How To Write High Structure, High Concept Movies by Rob Tobin

By Rob Tobin

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Extra info for How To Write High Structure, High Concept Movies

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Let’s make him an accountant. How safe can you get, right? Cowardice and courage are so far removed from such a career and such circumstances that it is completely believable that our hero would choose to wrap himself in the armor of such a safe life. This is a brilliant premise, and instantly begins to bring to mind someone like Steve Martin doing this physical comedy bit, adopting one neuroses after another—first stutter, then a tick, then a need to go to the bathroom every few minutes, various phobias, while the deadline for his taking over his new TV show approaches.

This way we see that his character flaw is indeed very deep-seated. So our hero takes out the guys in some realistic and yet still quite amazing way, maybe he gets slightly wounded which doesn’t stop him or even slow him down. But, at the end of the fight, he’s standing there, triumphant, but also still scared out of his wits, gasping, sweating, glancing around, paranoid, and he rushes to the night deposit box, shoves the day’s deposits in and races back to his car. He locks the car doors and roars away in a panic.

Let’s say that the opponent financially ransacks the company for which the hero and opponent work The opponent steals millions of dollars in pension fund money and other funds without which the company will go broke. The employees now stand to lose their jobs and their life savings, which are tied up in the company’s pension and 401k funds. This is a definite and believable lifechanging event to the hero, to his enabling circumstance and to his character flaw. It’s a good lifechanging event because it’s going to force him to choose between his cowardice and the threat presented by the lifechanging event, the threat of losing his enabling circumstances.

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