"Flightplan" story outcome a mystery

Discuss the practical use of Dramatica. Have questions about how throughlines should be used, how to create Complex Characters or even the various combinations of the 12 Essential Questions and how they will affect your story go here.

"Flightplan" story outcome a mystery

Postby k6adtom » Dec 31, 2008 9:29 am

The storyform posted on the Dramatica site lists the story outcome for Flightplan as FAILURE, with a PS Judgement of GOOD. Evidently, I don't know how to correctly assess story outcome.

Here is what is posted in the Dramatica analysis: "Ultimately, Kyle’s persistence (MC Resolve of Steadfast) leads to her finding her daughter and thwarting the conspiracy (Story Outcome of Failure). She blows up Gene with his own bombs (Story Driver of Action) and walks off the plane vindicated by the presence of her daughter (Story Judgment of Good; Personal Triumph story)."

"Thwarting the conspiracy" sure sounds like success from the protagonist's point of view to me. It seems that the OS story goal in Flightplan is "thwart the hijacking". The movie ends with the hijacking being foiled by the protagonist (Kyle), who blows the hijacker up. Kyle's personal issue is resolved: "find her daughter", so that ends in GOOD.

What am I missing here? Thanks in advance for your reply!

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Re: "Flightplan" story outcome a mystery

Postby Chris Huntley » Jan 03, 2009 7:01 pm

The language used makes it sound like a Success story, but the film itself seems to be about the conspiracy. The movie emphasizes the Main Character throughline over the other throughlines. This skews the film to Kyle's perspective. Her concern is her child, which has blinded her to the bigger picture. It turns out that her persistence AND special knowledge of the plane makes her the perfect antagonist to the conspirators' efforts.

Don't confuse "good guys" and "bad guys" with protagonist and antagonist. It USUALLY works out that way but doesn't need to. I suggest opening Dramatica and recreating the storyform for "Flightplan" with the Outcome set to Success. See how it changes the storyform and determine if it fits better or worse than the one posted online.
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.


Re: "Flightplan" story outcome a mystery

Postby k6adtom » Jan 16, 2009 8:16 am

I'm having a hard time seeing Kyle as antagonist. It seems to me it depends on how you define the OS Story Goal. I would think it would be: "Prevent the hijacking." Certainly that is how the audience perceives it, and it is what the other OS characters pursue: the pilot, the FBI, the mother of the missing child, etc.

By your logic, if in "Goldfinger" if we define the OS Story Goal as: "Knock over Ft. Knox for all it's gold", then it seems that James Bond could be defined as the perfect antagonist to protagonist Goldfinger and his vast organization. This film, too, is skewed to Bond's perspective. And the film is about Goldfinger's conspiracy.

So I guess I need a clearer way to discern the difference if I am not to make the mistake again. There must be some subtle bit of analysis I'm missing here, or I'm just looking at it the wrong way.

As always, thanks for any comments. Learning this stuff isn't easy. I've analyzed over 20 movies and then listened to the podcasts and I have YET to arrive at the group's final storyform. It is very frustrating and makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to put this theory to practical use.

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