How many times have you been told… “You have so much potential“.
Well you do… we all do… and this is why this polarizing topic makes such a wonderful theme for your movie. We can all relate. We can all relate to living up to our potential or falling short.
It’s a complicated journey full of joy and pain. In the end we all learn to reach our potential without hurting others, but serving them through the reaching of our potential. It’s a wonderful, blissful circumstance as the hero learns or follows their creative passions while aiding humanity in the process.
Living up to someone else’s expectations can be a powerful root for your character work. A good motivation can be found here. Your characters can be facing different viewpoints, or positions on the topic of potential. We can all identify with this. We have all been told the extent of our potential, maybe experienced living for the visions those expectations generated within us.
For me this has both driven and plagued me. The vision others have had for my potential has both been the good and the bad for my growth. In other words when I have heard this it has created hope and then later is has created disappointment within me. Have I fallen short of the potential someone saw in me? Have I made a mistake along the way? It’s as though my life has been a buffet of good fortune and heartache. A maze. This labyrinth is why screenwriters write. To capture the trappings through the archetypes the amazing, complicated journey of the hero through their own personal existence.
This pattern of life makes for a wonderful muse for a hero’s journey. It’s rollercoaster ride as we live through their hero’s choices, feel the consequences of them and learn to understand circumstances are the way they are for th hero. It’s a learning we love to experience when watching a really good film. We all want to learn right along with the hero, we root for this as we all are really rooting for ourselves. Through the lens of the monomyth we can find a treasure trove of knowledge here. A hero’s relationship with destiny.
The hero does not understand the reasons behind their potential, they don’t know why they seem to be born with this desire and they don’t comprehend why they keep failing to obtain it. The hero feels their way through the painful process of learning their way through the story. The hero can die from a broken heart. The hero must earn everything their potential represents and must endure a painful process that may break them along the way. While the hero has tremendous skill the hero is rebellious towards some aspect of universal law. They want to control to much yet their past choices will create an unbearable amount of pressure. The hero blames the villain and perhaps no one would fault them, but the hero must forgive the villain. The patterns of life that generate good can be strengthened through small, quiet degrees.
Villains are FORCING their potential onto others. Villains are colorful tools to help the hero identify the negative aspects of a hero’s failure to reach their potential. A cunning villain may even administrator the expectation understanding they will do all they can to inhibit the hero’s attainment of it. Villains are villains for a reason. They must be used to help the audience understand that if a hero needs a push, a villian will emerge. The hero learns that in many ways they were sent the villain because they were afraid of something. The hero lacked something. In the end the hero may feel grateful for the hero as they played the main role in helping bring the hero to their security. Villains are indeed heros rebelling against universal law and the consequences of of their decisions are immutable. For the hero this should prove this law, and resist the temptation to find pleasure in the process of it but find solace in it’s proof.
The mentor is RELEASED from the torment of reaching their potential through the expense of others. The mentor understands the pressures of potential. They have faced them. They care only about the heart of the hero. They seek to pass down the quiet security of a self disciplined life. They have their work cut out for them, but luckily for the hero they hero they recognize or see themselves in the hero. They know potential is not what the hero thinks it is. Potential for the hero represents a new focus on the potential of an unfolding love for the universal laws not the admiration of the world. They seek the advancement of the hero’s mind towards a deeper faith, a secure love so life itself is related to love.
The ally WIELDS their potential. The Ally is given the greatest honor of protecting the hero from danger. They personify the energy of the hero’s potential with a profound sense of honor. They are there when the hero fails and when the hero succeeds. They may not understand how blind the hero is towards their ambitions but they ONLY see the hero’s potential for truth, and this feelings guides the hero through the journey. The hero wants to feel what their allies feel about them. A pure loyal energy.
The minion CRAVES the potential their villain possess. They are drunk from the lies of the villain and represent the future consequences of their choices. They will scare the hero through using ther hero’s own desire to reach their potential dramatically aganist them. The minions of the villains represents an often more colorful extension of the hero’s journey. The teeter on the line between doing good and doing evil and when carrying out the orders of the villain they believe they are free of the consequences of the work they perform.
The Prince/ Princess:
The prince/ princess represents a LOSS of the good reaching of potential. The loss of love to the hero is the trigger for action into the journey. The hero’s blind ambition to reach their potential hurts the ones they love. This blindness hurts to the point of which the hero questions his own choices to obtain this potential. The prince represents a simple, quiet reward for the hero and it becomes a paradox between it and the fame say the potential represents. It’s mind and heart. Indeed it’s the heart that brings true joy to the hero’s work.
The shapeshifter USES the negative aspects of the hero’s reaching their potential against them, tricking them to hurting others to obtain it. As the hero ventures towards the answers of potential they will be shown characters that say one thing but mean another. Often times it’s the hero’s own mind that wants to hear whatever the shapeshifter may say. They want to be lied to in other words. Later the hero will look back at the shifting with appreciation but during the going through it, the shift can prove to the hero the painful consequences of the pursuit of the materialism of the negative aspects of potential.
Potential of Potential.
Potential is a fascinating topic for any film. Heros have to learn how to let go of the material wealth their potential has shown them, but focus on the simple joys in the doing of the works. The heart wants to serve. It wants to protect. When this is missing the hero will fill this void with silly ambitious paths, thus creating the villain who recruits the minions to steal the prince or princess… On and on. We ALL can relate to this. I believe we all have been told the potential we have and we have felt the pain of falling short of this. We want to learn how to reach it, and we will, bit not at the expense of anyone else. And this is tricky, complicated.
The tragic flaw for any hero is their very potential seems to become the very curse that lures them to evil. This is because the hero uses idealistic aspirations and over time has conceded to a blind ambition in order to reach their potential. The universe itself is not governed by evil but rather by consequences, cause and effect. Every hero must learn how to apply these rules, not just preach the golden rule, but actually apply it. This process, this existence creates the effects for the hero from their own causes. This incredible sense of security is earned. The hero creates it. It’s the potential.
Potential of truth is within the hero. When the hero places his forces towards disciplining their mind towards seeking, towards understanding and in living in awe of the truth the hero earns a kind of living out their potential. A surreal feeling. A deep respect for divine purpose vs blind ambition. The hero must let go of the expectations of others and journey within, take accountability, learn from their past and enjoy the new practice of observation. This letting go process is like trying to exit a tar pit. It’s not easy. At times the hero must allow the tar to engulf them, allow the consequences to flow through while trusting the process. The greater the adversity the greater the potential for true compassion for the process. Wisdom set motion. The hero’s journey.
The hero always reaches their potential.
However the hero learns it’s never at the expense of others. When the hero seeks a conquest of sorts, a destroying of all competition for the attainment of their potential they fashion dramatic villains. These villains ultimately teach the hero, if not force the hero to let go. They strip away the potential. They destroy it. It’s the moment when Wayne Manor was burned down.
The hero figures out true potential is achieving their goals while improving their very connection to divine purpose. The hero learns their responsibility… They create new patterns. They direct their attention on the unfolding of these patterns that will create not one villain. There are no more evil means in the name of of obtaining good ends.
Join us on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 rom 2-5 for a discussion on creating new works for 2019. 48 -Films City organizer Deontae Trundle visits FILM Atlanta to discuss his experiences, his insights in what makes a good story, collaborating with others and the outlook for 2019. $5