Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Script Analysis: “La La Land” — Part 3: Characters

Read the script for the Oscar nominated movie and analyze it all this week.

Reading scripts. Absolutely critical to learn the craft of screenwriting. The focus of this bi-weekly series is a deep structural and thematic analysis of each script we read. Our daily schedule:

Monday: Scene-By-Scene Breakdown
Tuesday: Plot
Wednesday: Characters
Thursday: Themes
Friday: Dialogue
Saturday: Takeaways

Today: Characters.

Characters are the players in our stories. They participate in scenes, move the plot forward through action and dialogue, influence each other, evolve and change. Each has their own distinct backstory, personality, world view, and voice. When a writer does their best, digging deep into their characters, tapping into their souls, the players in our stories magically lift up off the printed page and come to life in a reader’s imagination.

Today we discuss the characters in the script for La La Land. You can download a PDF of the script here. A list of the key characters:









Written by Damien Chazelle.

Plot summary: La La Land tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

Writing Exercise: Think about each character. What’s their function? And see if you can use character archetypes to help in your analysis.

Major kudos to Sharita Gopal for doing this week’s scene-by-scene breakdown.

To download a PDF of the breakdown for La La Land, go here.

For Part 1, to read the Scene-By-Scene Breakdown, go here.

For Part 2, to read the Major Plot Points, go here.

Tomorrow: We reflect on themes in La La Land.

Seize this opportunity and join in the conversation!

I hope to see you in the RESPONSE section about this week’s script: La La Land.



Script Analysis: “La La Land” — Part 3: Characters was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Script Analysis: “La La Land” — Part 3: Characters

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