Monday, 4 June 2012

My Struggle With Character Differentiation

So lately I've been writing a screenplay for the first installation of a mini-series I've come up with. I can't say too much (complete lie, I'm just lazy) but it's essentially a tongue-in-cheek dramatic egotistical spy thriller sitcom. Now if only I could say it had explosions, then I could get phone calls from producers. Hmm. (Note to self: add more explosions.)

As I've slowly worked my way through developing this idea, I've realised I'm struggling with defining my characters. There are two main protagonists. They are capital-A Agents, working for a dodgy Intelligence Agency. I began with vague, flexible visions of these characters. They were both just quirky persons who were serious and seriously stuffed up in hilarious ways, both reaching pleasantly self-satisfying resolutions  at the conclusion of each conflict the plot throws at them. 

But when I realised I could interchange any piece of dialogue between these characters and it still worked in my mind, I realised I had one too many of the same character. Sure, I considered one to be more egotistical and subservient and the other to be a clumsy joker, but in the end these descriptions don't separate them enough.

It has made me ponder one of my favourite sitcoms, Black Books, and the dynamic it creates between Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey's characters. They're both wacky and have enough playful gullibility to get themselves into all sorts of comical situations, but they've got very different styles. Perhaps a lot of the credit goes to the actors, who are defining the personalities of their respective characters.

With that in mind, I'm starting to picture who I would/could/will cast in my mini-series production. Perhaps that will give them stronger personification in my mind's (rather gooey) eye.

Well, that's all I'm going to write on the matter for now. I'll let y'all know how things progress.

Yours intermittently,

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