Question 1: Part 4; What is the conflict between the Characters?
Conflict is the basis of all story telling. It is essential. It is the most important part of story telling. Without conflict, we really don’t have a lot of story. Every single movie has a conflict. If the Joker didn’t create conflict for Batman, then Batman would have no reason to go save the world. There would be no story. Even if you’re not into the super hero movies, you’ll see conflict in other stories like between two lovers. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again.
The problem I see actors do so often is over-complicate the conflict in the scene. So keep it really simple. Great example; Sally wants John to apologize. John doesn’t want to apologize. The way I see actors over-complicated it, is they might say “There is a war going on”. John and Sally are in a war. But the problem is outside of them. We want the conflict to be directly between the characters. It creates a connection and it gives you something to do. Remember, Acting is Doing.
Nearly every scene has a conflict, but there are some that don’t. One example might be John wants Sally to marry him, and Sally wants to marry him. In there, there is no conflict. They both want the same thing and it’s all about love. When you get that in a scene, you then want to go to ‘Question 3; What is the Experience of the Scene?’. I’ll explain it deeper in later videos, but I’ll give you a taste of it for now.
When there is no conflict in a scene, then we’ve got to have the experience of the scene. When two people are in love and want to get married, then we are watching the scene and the experience HAS to be there. If we’re not getting that experience and the feeling of two people who love each other and want to get married, then that scene doesn’t work. Just like if there is no conflict in the scene, then that scene isn’t going to work either.
Always make sure your conflicts are simple and very, very clear. Because remember in Question 1, you want to be able to look at it like a fly on the wall or from the 3rd person. You want to be able to see the story on the screen and you want to be able to clearly be able see what is happening.