Friday, 15 May 2009

Screenwriting and empathy

I know it's a bit lazy to run 'repeats' when the blog has been running for less than a year, but I published this very early on, and thought it might be worth another outing now that a few more people are looking.


(Originally posted 28 August 2008)

In response to an excellent post on Robin Kelly's invaluable blog, I've dug up these notes from a lecture given during my MA course by David Hanson.

During the lecture, David told us that in order to create an empathic bond between our unknown audience and our characters, we need to use basic psychology to ensure that our characters share the same fundamental human needs and desires as the viewer.

To identify these needs, he drew on the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, who proposed a 'hierarchy of needs' in a 1943 paper entitled A Theory of Human Motivation.

The notes are in a PDF, and are pretty much as I scribbled them down in the lecture room. They might not make complete sense without the accompanying film clips, but a lot of those excerpts should be familiar enough. If nothing else, the notes might provide a starting point for further research into the theory.

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