Creating The Perfect Villain
By Jacob Krueger
Creating a believable antagonist is about more than just coming up with nefarious plans. It’s about stepping into the world view of your villain, and asking yourself what really makes them tick. When written right, a great villian not only ups the stakes of your screenplay, but also pushes your main character in profound ways, that force them to confront their own flaws and go on a powerful journey.
In this video, I’ll be discussing some of the the great villains in film history, Pan’s Labyrinth’s fascistic antagonist Captain Vidal and Star Wars’ iconic symbol of evil, Darth Vader. You”ll learn what made these antagonists so believable, what drives them, and how you can apply the lessons of these characters to your own writing.
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Thank you Jake. That was real good. I’m working on that just now with one of my characters and it seems I’m on the right track. (Probably because I have such great teachers;)
I miss your classes! I have to sit in one of them soon. All the best, Maria
Thank you! I love this! I Love Great Bad Guys!
“RAMON #17988” (book/film treatment) by Ray “Ramon” Tapia
“THE GREY MARE” (screenplay) by Jack Young, Young Films)
Thank you, Jacob: The protagonist is clearly defined in the above; the antagonist slips from one villain to another, understandably in a 10-year plot.
Now, however, I will re-think the antagonist, harmoniously merging as a composite character.
Jack Young has given-up; even so, I will pursue!
Thank you for a totally clear, succinct description of the importance of writing a true antagonist.
I can see that all too often I’ve written my bad guy as an intelligent and wily foil for my hero. But that’s why those plays may have been too shallow. I didn’t put the same kind of time and energy into
getting into the world-view of my antagonist. Wanting to be an obstacle is not a goal.
You’ve thrown a huge beam of light on this notion that antagonists must have a rationale they’re telling themselves which lets them believe in their desires.
And most important, these desires are just as important as the main character’s desire.
So not only will the antagonist feel more real, but so will the protagonist! Because both characters want something that is true.
Wow. In five minutes you’ve given me years of writing more effectively. Thanks again. You’re amazing!
That was extremely insightful.
Solid and helpful video, but someone has to call you out on completely butchering the Star Wars reference…
At the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI, Luke says to EMPEROR PALPATINE, “your OVERCONFIDENCE is your weakness,” and the EMPEROR replies, “your FAITH IN YOUR FRIENDS is yours.” Because Luke thinks his friends are about to blow up the Death Star and the Emperor thinks it’s impenetrable.
Point taken anyway. Thanks!
Thank you! This is sooooo what I needed right now!