Impact Character Dead Before The Film?

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VTFischwire
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Impact Character Dead Before The Film?

Postby VTFischwire » Jun 16, 2008 3:21 am

So this is a long way to go around for a simple question but basically:
Can an Impact Character be dead for the duration of the story yet still have an impact?

The question is described in more detail below and once again any help is welcome.

I was walking to the metro the other day and thinking about movies I could breakdown with Dramatica in order to better understand the throughlines and such, when it dawned on me that I had never seen a dramatica breakdown of my favorite childhood movie The Goonies, (I am not saying one hasn't been done, I am just saying I do not know of one).
Anyways so on the long metro ride home, before I could get to my computer to use the software, I started sorting through throughlines and characters in my head.
I thought this would be difficult because The Goonies was more of an ensamble cast and picking one Goonie to be a main character would be tough. No sooner did I think that though then my limited Dramatica knowledge kick-in and say yes it does star a group of kids but Mikey was definately the leader and Main Character. Of course I could think of no allienated throughline for Mikey so I decided to skip that and identify the OS throughline, which I first thought to be "it is a story about a group of kids who go on a treasure hunt"(Action). No sooner had I thought that then I knew I was wrong.
It is a story about some kids who are going to lose their houses(Situation).
This seemed very clear to me and then the fact that I've never noticed in my hundred's of times watching this movie became apparent - NO ONE WANTS TO GO ON THE TREASURE HUNT OR EVEN THINKS IT IS A GOOD IDEA except for who? MIKEY (upon watching this film I found this to be 100% correct as everyone tells him time and time again to turn back or to stop dreaming) the Main Character meaning that:
OS: Situation
MC: Activity
IC: Manipulation
and
M/I: Fixed Attitude
Excited beyond belief by what little I figured out in my head I rushed home turned on my laptop and DVD player and with Dramtica inhand prepared to do an analytical watching of Goonies.

From this I figured out:
OS: Situation - Future: Where will they move to? What will their new lives be like?
MC: Activity - Obtaining: If we get the "Rich Stuff" we can save the Goondocks.
IC: Manipulation - Changing One's Nature
and
M/I: Fixed Attitude - Inermost Desires

I have even gotten the MC throughline down to Morality, and disbelief as the problem and faith as the solution.

What I haven't figured out yet is who is the Impact Character. I am sure it is either A: Brand the older brother or B: One-Eyed Willy the pirate. Of course Willy died centuries before the film takes place but could he still be the impact character?

Also as a side note:
If the main Character is steadfast in a story do they change from Problem to Solution. If for example Mikey had a problem of Disbelief and a solution of Faith, if he is a steadfast main-character would he start the story with the disbelif problem or would he start with the solution?

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Chris Huntley
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Re: Impact Character Dead Before The Film?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 16, 2008 4:38 pm

I haven't seen The Goonies since it came out, but it sounds as though the big brother is your likely Impact Character. He'd be a Fixed Attitude character ("Nothing you do is gonna make a difference. We'll never get enough money to save ourselves," or something along those lines). My guess is that the MC is Steadfast and the big brother Changes. Again, this is based on vague memories and the material you have posted.

If an MC is Steadfast, the "MC Problem" should really be seen as the source of the MC's Drive. The "solution" is never realized (otherwise he'd be a change character), though it can creep in now and then in small doses to de-motivate the MC. If the MC ever truly adopted the MC Solution, the MC would lose all drive (regarding that particular inequity).
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VTFischwire
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Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Impact Character Dead Before The Film?

Postby VTFischwire » Jun 17, 2008 12:08 pm

That makes perfect sense about the steadfast character now that I think about it, but what about symptom and response of the steadfast character. If response is taking him closer to the goal and sympton towards the problem. Would a steadfast character's symptom be a good thing (the thing that is holding him to stay in the problem proving it is the right way to handle the situation)?

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Re: Impact Character Dead Before The Film?

Postby Chris Huntley » Jun 17, 2008 4:37 pm

Excellent question.

The MC Symptom and Response in a story where the MC is Steadfast are what the MC sees as the "real" problem. It's not the drive that causes him grief, it's the symptoms By way of example, it's not AIDS that kills people (HIV lowers their immune systems which, in itself, is not deadly). It's the opportunistic infections (the symptoms) that kill people with AIDS. The response is to treat the symptoms, especially since currently there is no cure (solution).

Whether the symptom is "good" or not is not part of the Dramatica equation. The symptom descibes the apparent problem, and the response describes the action or reaction taken as a repsonse to that symptom. MC Growth modifies how the Symptom and Response look. A Steadfast/Stop story has a Main Character holding out for something (bad) to Stop. A Steadfast/Start story has a Main Character holding out for something (good) to begin.
Chris Huntley
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