VIDEO – What’s The Itch Your Character Can’t Scratch?
What’s The Itch Your Character Can’t Scratch?
By Jacob Krueger
In his recent TED talk (above) Andrew Stanton, Academy Award winning screenwriter of WALL-E, TOY STORY and countless other Pixar movies, spoke about the powerful forces that make us care about a character. Stanton describes this as the character’s spine, a singular subconscious need—an itch they can’t scratch—which drives every action they take in the story: Michael Corleone’s need to please his father in The Godfather. Woody’s need to do the right thing for his child in Toy Story. Wall-E’s need to find the beauty in Wall-E. When you understand the itch your character can’t scratch, you understand the real root of all structure. You know how to make choices about your screenplay, to make the moments of your plot connect and take on meaning, to make things matter, and to make us care.