Hollywood has a formula for success. Did you know that? It’s based on a three character model and three act layout. With these elements Hollywood has found THE recipe for success. A blockbuster. Understanding the structure help me know where to begin when I’m making something. Knowing where to start when you are making something is important. From knowing about 2x4s when you’re building a frame for the little utility shed in your back yard or laying gesso down on a canvas before you start painting the first steps are important! First I wanted to explore Hollywood’s template then reflect on how to apply that to our lives– if we can.
In Hollywood, the three characters are the protagonist, antagonist and relationship-character. The protagonist, or main character would be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. The bad guy, or antagonist, would be the Wicked Witch. And the relationship character would be Glenda the Good witch because she is a mentor offering wisdom, counsel and support to Dorothy. All the others? Just background details.
The order is also broken into three chunks. Act 1 is the introduction of the three main characters and giving the “who, what, when, where and why”. Act 2 is the main part where the protagonist attempts to accomplish their goal. The antagonist works against them and the relationship character offers support. Act 2 ends with the protagonist at their absolute lowest. Act 3 and the final part, is the protagonist achieving their goal.
When I learned about this last year and heard about it again today I thought, “This is GREAT!”
I’m one of those people that LIKES formulas. I’m not REALLY into math, but in math I REALLY enjoyed finding the value for x. Like x+4=7. Because it’s SO predictable. All you need to do is solve for x. You don’t need to worry about the guy you’re dating, your sister’s health or having to change the toilet paper roll! Just solve for x. But… numbers are just numbers.
Life isn’t as neat, clean or tidy as a movie or novel. Life is messy. Unpredictable. Spontaneous. Boring. Frustrating. Lovely. Joyous. Full of actual pain and heartache and delicious tastes and sunshine and rain. Did I say unpredictable? So, if you’re making movies or writing novels I’m sure this ‘hollywood formula’ helps you, I pray that you will make dynamic movies and books that touch people’s lives in profound ways. Life isn’t a movie and life isn’t a number. But, life? Life is incredibly precious. Our beliefs create actions in our lives and I think we can live a little more intentionally when we ask ourselves intentional questions because we make a difference in the life we live. We have choices, decisions, ideas, and creativity!
What kind of person do you want to be?
If life and your experiences were like a ball being passed to you, what would you do? What would you do with your life: the experiences, the people, the resources, the talents… what are you going to do?
I want to say no to the things I need to say no to and embrace the joy God gives us NO MATTER the circumstances. I want to be more disciplined in working toward goals that don’t yield immediate results. I want to love people better. I want to make art with words and paint and media! Donald Miller, an author I really enjoy, encourages me to live a better story. I want to encourage you to live a better story too.
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