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|The Hero's Journey is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters.
The Hero's Journey:
? Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.
? Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts , plot points, mid point and so on.
? Interpreted metaphorically, laterally and symbolically, allows an infinite number of varied stories to be created.
The Hero's Journey is also a study of repeating patterns in successful stories and screenplays. It is compelling that screenwriters have a higher probability of producing quality work when they mirror the recurring patterns found in successful screenplays.
? Titanic (1997) grossed over $600 ,000,000 ? uses the Hero's Journey as a template.
? Star Wars (1977) grossed over $460,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.
? Shrek 2 (2004) grossed over $436 ,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.
? ET (1982) grossed over $434,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.
? Spiderman (2002) grossed over $432 ,000,000 - uses the Hero's Journey as a template.
? Out of Africa (1985), Terms of Endearment (1983), Dances with Wolves (1990) , Gladiator (2000) ? All Academy Award Winners Best Film are based on the Hero's Journey.
? Anti-hero stories (Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) etc) are all based on the Hero's Journey.
? Heroine's Journey stories (Million Dollar Baby (2004), Out of Africa (1980) etc) are all based on the Hero's Journey.
Screenplay in 17 days
Simply devote a day to each of the 17 stages of the Hero's Journey. It's as simple and as difficult as that!
The following SUMMARY uses Million Dollar Baby ? Academy Award Winner Best Film 2005 as an example. It should be noted that there are two heroes in this story, a) Maggie and b) Frankie. Watch the movie , deconstruct it and see how it is built from the ground up:
Call to Adventure ? where the hero is pushed to resolve a challenge. Maggie needs to escape her White Trash roots and Frankie needs to resolve issues concerning his daughter.
Refusal of the Call ? where there is refusal, resistance, warning and foreboding. Frankie refuses to train Maggie.
The Supernatural Aid ? where a mentor encourages the hero along the path. Eddie (Morgan Freeman) begins to help Maggie with her training and simultaneously guides Frankie towards her. As is usual, the supernatural aid has a challenge of his own (Danger Barch).
First Threshold ? where a point of no return is crossed. Maggie persists in the gym. There is no dissuading her or going back for her.
Physical Separation (Belly of the Whale) ? where the hero physically separates from his Old World and heads into the Transformation. Willie leaves Frankie , who has little else to do but train Maggie.
Transformation (Road of Trials) ? where the hero significantly, but not completely, transforms. Maggie becomes a professional boxer.
The Ideal and the Seizing of the Sword ? where the hero faces a difficult choice and journey to (often) the heart of the antagonism. Maggie buys her family a house and Frank takes on the role of father.
Rebirth Through Death ? where the Hero is reborn. Eddie saves Danger Barch from the gym bully; Maggie doesn't know what to do about the bear.
Atonement with the Father ? where the hero confronts the obstacle to the apotheosis. Maggie loses to the blue Bear.
Apotheosis ? where the hero has the illumination. Maggie should have listened to Frank and protected herself.
Ultimate Boon ? both hero and heroine get a family.
Refusal of the Return ? where the hero is repulsed by his Old Self or, on a practical level , there is refusal on some level. Frankie refuses to go back to the gym.
Magic Flight ? where the hero attempts to escape from the antagonism or, for some reason, is unable to confront it. Frankie takes Maggie away and attempts to find doctors who can reverse the situation.
Rescue for Without ? where the hero is pulled back toward his or her challenges. Maggie's family return; Frankie wants to replace them and resists their arrival.
Crossing the Return Threshold ? where the hero confronts the antagonism. Maggie loses her legs and asks Frankie to kill her.
Master of the Two Worlds ? where the antagonism is defeated. Frankie kills Maggie.
Freedom to Live ? where the hero is freed from the antagonism. Frankie does not return to the gym.
The Complete 188 stage Hero's Journey and FREE 17 stage sample and other story structure templates can be found at can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering your email address at this site.
Kal Bishop , MBA
You are free to reproduce this article as long as no changes are made and the author's name and site URL are retained.
Are You Marketing Backwards Marketing Articles | August 1, 2004
... is like rowing a boat. When you know how ... bow moves smoothly forward through the ... the least amount of ... ... the square stern of the boat pus
Marketing is like rowing a boat. When you know how the
pointed bow moves smoothly forward through the water
encountering the least amount of resistance. Rowing
backwards, the square stern of the boat pushes against the
water, requiring more effort and increases the risk of
having a wave come over the transom (back) and swamping it.
Yet most people market backwards , trying to grow their
business while pushing against the greatest level of
Wouldn?t you like to market your business so that it moved