Iconic Characters in Movies and TV

Just finished watching Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and I guess I am struck tonight by how inspiring great movie characters are and the writing behind them.

When you see the silhouette of Indiana Jones on the big screen, one doesn’t always see the great writing that went into such a script, but its been something that I’ve been thinking about lately. How great movie/TV characters stay with you and are a great inspiration for me, especially as a writer.

Everything about the characterization of Indiana Jones is well thought out, so cleverly or accidentally crafted; right down to the name of course. I did not know that Indiana was the name of George Lucas’ dog at the time! Hah!

But I was just telling my mother earlier today: “Look at a great character like Sawyer from Lost.”

Mom: “Yeah, what about him?”

Me: “Everything about the character is Sawyer, even the name. You can say the name Sawyer and you automatically know who or what that person is and (in Sawyer’s case) what clever lines he might have.”

Mom: “Okay…”

But my line of thinking is this: Who wouldn’t want to create a character as great as Sawyer, or Indiana Jones or Han Solo? To write something that has become legendary and I guess that’s the ultimate success, isn’t it? When the character becomes more than what’s on the page. It just simply IS.

(Here’s hoping that the new show Revolution has a similar feel, yeah? Even some of the lines we see in the trailer look good. But ah, I digress…)

When a character, or when a character’s lines or scenes or actions get inside you and make you laugh, cry or feel something – that is the ultimate success, too. Who wouldn’t want to create a character that quite literally flies off the page and reaches others? Because I know I definitely would!

The excitement of it…every little detail; to a head nod, to a muscle twitch in someone’s left hand…to their rumpled clothes. The perfect details. The perfect character. Ah… now who wouldn’t call that poetry?


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