Last night’s monthly Dramatica Users Group meeting found us analyzing the comedy Pitch Perfect. While the narrative was light and interspersed between musical storytelling set pieces, it still functioned as a complete story—which is more than one can say about more recent fare like The Revenant or The Big Short.
Of interest was our selection of Jesse as the Influence Character for Becca. Aubrey functioned more as an Antagonist in the Overall Story Throughline while Dad was there to help Becca expose her personal Main Character Throughline issues. Besides, Jesse is the only one Becca experiences a growing emotional relationship—a key element for any Influence Character as it rounds out the narrative with the Relationship Story Throughline.
Also of note was our discovery of Becca’s Main Character Growth—a story point that determines whether the Main Character needs to grow out of something bad or into something better. Clearly Becca is the kind of character that needs to step up and take action; we hear that several times from key characters in Becca’s life and can feel her being pulled towards a significant change. Our positioning of Throughlines within the Dramatica Table of Story Elements confirmed this.
Any time you have a vertical relationship between the Overall Story Throughline and the Main Character Throughline, you will find that the Main Character needs to Start, or grow into something in regards to their character arc. Any time you have a horizontal relationship between the two, you will find that the Main Character needs to Stop, or grow out of something. The reasons for this would require greater exploration, but for now it is enough to understand that the placement of the Throughlines and the issues they explore play a significant role in determining the growth and development of a character within a story.
You can watch the entirety of our analysis of Pitch Perfect here. A podcast of the event should be available within the coming days.