly Gollum over them both. But that does not necessarily translate into them functioning as the story’s Protagonist. They can, of course, but not required.
You concern points to several significant issues. As it’s late at night, let me hit on one of them. We can return to the subject if you remind me tomorrow.
What do I do if I’m more interested in another character as compared to my Protagonist?
This is not easily answered. For example, it is critical if our story has a Nemesis character in the classic sense of the word that we make them a worthy foe. More often than not, that means making them multidimensional, fascinating characters. In that process, we can find ourselves much more intrigued by them than our Protagonist. That goes with other characters as well… Mentor, Trickster, Attractor.
I remember going up for the project Jonny Quest, a rewrite of an existing script. The script was really well written. One problem: It was clear the writer had a much greater affinity for Race Bannon than Jonny. That’s a problem when the project is called…..”