Sunday, May 25, 2008

Goin' to the Movies

We're in the summer movie season and I have to say, I'm looking forward to quite a few flicks being released over the next three months. I saw the first one today, the latest addition to the Indiana Jones Trilogy.

I remember catching a Sunday matinee of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nineteen years old and on my own while my family went on vacation, I had gone to church then sped across town to Loew's Plaza. There was a line when I got there--back then, the theatres only got one copy of the movie so if it was a big hit, you'd have to be at the movie theatre at least an hour before the show started to get a ticket. That may seem a horrible inconvenience but truthful, it was tons of fun talking to other people who were as excited as you were to seeing a movie.

Once I got my ticket and made a quick stop by the concession stand, I went to find the perfect seat. The lights go down and I'm transported to the jungle, watching as a drop-dead gorgeous Harrison Ford goes after the treasure, defeats the enemy and wins the girl.


That day began a nineteen year love affair with Indy which continues today. While I found somethings about the latest movie too far fetched, I still love the character.

Which got me to thinking about my own characters--as a writer, I want to make characters who make you love them. Exciting, yes; flawed, of course but lovable all the same. But how? Indy is just a college professor who likes to dig up relics from the past, right? Wrong--he also has a moral compass that while not of a Christian bend, displays a goodness that most everyone can identify with.

While I don't want to script stories like George Lucas, I would love to learn how he comes up with characters that people loved even nineteen years later. Characters like Indy.

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