Saturday, September 7, 2013

Screenwriting Lessons: Main Character Development

My  favorite Dick Van Dyke movie is FITZWILLY.  (1967)

Fitzwilly (1967) PosterWhen Miss Vicki's father dies, she becomes the world's greatest philanthropist. Unfortunately, she is flat broke! Her loyal butler, Claude Fitzwilliam, leads the household staff to rob from various businesses by charging goods to various wealthy people and misdirecting the shipments, all to keep Miss Vicki's standard of living. After Fitzwilly's mother died Miss Vicki helped raise him and he loves her like a mother and would do anything for her. With Fitzwilly's encouragement, Miss Vicki writes a "Dictionary for Dopes" which contains all possible phonetic spellings of a word, and gives the reader the correct one, and for that she needs a secretary. Juliet is the one who is hired, soon she is caught up in the intrigue and falls in love with Fitzwilly. They agree to carry out one more caper before they get married, to keep Miss Vicki comfortable for the rest of her days.

What I like so much about the movie is the character development for Fitzwilly. He is so complex and hooking. Cloude Fitzwilliam is devoted, charming, caring, scheming, devious, and romantic. He is the perfect protagonist/antagonist/sympathetic villain. You absolutely love him, and, I must add, Dick Van Dyke did an excellent job portraying him.

I strongly suggest a writer of scripts of novels to watch the movie and pay special attention the to the character Cloude Fitzwilliam, Fitzwilly. He is the perfect example for creating a complex character.

I so much want the screenplay to this movie, but I can’t find it anywhere. So instead click on the link below to watch the full movie.

Also while watching the movie pay close attention to the following points:

-Story pace (its fast)
-Dialog(to the point and moves the plot)
-First 10 minutes (the first 10 mins. Of a movie equals the first 10 pages of a script. Here the first 10 must Hook the reader/viewer; tell the plot and direction; introduce main characters; have inciting incident)
-Quick scenes (they are simple)
-Story logic