Heroes and Heroes: Building Characters for the Cinema


foto Simona Giordano

Product Description


The world of cinema gives us many unforgettable characters: The Big Lebowski, Indiana Jones, Hannibal Lecter, Han Solo, Harry and Sally, and Tony Soprano; but also Andrea Sachs and Miranda Priestley, Juno, Maud Watts, Skeeter and Michèle Leblanc. What’s their secret? And, above all, is there a special secret to creating characters like these?
This is what we will be trying to understand on this course: we will examine the characteristics of cinema and fiction’s most popular heroes and heroines and explore the narrative methods underlying their creation.
But that’s not all. Robert McKee maintains that the best scripts not only reveal a person’s true character, but also subvert or change his inner nature, for better or worse, during the narrative itself. So knowing how to build a good character also means constructing a good story and this must be your starting point in learning how to write a script.
On the theoretical side, we will examine the concept of fatal flaw in character, antagonists and secondary roles, trials and desire, the ultimate goal, and the differences between dimension and contradiction (don’t worry if these terms mean nothing to you at the moment: all will become clear). Our reference texts will be The Hero’s Journey by Christopher Vogler and The Power of the Transformational Arc by Dara Marks, while we will also refer to The Heroine’s Journey by Maureen Murdock for more insights into female characters.
It will then be time for you to choose your own protagonist. Working on a character forces you to dig into the deepest recesses of human nature, so you must have no qualms in exploring every cranny: inventing believable, multi-faceted men and women who can surprise and fascinate the viewer, drawing inspiration from people you know, or from yourself.

When you reach the end of this gruelling task, you will probably realise that you have discovered aspects of yourself and your friends and family that you would never have imagined existed.

Lessons will start in November and will go on for three months.

I’d like to enroll, how can I pay?
If you want to make a bank transfer, email us at, and we will send you the details. If you want to pay online with PayPal, add the course to your cart and follow the instructions.

How does Classi-fy work?
You’ll have to follow a weekly timetable of appointments, which can be video lessons or notes to read. You’ll have deadlines to write and share your homework on Classi-fy website. You’ll read what your classmates write and you’ll be able to comment or receive feedback on what you write. You’ll be able to meet each other and talk about the lessons on the forum – ok, we already know you won’t only talk about that, but that’s part of the fun. Sometimes your teacher will post a video in which he publicly analyses the work of the class, but you’ll receive your personal evaluation also from your classmates, during the debate.

What about the course timetable?
You’ll know it pretty soon: lessons will start in October and will last three months.

What are the technical skill necessary to take part to the course? Do I have to install a special program on my computer?
You’ll mainly work online, therefore all you need is the internet connection. On website you can share your documents, watch the video lessons, download teaching material and text your classmates.

What does it happen at the end of the course?
The class will come to Scuola Holden, in Turin, in order to attend the final lesson and collect your diploma. Eventually you’ll meet everyone and, if everything is right, you’ll have a beer together in Borgo Dora to celebrate.