5 Categories Of Hollywood Movies by Michael Hauge – 6 Stage Plot Structure


Michael Hauge:  Desire just means there is something that the character wants.  It isn’t necessarily confined to sexual or romantic desire.  That just happens to be one of those movies there was just this elicit sexual…I don’t know if it was really elicit in 9 and 1/2 weeks or how you’d categorize it…on a visible level the desire could be to win a competition.  In fact if you look at Hollywood movies probably 90 percent of Hollywood movies are about characters who want to one of basically three or four things.  That is, they either want to win a competition or win the love of another character.  So that encompasses all sports movies and all romantic comedies and love stories or romantic hyphenate movies or they want to stop something bad from happening.  That is all horror movies, most science fiction movies, all thrillers, all murder mysteries. Although Hollywood really doesn’t do murder-mysteries much, but that’s about stopping a killer from getting away with the murder.  They want to escape from a bad situation, like GREAT ESCAPE or PANIC ROOM or HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE or they want to retrieve something.  They want to get something of value and own it, possess it at the end of the story.  So that is all heist movies, it’s kidnapping stories rescue stories, we’ve got to go get this person and get them to safety.

And if you look at the top box office movies for any top given year, I bet probably 90 out of a 100 are going to fall into one of those four categories of goal.

Film Courage:  So desire doesn’t necessary mean romantic interest.  It can mean conquering…in the case of the Helen Mirren movie you mentioned earlier [EYE IN THE SKY] wanting to find the terrorist, that conquer is the desire that moves it through, but conflict is trying to find these terrorists who have moved throughout the area.

Michael Hauge:  Yeah.  That is part of the conflict.  Her goal…that’s a stop movie.  She wants to stop the terrorists from leaving  the house…because it is discovered that they are bad guys or they are arming some terrorist.  So they are going to go into some populace place and hurt a lot of people and she wants to stop them.   Part of the conflict is they are going to find them, they have to make sure it’s them, they’ve got to get the drone in position.  But part of the conflict is what happens when an innocent bystander comes into the place where the collateral damage is going to be done, if there is an innocent person there, it starts a moral dilemma of is one person’s life worth risking lives of one hundred to save?  So then there becomes this moral conflict, too.  They are all obstacles to her doing what she wants, which is to stop the bad guys.


Question for the Viewers:  Which of these categories does your movie fall into?


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