“I guess what I like in my movies is where you see a character change by maybe two degrees as opposed to the traditional movie change of ninety degrees. I guess that always feels false to me in movies because that doesn’t truly happen. Around me, at least in the life I live, I guess I don’t see people change ninety or a hundred degrees. I see them change in very small increments. I think it’s just a monitor I might have on myself as a writer to not make any false scenes.”
Oscar-nominated writer/director/producer Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Best of Creative Screenwriting Vol. 1 (1994—2000)
Interviewed by Kristine McKenna & David Konow
Do you have a favorite movie (or scene) where a character changed incrementally (for better or worse)? Or a movie where the character change seemed too grand?
P.S. One thing that I find common with message films is the main character doesn’t just change two degrees, or 90-100 degrees, but 180 degrees. Films in general deal with short time spans and movies that feature characters who change 180 degrees usually comes across as trite.