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Wendall Thomas: CHARACTER No classification required

Wendall Thomas Talks Scripts: CHARACTER: MENTORS, TRICKSTERS &PAUL GIAMATTI - Writing Unforgettable Secondary Characters


This year’s Oscar nominees demonstrate the vital part supporting characters play in the best films. It’s hard to imagine 12 Years a Slave or Dallas Buyers Club without Lupita Nyong’o’s Patsey or Jared Leto’s Rayon, and they join a pantheon that includes Claude Rains in Casablanca, Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot, Alan Arkin in Little Miss Sunshine, Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom, Armin Mueller-Stahl in Shine, Bill Murray in Rushmore and the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Master.

This session offers practical advice on how to create and use secondary characters to incite and complicate plots; illuminate aspects of the script’s protagonist; and echo and modernise classical archetypes like the mentor, the shapeshifter and the trickster.

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