Friday, November 26, 2010

TODAY'S NUGGET: #6 WGA Script of All Time - Annie Hall (1977)

[Quick Summary: Neurotic guy & ditzy girl break up. Guy remembers the relationship.]

As I get closer & closer to the #1 script, the characters become more & more well rounded. 

I can honestly say I know Annie Hall after reading about her.  I know how she reacts to stress, how ambitious she is, what she's afraid of, what she's look for in a partner.

How did the writers get me so close to Annie?  It was the small moments when she had to make decisions, i.e., her character arc of growth

ex.  Annie's afraid of being seen as dumb.  Alvy, the antagonist, likes being the know it all & lording it over Annie (though he would disclaim it if you pinned him about it). 

Growth Step 1 - Alvy encourages Annie to take adult education classes, which she balks at, at first. 

Growth Step 2 - But then she starts to enjoy learning - - & suddenly Alvy is threatened & tells her he thinks adult ed is "such junk". 

Growth Step 3 - She decides to be brave & breaks up with him.

Step Backwards - She makes a bad decision (but understandable) & gets back together again with Alvy later.

This is reality.  By Growth Step 3, Annie is stronger than at Step 1, but she is still emotionally attached. 

She takes a step backward & decides to go with what is fun & safe...but the next time an opportunity is presented, she is positioned to risk it, i.e., Growth Step 4 - Tony, the famous record personality, offers her a chance to work together.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: The growth arc is seen by a few steps forward, one step back

Annie Hall (1977)
by Woody Allen & Marshall Brickman

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