#ThinkpieceThursday – CBS’ Salvation: It’s Never About The Asteroid

Thinkpiece Thursday

Despite a massively talented writing team, Salvation on CBS was mostly a ratings disappointment and earned just 56% on Rotten Tomatoes.  It’s a summer popcorn series that didn’t quite connect.  Why?

As I see it, some of the problem is that it is populated by stereotypes.

Eccentric maverick tech billionaire, Darius Tanz (Santiago Cabrera)
College wunderkind, Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe)
Earnest young sci-fi writer, Jillian Hayes (Jacqueline Byers)
Government Deputy of Defense (with a sensitive side), Harris Edwards (Ian Anthony Dale)
Pentagon Press Secretary, torn between her establishment lover and the romantic billionaire,  Grace Burrows (Jennifer Finnigan)

What happens is:

College wunderkind calculates an asteroid is six months from striking the earth and destroying all life. Wunderkind contacts eccentric billionaire, who knows (is in love with) the Pentagon Press Secretary. Because they don’t want to cause public panic, they agree to keep this information secret within the government. Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary of Defense is already running the D.O.D.’s top-secret operation to deflect the asteroid. At the same time, eccentric billionaire is working with earnest young Sci-Fi writer, on a different approach to saving humanity.

What we care about are human relationships and how disaster, catastrophe, or dire threat reveals character. It’s never about the asteroid, the space aliens, the flood, the fire– it’s about how people show who they really are in meeting danger. We never see the inner conflict within the characters or their personal worldview shaping how they each

We never see the inner conflict within the characters or their personal worldview shaping how they each intereact with others and how they approach the problem of the approaching asteroid.

In Salvation, the characters never move much beyond stereotypes or agents to push the plot forward.  But we don’t care enough about the asteroid– we’ve seen it before.

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#TypesTuesday – Cersei Lannister and Power of Love

Types Tuesday

I thought this would a good time to review a past reader comment on Cersei Lannister.  The reader writes:

Reader: For me, the quote used in the previous article illustrating Cersei’s Power is evidence for her being Will instead of Love: “The more people you love, the weaker you are. You’ll do things for them that you know you shouldn’t do. You’ll act the fool to make them happy, to keep them safe. Love no one but your children, in that a mother has no choice.”

Reader: I don’t think that a Power of Love character would ever think of love as a weakness – love is what gives you power instead of threatening it; doing things for others is the essence of who you are and the basis for your power. But it makes total sense for a Power of Will character to see love as a weakness, as something to avoid if possible.

My answer:  A Power of Will character might see love as a weakness because love does make you vulnerable.  But a Power of Will character would never humiliate him or herself to make another happy or to keep them safe.  Think Tony Soprano. He is never laughed at nor does he play the fool for anyone.

My answer: Tony kills one of the people he loves most in the world, his nephew Christopher Molisanti.  During a car accident, Christopher is mumbling because he is high. Tony believes he can’t take a chance on Christopher blabbing private business so Tony kills him.

Their own survival is paramount to a Power of Will character. Cersei sees the survival of her children as paramount.  She says she is willing to abase herself for their happiness or safety.  That, in fact, does make her weak personally.

My answer: The final proof is Cersei’s getting pregnant just as she ascends the throne.  Given the Maesters and potions at her command it seems reasonable she could avoid pregnancy.  But she is triumphant in announcing it to Jamie.  The most joyous part of it all– She has secured the throne for their child.

If she was a female Power of Will character, she would want the throne for herself! AND She would not do anything that puts her physical condition into question.  She is a warrior queen, leading her army into “The Great War.” Pregnancy, in that patriarchal society, would put her leadership in question. There is a reason Queen Elizabeth I never married and never had children– She wanted power for herself and didn’t want to be subjected to control by anyone.

The Power of Love character is an iron fist in a velvet glove.  But that fist is wielded for others, not themselves.

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#TypesTuesday Heroes – Power of Imagination

Types Tuesday

Heroes, created by Tim Kring, tells the stories of ordinary people who discover that they have superhuman abilities. They are people you’d never notice twice, an overweight cop, a Japanese cubical worker, a small black kid.  The plot revolves around how they find each other and work together to prevent a catastrophic occurrence.  “Save the cheerleader.  Save the world.”

The series was extraordinary as the first network series to emulate the aesthetic style and storytelling structure of American comic books.  It used multi-episode story arcs that built upon a larger, more encompassing narrative.

I found Heroes extraordinary as the first series to feature all Power of Imagination main characters. Power of Imagination characters see or hear, or can access power that others can’t. Their reaction to this unique ability is affirming and all-embracing. They never doubt their vision, special insight, unique ability, or call from beyond.

These characters are launched on a quest when something in the wider world is disrupted, thrown out of balance, or is causing danger or deep divisions. They are reluctant heroes who are pushed into their roles by larger circumstances. Greatness is usually thrust upon them via a special message, personal intuition, vivid vision, or supernatural imperative that calls to them in some deeply powerful way.

In calling others to heed their vision, these characters naturally collect diverse individuals who share a common purpose despite significant outward differences and even conflicting agendas or opposing points of view. Their goal to keep the potentially divisive group together and to restore harmony and balance to the world.

The first season of Heroes was a ratings powerhouse for NBC.  The first season stuck to the Power of Imagination structure and theme. As the show moved further away from finding others and joining together on a grand quest to fighting villains, weaponized viruses, and switching identities the show, in subsequent seasons, spiraled downward in the ratings.  It was no longer the global phenomenon it was when it debuted.

Once you’ve established the emotional playing field for a show, you move off it at your peril.

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#ThinkpieceThursday – Coincidence Tanks Top of the Lake: China Girl

Thinkpiece Thursday

Despite strong performances all around, the sequel to Top of the Lake disappoints because of the ridiculous contrived coincidences powering its plot.

## SPOILER ALERT ##

Teenaged Mary, (Alice Englert) is the long lost daughter given up for adoption by Robin (Elizabeth Moss) the cop investigating the “China Girl” murder.  Mary just happens to be sexually and romantically involved with the killer, nicknamed “Puss” (David Dencik).

The brothel Puss helps run, where “China Girl” worked, is also an illegal surrogate “farm”.  It caters to Australians so desperate to have a baby they don’t really check the girls’ backgrounds.

The supervising cop on the investigation just happens to have used one of the brothel girls as a surrogate for the child his mistress wants to have.  He KNOWS his surrogate is a prostitute because he has frequented the place.

His mistress, Miranda (Gwendoline Christie) just happens to be Robin’s partner on the police force investigating the China Girl murder.

This is too much coincidence to sustain credibility.

When is coincidence a good thing?  K.M. Weiland describes it beautifully:

Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

“At some point in almost every story, there is going to be something coincidental that kicks off the plot. What is it that first brings the protagonist and antagonist into opposition? Often, it’s a coincidence:

  • Roger Thornhill accidentally hailing the page boy who is looking for a government agent in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
  • Harvey Cheyne falling into the ocean and being rescued by fisherman Manuel who just happened to be there in Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous.
  • Katniss’s sister Prim just happening to be drawn as a tribute in her first eligible year in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games.

 

  • D’Artagnan just happening to insult Athos, Porthos, and Aramis on his first day in town in Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers.
  • Flik catching just the end of the circus bugs’ Robin Hood act and believing they’re really warriors in A Bug’s Life.

All of these things just happen. Although there are some causal dominoes leading the protagonists up to a few of these examples, there’s not enough cause in play here to let any of these moments avoid being coincidences.

And yet they still work. Why? Because they only make things harder–and more interesting–for the characters. You’ll also note these major coincidences are pretty much the only major unexplained coincidences in their stories. It’s not on Pixar’s list, but we could add to their above rule:

Only one major coincidence per story: early in the story.”

That’s a rule to live by.  For another of my blog posts on coincidence click HERE

 

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#TypesTuesday – Batman v Sherlock: Comparing Reason and Truth

Types Tuesday

Batman and Sherlock Holmes are both detectives of sorts but they approach their investigation into crime very differently. Batman is a Power of Truth character.  Holmes is a Power of Reason character. This makes all the difference in how their stories are told.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (my favorite Batman movies) is remarkably consistent in its emotional and psychological characterizations. In the Emotional Toolbox method, rather than looking at genre, the essential emotional force driving the movie is analyzed. Nolan’s trilogy is a series of complex multi-layered Power of Truth stories.

These kinds of stories are driven by secrets, lies, conspiracies, or concealment. In the opening of The Dark Knight Rises, a huge lie is rotting at the heart of Gotham City.

Bruce Wayne/Batman languishes in disgrace, broken and hiding in his cavernous mansion. Harvey Dent, who had become the criminally insane Two Face in the previous film, The Dark Knight, has been put on a pedestal and is revered as a hero. His crimes are concealed and even blamed on Batman.

The Dark Knight Rises and all Power of Truth stories chronicle the most profound and personal betrayals. These stories also ask: when does betrayal look like loyalty and when does loyalty look like betrayal? These stories’ twists, turns, treachery, and reversals, changes everything the character believes is true. All the character holds dear is destroyed.  It is a story of emotional devastation.

One of the major betrayals at the heart of the film is Alfred Pennyworth’s omission in telling Bruce Wayne what happened just before Bruce’s great love, Rachel Dawes, died. Alfred argues against Bruce re-emerging as Batman, revealing the truth about Rachel.

Bruce argues that Rachel died believing that the two of them would be together; that was his life beyond the cape. He can’t just move on because she couldn’t move on– she died.

Alfred reluctantly tells Wayne the truth, “What if she had? What if, before she died, she wrote a letter saying she chose Harvey Dent over you? And what if, to spare your pain, I burnt that letter?”

Bruce accuses Alfred of just using Rachel to try to stop him. Alfred is adamant. “I am using the truth, Master Wayne. Maybe it’s time we all stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day. I’m sorry.”

In Power of Truth stories, like Nolan’s Batman trilogy, things are never what they seem.  The tangled undergrowth of human duplicity and emotional treachery catches and pulls at every character in the film.

Power of Reason stories are much more straight forward.  The investigation is a puzzle to be solved logically, emotion doesn’t enter into it. Of course, there is deception in these stories, but the lies are exposed by the careful collection of empirical evidence and objective deduction.

Sherlock says:  “Impossible suicides? Four of them? There’s no point sitting at home when there’s finally something fun going on!

Mrs. Hudson: “Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.”

Sherlock: “Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!”

Power of Reason characters examine the situation, consult other expert opinions or past experiences, and put their minds to the issue in a thorough and objective fashion.  It’s all a puzzle to be solved or a game to win. The human cost of murder or suicide doesn’t factor into the equation.

These characters cannot abide deviation from their systematic and orderly approach to the world. They tend to discount or ignore emotional or spiritual (or supernatural) elements in a situation or a problem. If they can’t see it, measure it, categorize it or quantify it, they don’t believe in it.

Power of Reason characters don’t believe in getting personally involved or emotionally entangled in any issue. They always try to maintain a sense of cool detachment and personal objectivity. They are good listeners but deflect or avoid any intimate questions about themselves and are extremely private about disclosing anything they consider to be personal. They are excellent problem-solvers and experts on matters technical, scientific or arcane.

Moving from a cold clinical analysis toward a more human evaluation (which takes into consideration emotional connection, caring, and a real valuing of others’ feelings) is their journey toward greatness.

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#ThinkpieceThursday – Docs and Drinks on British TV

Thinkpiece Thursday

Since I’ve moved to Bristol I have had a number of experiences with the NHS.  The doctors have been kind and caring and available when I needed to see them.

I’ve also had a good amount of experience with doctors shows on the BBC, having done consulting work on Casualty, Holby City, and Doctors over the years.  The writers, producers, and directors on these dramas are committed to making the best show possible.  They are talented, dedicated creatives.  BUT…

There is a serious omission at work culturally, the full acknowledgment of Britain’s catastrophic drinking problem. Alcohol-related injuries and illness were to blame for 70% of A&E (Emergency Room) admissions at weekends in one NW hospital. Dr. Clifford Mann, an emergency care consultant at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, points out that in England alone (i.e. not including Wales or Scotland or Northern Ireland), one million hospital visits every year are related to alcohol, at a cost to the NHS of £3.5 million.

This problem has taken an incredible toll on the NHS not just financially, but also with the level of violence and abuse directed at staff by those who are drunk.  What does all this have to do with television?

On a recent episode of Holby City, one of the key junior doctors, Morven Digby, drinks to a black-out state. She doesn’t remember how she got home or that she slept with (shagged) a colleague. She comes to work the next day and the incident is treated as an embarrassing joke. (To be fair a colleague does ask if she has a drinking problem, but is shrugged off).

This level of drinking is not an isolated incident. Black out drinking or drinking to excess (getting legless) is all too common amongst doctors and consultants on the BBC soaps.

This level of drinking is not an isolated incident. Black out drinking or drinking to excess (getting legless) is all too common amongst doctors and consultants on the BBC soaps.

This level of drinking is not an isolated dramatic incident. Black out drinking or drinking to excess (getting legless) is all too common amongst doctors and consultants on the BBC soaps.

Drinking at night doesn’t mean you are sober by morning. Nearly one in six drivers convicted in the UK are caught the morning after.  Drink four pints of strong lager and you can’t drive for at least 13 hours after finishing your last pint.  If you finish at midnight you aren’t safe until 1 pm. Drink five super strength cans of beer or cider and you can’t drive for at least 21 hours, almost a full day later.

If you aren’t safe to drive you definitely aren’t safe to perform surgery or make clear judgments on complicated medical issues.  But yet, people carry on as normal after unsafe drinking all the time on these shows. Black out drinking is treated as an embarrassing incident, not a shameful lack of professional conduct.  Coming into work before you are completely sober is criminal negligence.  That issue is never raised dramatically.

Again, to be fair, Holby City seems to be building up to a story on a senior consultant’s drinking problem. And there have been a few other drinking stories. But as long as ANY doctor on the show gets legless or drinks to black out this is inexcusable and should have real consequences. Drama shows us what is acceptable and what is not. Britain’s drinking problem is not acceptable, it is ruinous. Medical professionals on television should not seem to make it okay.

 

 

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#ThinkpieceThursday – Game of Thrones: Action and Consequence

Thinkpiece Thursday

This post has been excerpted (and paraphrased) from a wonderful article in FORBES MAGAZINE.

George R. R. Martin is a great writer who cares deeply about carefully plotting his stories in a way that is consistent and makes sense.

His characters act true to themselves and are believable. Perhaps more importantly, the bad things that happen in Martin’s books are always, without fail, consequences.

A character always causes his or her own downfall.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Oberyn Martell was killed in his fight with the Mountain due to his own foolishness.  When the Mountain was down for the count, Oberyn doesn’t finish him off.  Instead, he taunts the Mountain and loudly condemns Tywin Lannister, in a speech lasting long enough to give the Mountain time to rally.  If Oberyn had not strutted about so much and had killed the Mountain when he had the chance, Oberyn would have lived to tell the tale of justice done.

Ned Stark is beheaded because he is too stubborn and honorable to seize power after Robert’s death. Cersei told Ned that when you play the game of thrones (willing or not) you win or you die.Ned was not self-serving or ruthlessness enough to seize power and save himself.

Robb Stark married for love rather than fulfill his strategic military vow to marry a Frey girl. He wasn’t merely betrayed by the Boltons and Freys, he betrayed them first. The Young Wolf was brutally killed when the Lannisters used his betrayal to turn his least loyal bannermen against him.

Joffrey Baratheon, was betrothed to marry Margaery Tyrell, but he was such despicable little sadist that her grandmother, the Queen of Thornes, took matters into her own hands.  Queen Olenna Tyrell poisoned the young king and framed Tyrion Lannister for the murderous deed.

In each case, the plot turn was a direct consequence of some action, whether noble or foolish, or selfish. It’s always best if a character is his or her own worst enemy.  Compelling writing and great antagonists find ways to force characters into self-limiting, self-destructive, or self-sabotaging behavior because of fear, pride, stubbornness, or recklessness.

Does it matter if travel times are foreshortened or motivations don’t quite sync?  It does–

For example.

When Dany instructs Yara to take Ellaria and the Sand Snakes back to Dorne to muster an army it doesn’t ring logistically true. Sunspear is located in a secure bay at the southern tip of Westeros. Dragonstone is much further north, and very close to King’s Landing.

To sail all the way to Dragonstone from Slaver’s Bay, Dany would have to pass the Dornish capital. It would be an easy stop along the way, and the perfect place to meet up with Dany’s allies.

So why on earth didn’t she stop there to discuss her plans for invading King’s Landing and taking the Seven Kingdoms? Why sail all the way to Dragonstone if her plan was to then have most of her force sail south again?

Olenna was already in Dorne, forming her own alliance between House Tyrell and the Martells. Dany could have stopped at Sunspear, well protected in the Sea of Dorne, where she could have conveyed plans for her allies to march against King’s Landing.

This way, Yara wouldn’t have had to take Ellaria back to Dorne. They’d be there already! Grey Worm wouldn’t have had to sail all the way to Dragonstone and then all the way back down and around to Casterly Rock, either. He could have just left from Sunspear! Even Olenna would have had an easier time returning to Highgarden to muster her armies.

There was no debate between Tyrion and Dany about stopping in Dorne. This isn’t the consequence of a stubborn Queen, foolishly demanding that her court be held in Dragonstone. It’s sloppy writing.

From a narrative perspective, this choice is contrived. There’s only one reason to do it: To place Yara and Ellaria in danger and have Euron capture them. That is literally the only reason, and it’s the writer’s hand at work, rather than the characters acting consistently with their proven strategic sense. It’s not propelled by their own selfishness, fear, greed, or ego.

For this reason, early on in season 7, tragedy is not consequences of a character’s actions, but rather consequences arranged by the writers to conveniently push the story in a direction they wanted it to go.  This improved in the last two episodes.  But previously there was a lot of moving pieces around the chess board for convenience sake.  It’s a lesson to be learned in your own writing.

To read the whole FORBES ARTICLE click HERE

 

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#ThinkpieceThursday – Destructive Lovers

Thinkpiece Thursday

by Guest Contributor Oscar Harding

There are two possible endings to every love story, either the characters are together at the conclusion or they are apart. If characters are to stay together they must work through their differences and, basically, grow up and grow together. When a love story ends tragically either one character can’t grow up or some greater internal force keeps them apart, like honor or duty.

Recent examples of each end are, Barry Jenkins’ 2016 best picture-winner Moonlight, and Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2013 Palme D’or-winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour. Spoilers follow for both films. 

In Moonlight, central character Chiron (Ashton Sanders), discovers his sexuality and his love for friend Kevin (Jaden Piner). They are torn apart by Kevin’s brutal betrayal until their reconciliation after more than a decade.

In Blue Is The Warmest Colour, central character Adèle (Adèle Exarchopolous) has some awkward sexual experiences with men before realizing that enigmatic Emma (Lea Seydoux) is the one for her. But two fall out forever over Adèle’s impulsive affair.

Moonlight is a Power of Love story, and Blue is the Warmest Colour is a Power of Idealism story. In a Power of Love story, the couple ends up together. In a Power of Idealism story, they are separated lovers who are haunted by loss and longing.

In Moonlight, Chiron is a shy alienated Power of Reason character and Kevin is a charming eager to please Power of Ambition character. Kevin’s desperate desire to fit in explodes in violence toward Chiron as Kevin tries to fit into a toxic culture of the thuggish gang masculinity. Only drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali), a kindly Power of Love character provides the understanding and nurture that Chiron needs in his social isolation. 

Chiron and Kevin are reunited after years apart. A more mature and humbled Kevin discovers Chiron has protected himself with the outward toughness of a thug. Kevin has found contentment as a fry cook who supports his son.  Kevin’s honesty and tenderness give Chiron what he needs- love, not lust. Their relationship shows both men hope for real happiness.

In Blue is the Warmest Colour, both Adèle and Emma are Power of Idealism characters. They are intense, passionate, and gifted. Emma is a bold vibrant painter and Adele is a talented writer, too afraid to show her work and risk possible rejection.

Emma is devoted to Adèle.  Adele is the great love of her life and muse for her glorious early paintings. She believes Adèle is perfect.   Adele is unwilling to accept Emma’s adoration and be satisfied. Adèle fears Emma will ultimately reject her.  She has an affair when Emma is preoccupied with helping a friend.   When Emma discovers Adele’s betrayal they have an explosive screaming break up.

Years later they meet and a reconciliation is possible. But Emma has completed her emotional journey.  She has grown up and finds contentment and peace in an ordinary domestic life.  This grounds her creative growth and helps her mature as an artist.

Adele cannot move past her torment over her lost “great love’ with Emma.  She is adrift in loss and longing and wants Emma back, or to have an affair at the very least.  Emma refuses.  She cherishes her family. Even though Adele is still her passionate “great love” Emma walks away from her. Adele simply cannot move on.

Power of Idealism stories always end with separated lovers.  Other examples are Bridges of Madison County, Casablanca, or Gone with the Wind.

Power of Love stories always end with the lovers together.  Examples are every romantic comedy you’ve ever seen.

Character is structure. Will your couple live happily ever after despite their differences? Or will the lovers part ways, remembering always that “great love” that got away?

 

 

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#TypesTuesday – Sense8’s Lito Rodriguez and Power of Ambition

Types Tuesday

As between The Leftovers and Sense8, I am definitely more of a Sense8 fan. True, there is the usual silliness, over-seriousness, and logic holes not uncommon to Lana Wachowski’s and Lilly Wachowski’s work. But I loved the characters!  They are people I’ve enjoyed spending time with and getting to know better.  Among my favorites is Lito Rodriguez, telenovela superstar.

Lito is an immensely popular, sexy, romantic leading man.  Women swoon. Men quote Lito’s lines like Evangelicals quote the Bible. But… He is a deeply closeted gay man. His image is a lie. He characterizes himself as a smooth talking fraud.  He is terrified his secret will be exposed.  Lito is a Power of Ambition character.

Power of Ambition characters believe that nothing is as important as projecting a successful, polished image– Even if the character has lie, cheat, or steal to do so. Image is everything.

 Popularity is crucial to their sense of self and feelings of well being.

Characters like Lito, crave the reassurance of the visible, tangible evidence of their outward success. The definition and meaning of “success” are at the heart of any Power of Ambition character’s story arc. Is success measured from the outside or from within?

This is Lito’s struggle.  Can he be truly authentically himself (and be true to the man he loves) even if it destroys his popularity and ruins his lucrative career? Or will he desperately continue to maintain the lie that is his life and destroy his chance at happiness with the love of his life?  Is inner integrity and authenticity success or are the toys, trapping, accolades, and applause success?

For more information on Power of Ambition characters and other examples click HERE.

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#TypesTuesday – Celebrity Chefs & Character Types

TYPES TUESDAY

head-chefs_medium

I am in Copenhagen at a TV conference focusing most on factual entertainment or reality shows. Scandinavian broadcasters, producers, and creative executives are attending.  I’ve been invited to present a large lecture and an invitation only workshop.

The narrative problems are surprisingly similar in fiction and non-fiction. In a lawyer show, a cop show, or a doctor show a whole group of characters is doing pretty much the same job.

They all meet challenges, reversals, and opposition from someone or something along the way. Every character wants to be successful and do a generally good job. Likewise, in an elimination reality show, everyone is together in a group doing generally the same thing.  They all want to be successful and do a good job which, in the case of a reality show, means lasting long enough to win the big money prize by avoiding eviction from the competition.

Whether you are writing a scripted drama or producing an unscripted reality show, you have the same character problem: How do you differentiate each character and make each one a unique and compelling individual? The key is why characters do what they do, how they define doing a good job or a successful strategy, and how they approach challenges, obstacles, work, or what they love.

CELEBRITY CHEFS

In preparing for the Copenhagen conference, I wanted to illustrate the Character Types with real life individuals who are clearly defined characters in their own right and who each embody a very different approach to life and work. The subjects had to have an international reputation since I am speaking with producers from a variety of different Scandinavian countries.

Celebrity chefs are a great example. Each person is doing approximately the same thing (discussing and/or demonstrating food, cooking, or dining opportunities), they all want to be successful and generally do a good job.  How they define that job, for themselves, is vastly different.

Here’s how analyzing real people can help in creating a scripted drama or an unscripted reality show. The Character Types are the same whether applied to celebrity personalities or fictional characters.

Here are how the Character Types line up and my observations on each kind of real life Food Personality:

POWER OF CONSCIENCE

jamie-oliverJamie Oliver is a Power of Conscience character. He is a food crusader, his mission is to teach people the right things to eat and the proper, healthy approach to planning and cooking meals.  The name of his show is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: Campaign for Healthy Eating.  Here is what his American website has to say:

This food revolution is about saving America’s health by changing the way you eat. It’s not just a TV show, it’s a movement for you, your family and your community.

Oliver’s UK website is sub-headed “The Ministry of Food”.  He is not afraid to impose his views on others and has ignited a real controversy over the food served in schools in the UK.  Some mothers have reacted in protest.

Two angry mums are mocking Jamie Oliver’s healthy eating campaign by running a junk food service for school children.

Julie Critchlow and Sam Walker say youngsters are snubbing overpriced “low fat rubbish” dished up at school lunchtime.

So, using an old supermarket trolley, they are running daily deliveries of fish and chip lunches, pies, burgers and fizzy drinks, passing the food through a gap in a fence…

…(A)s environmental health officials and council chiefs were called in a bid to ban the mums Sam, 41, hit back: “This is all down to Jamie. I just don’t like him and what he stands for. He’s forcing our kids to become more picky about their food.

“Who does he think he is, all high and mighty? He can feed whatever he wants to his children but he should realise that other parents think differently.”  – The Daily Mirror

Power of Conscience characters believe they know instinctively if something is wrong, unjust, unfair, improper, corrupt, bad judgment, or out of line. Their opinion and response are swift and immutable. They are propelled forward by personal outrage and moral indignation, usually on another’s behalf.

These characters believe they are their brother’s keeper. They feel responsible for the greater good and for doing good.   Jamie Oliver believes food choices have serious moral implications for health and social responsibility.  When he is criticized, it is for a too strident, judgmental or preachy attitude.

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