Tuesday 6 May 2008

A person's character is their destiny

Telling a joke for a minute or two is one thing, but capturing people's imaginations for say, two hours, for a full length feature film, is a whole different story.

The way these visual story tellers do this is by creating characters that we invest in and want to follow on a journey. We route for these characters and want them to win. Of course, not all story telling involves a hero's journey. A thrilling page turner, for example, will also compel us to see how things unfold. The term they use in Los Angeles is "high concept". But, for the most part, the stories that do talk to our hearts involve characters that we can identify with and invest in.

Yes, it is all about character. Personality opens doors but character keeps those doors open.

For us to invest in a character the most fundamental thing is that the character has to be someone we can sympathize with. If we don't like the character we will not invest in that person.

Think of these story telling conventions in terms of our own lives. Leaders we respect are people of character. Of substance. We relate to them, invest in them, and trust them. We sympathize with them, we support them, and we want them to win.

We only ever invest in people, not in paperwork. Ideas don't move mountains, people do!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker