There's "pat the dog" scenes, where you show that the hero's likable because he's kind to animals. And there's "kick the dog" scenes where you show that the villain is a big meanie, because he's rude to his underlings or steals candy from a baby.
Another way to make your character likable is by showing her being mean -- or at least secretly wishing ill -- to someone we dislike, too. I have a scene where my wedding planner character is dealing with an atrocious bride. By the time the scene's over, she's a little more lovable -- because she had to put up with the kind of idiot we have to put up with way too often. We'll sympathize with her at the expense of the atrocious bride.
Just another way to get us on your character's side...
I think you and I went to camp together - did you go to Camp Thoreau? This is David Weinstein - my email is Misterweinstein@aol.com
I also write a blog here on blogspot called THE DIGITAL COUCH - drop me a line if you are who i think u r. i'm a screenwriter myself - mostly tv.
Funny, isn't it - some people can just get your hackles up just by the look of them. Others, you want to take home and put in a basket. Can you express that in a script?
Alex, this is absolutely true. One of my fellow students in class has a scene that supposed to do this. Unfortunately, he overestimated the amount of dislike we would have for the "mean" character, and the hero laughs at them when they trip and hit the ground hard. It's a moment where we go, well, is she really that bad? Perhaps the hero is a jerk?
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