IC in the movie "Scream"

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IC in the movie "Scream"

Postby Chris Huntley » May 30, 2008 10:07 am

GroundlingCom -- IC in the movie "Scream"

I was studying the "Scream" Storyform posted on the Dramatica site.

Whoever wrote up the settings (you Chris?) considered GALE WEATHERS the IC to SIDNEY PRESCOTT's MC. Not sure if I'm buying this, though I can clearly see what prompted the choice. Gale forces Sidney to face the fact that she might have fingered the wrong guy for the murder of her mother; putting an innocent man on death row is a heavy burden and Sidney demonstrates that she is not so certain as she once was.

But is this single issue sufficient to make the MC/IC pairing here?

If anyone is impacting Sidney's life -- surely it's the killer. Beyond the obvious and immediate threat (trying to kill her), he's also the source of more general mental anguish she's trying to work through.

I find support in this point of view from Armando Saldaa Mora's wonderful "Dramatica for Screenwriters" Tutorial. In the section entitled: "Genre and the Main & Impact Character", he writes:

Horror Movies. Here it'd be a good idea to make the Main Character a Potential Victim while granting the Impact Character the role of Scary Villain (like in Wes Craven's "A Nightmare On Elm Street"). At some point in Dramatica it was thought that making an Antagonist the Impact Character was a poor ideaand, for many stories, it isbut in the Horror Genre the Impact/Villain combination gives us a terrifying foe that's bigger than life, and that's what this Genre is all about.

This applies for all Horror Subgenres:

Supernatural (like "Poltergeist"),
Uncanny ("The Fly"),
Slasher ("Halloween"),
Gore ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"),
Gothic ("Candyman")...
...with the possible exception of the Black Comedy/Horror Parody (like "Scary Movie") that, conversely, needs a ridiculous Villain, thus suffering from the Impact/Villain combination.



I realize Armando was speaking about general trends and it may very well be the case that the alternate emphasis gives the story a bit more depth than your run-of-the-mill slasher story, nonetheless I think his point was valid here.

Any thoughts?
--Dave F.

'It's GNU/Linux dammit!'


Hawthrn78 Re: IC in the movie "Scream" #1

Regarding Scream (which I recently re-watched), I also felt that the killer was the impact character - except not in his objective story role as the killer, but in his subjective role as the character whom I won't name for the sake of anyone reading this who is still planning to see the film. (Actually, Dramatica's analysis acknowledges that Gale and this other character seem to share IC duties.) Although I can see where Gale would be the most obvious suspect for IC, her impact on Sidney is curtailed by Sidney's distrust of the woman. Aside from being a gadfly in Sidney's life, it isn't really her efforts that bring Sidney around to realizing that what she previously believed might not be so. (As I figure it, Gale is the contagonist to the killer's protagonist, thwarting the killer's efforts for reasons of her own which are not entirely upstanding.) Meanwhile, this other character, in his subjective story identity, seems to have more influence on Sidney than anybody.

Interestingly (and I hope it's okay to post this), before I read Dramatica's analysis of Scream, I came up with my own storyform for the movie, and it seemed to make sense to me. I designated you know who as the impact character instead of Gale. Here are my engine settings. (Note: I'm not trying to discredit the other version, which makes sense to me, as well. This is just for sharing purposes, entertainment, etc.)

CHARACTER DYNAMICS:
MC RESOLVE: Change
MC GROWTH: Stop
MC APPROACH: Do-er
MC PROBLEM-SOLVING STYLE: Intuitive
IC RESOLVE: Steadfast

PLOT DYNAMICS:
DRIVER: Action
LIMIT: Optionlock
OUTCOME: Success
JUDGMENT: Good

MAIN CHARACTER
(Sidney)
THROUGHLINE: Situation
CONCERN: The Future (i.e., will she turn out like her mother and, also, will she be ALIVE for it?)
ISSUE: Openness vs. Preconception
PROBLEM: Disbelief
SOLUTION: Faith
SYMPTOM: Reconsider
RESPONSE: Consider
UNIQUE ABILITY: Openness
CRITICAL FLAW: Denial
BENCHMARK: How Things are Changing
SIGNPOST 1: The Past
SIGNPOST 2: How Things are Changing
SIGNPOST 3: The Future
SIGNPOST 4: The Present

MAIN VS. IMPACT STORY
(The Main vs. Impact Story)
THROUGHLINE: Manipulation
CONCERN: Changing One's Nature
ISSUE: Responsibility vs. Commitment
PROBLEM: Uncontrolled
SOLUTION: Control
SYMPTOM: Temptation
RESPONSE: Conscience
CATALYST: Rationalization
INHIBITOR: Attitude
BENCHMARK: Playing a Role
SIGNPOST 1: Conceiving an Idea
SIGNPOST 2: Developing a Plan
SIGNPOST 3: Playing a Role
SIGNPOST 4: Changing One's Nature

OVERALL STORY
(The Overall Story)
THROUGHLINE: Activity
CONCERN: Obtaining
ISSUE: Morality vs. Self Interest (I feel that the resounding message of "Scream" pertains to the moral decline of our society, best reflected in its youth behavior)
PROBLEM: Disbelief
SOLUTION: Faith
SYMPTOM: Temptation
RESPONSE: Conscience
CATALYST: Approach
INHIBITOR: Obligation
BENCHMARK: Doing
SIGNPOST 1: Gathering Information
SIGNPOST 2: Doing
SIGNPOST 3: Obtaining
SIGNPOST 4: Understanding

IMPACT CHARACTER
(You Know Who)
THROUGHLINE: Fixed Attitude
CONCERN: Innermost Desires
ISSUE: Closure vs. Denial
PROBLEM: Hinder
SOLUTION: Help
SYMPTOM: Temptation
RESPONSE: Conscience
UNIQUE ABILITY: Closure
CRITICAL FLAW: Preconception
BENCHMARK: Impulsive Responses
SIGNPOST 1: Memories
SIGNPOST 2: Impulsive Responses
SIGNPOST 3: Innermost Desires
SIGNPOST 4: Contemplation

ADDITIONAL STORY POINTS

GOAL: Obtaining
CONSEQUENCE: Changing One's Nature
COST: Innermost Desires
DIVIDEND: The Future

REQUIREMENT: Doing
PREREQUISITE: Playing a Role
PRECONDITION: Impulsive Responses
FOREWARNINGS: How Things are Changing



Chris Huntley Re: IC in the movie "Scream" #2

It's been "forever" since I saw Scream, but I applaud your (plural) efforts to further analyze the movie. Since the analysis included in the software is just that, an analysis, the analyzer can only guess at the author's intent. This usually means there is plenty of wiggle-room for interpretation. Rarely is anything in a finished work as black and white as a storyform. When I see Scream again, I'll return to this thread and give some more informed feedback. In the mean time, keep up the good work.

Chris Huntley
Write Brothers


GroundlingCom Re: IC in the movie "Scream" #3

Hawthrn78

Very nice analysis.

--Dave F.

'It's GNU/Linux dammit!'
Chris Huntley
Write Brothers Inc.
http://dramatica.com/
http://screenplay.com/

Sean

Re: IC in the movie "Scream"

Postby Sean » Aug 21, 2008 10:05 am

I was just having a Scream discussion yesterday, so here's my two cents.

Billy is the Antagonist.
Gale is the Impact Character.

Gale is the character who specifically tries to change Sydney's belief. It's her main function in the subjective storyline.

The movie cleverly toys with the audience by having Billy also do this. (He helps her let go of her past so, yay, she can have sex again.)
But this is a brilliant red herring and only a short-term gain. Once he's unmasked as the killer, you can't see her having sex again anytime soon! His real aim is revenge, so ultimately he wants to destroy her view of the world, so to speak, not to change it.

As I understand it, a story can have a string of Impact Characters if needed, and competing ones too, even a collective of them acting in unison.

What makes Scream so good is hiding its antagonist in the guise of a well-meaning Impact Character. And having Sydney only see through the disguise at their moment of breakthrough intimacy.

Grzyby15

Re: IC in the movie "Scream"

Postby Grzyby15 » May 17, 2015 10:46 pm

I have to admitt that I've never considered Scream as a good script or movie. I thought it was a simple horror for a weekend in cinema. Now I Think it has another bottom especially if characters are considered.


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