Writing The Wrong Protagonist by Julian Shaw

Film Courage: What did you learn from the writing process for USE ME movie?

Julian Shaw, Actor/Writer/Director: I think the first treatment wasn’t that great because there was a fundamental problem which was we were trying to send the wrong character on an arc, right? I was trying to send this Ceara character on a certain arc and it didn’t ring true to reality.

I don’t want to give spoilers away for when people see the film but sometimes when you’re hitting your head against a brick wall when you’re writing, it’s actually this fundamental problem of having the wrong protagonist, right? The person who you are making change and transform, it’s sort of artificial because that’s just not right for the story. So that really changed from the first draft of the script where it was very much about Ceara [the main character in Julian’s film USE ME] changing and it just didn’t feel authentic.

Then I sat down with Ceara and I said Listen, who do you want to be in this movie? Do you want to be Bruce Wayne or do you want to be the Joker? She said What? What are we talking about? I said Well, I’m trying to make this story where you have this big epiphany and you change and stuff like that and it kind of feels phony. Maybe your character doesn’t necessarily change fundamentally? Maybe how we perceive your character completely changes. Maybe you are just you. Kind of like the Joker, right? An anarchist who is kind of the same from beginning to end. And she was like Okay, I want to be the joker. And I was like I bet you do.

Once we kind of shifted gears and…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

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