Film Courage: How can a screenwriter create a hero they want to follow?
Wendy Kram, owner of Wendy’s LA4hire: I keep saying the same thing but for me you start with a character with a really strong emotional want and I feel like we take any successful, critically acclaimed film, it’s always a character that has that strong emotional want. Whether it’s in…I had mentioned with THE WRESTLER that my upbringing I have nothing in common with a wrestler. MILLION DOLLAR BABY, I don’t have anything in common with a girl who wants to box, but boy did she have a want.
“I think you can break structure when you understand it to begin with.”
And I don’t mean to say that in a…I’m trying to say the opposite of that so I’m not trying to make a judgment or be snobby, I’m saying a great film has a character with a strong emotional want that no matter what our upbringing, our race, we can identify and relate to that character. The protagonist in Barry Jenkins’ film MOONLIGHT, I don’t know what it’s like to grow up as a young, black, gay man in Miami. But we can all relate to feeling like an outsider at some point in our lives, wanting to be accepted, having very extraordinarily difficult situations and there was such beauty in the way this character was able to persevere and overcome and then it was told structurally and in a very interesting manner. Again there’s an example where that didn’t follow what a lot of people would say is the classic Syd Field or Bob McKee structure. It was almost like three, not quite Faulkner but there was a novelistic approach to it. I think you can break structure when you understand it to begin with and you’re hitting everything else really right. So writing authentic characters, compelling dialogue, compelling situations and it is well-structured.
But I do feel it’s like tapping into that thing that we as humans want and can identify with and what are universal flaws that a character may have.
Question For The Viewers: What character is your favorite hero right now?
About Wendy Kram:
Seasoned Film and Television producer, Wendy Kram, created L.A. FOR HIRE, a consulting firm for production companies, writers, directors and anyone in media and PR seeking Hollywood connections and expertise on how to get their project to the next level.
With over fifteen years of experience in the entertainment industry, Wendy has supervised and produced a number of award-winning motion picture and television films for companies including: Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, Hearst Entertainment, Sandollar Productions, Granada Entertainment, CBS, NBC, ABC, USA, HBO, Showtime and Lifetime Networks. Credits include “Mad Money” with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, and Katie Holmes, the award-winning miniseries, “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal” with Sam Neill, and the romantic comedy, “Making Mr. Right” with Dean Caine for Lifetime Network. Wendy has a track record working with A-level talent, agents, filmmakers and executives.
As a native New Yorker who loves the city she grew up in, Wendy recognized a gap between many New York-based production companies and the Hollywood community. L.A. FOR HIRE was created to help fill this gap by providing a bridge between Hollywood’s key decision makers and companies in New York and other metropolitan cities around the globe.
Our clients come to us in order to help them navigate through the Hollywood system, where we provide insider knowledge and know-how that comes from our years of experience.