Animation Scriptwriting
Stories - Part Six: Problems and Power
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Being Unemployed

Supposing Sherlock Holmes was to re-appear today, what would he do? His methods of crime solving would be well out of date. We could not imagine him getting a job in any form of detective work.

James Bond might still be in work as terrorists are still around, and likely to be for a long time. But it is unlikely such terrorists would be the high powered and well-heeled types he is used to. He may choose to be unemployed rather than work with terrorists who are not in his class.

Being unemployed means your survival is at stake. Even if someone is supporting you, the fact that you rely on someone else for a living makes your situation insecure. When you are insecure, then you may do things that you might not otherwise do.

Oliver, in Oliver Twist, has to help out Fagin to steal money. Aladdin had to help his wicked uncle steal the Magic Lamp. Beauty, in Beauty and the Beast, had to see the Beast because her father was in debt to him. Jack, of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ had to sell his cow because he had no money. All were characters that had no work or little money of their own.

Many stories have characters who are broke, poor, or in situations where money is a problem. We might just accept that this is the case, but it is better to have a reason why they in this situation.

Why is the person out of work or poor?

  • No skill
  • Too old/young
  • Redundant, obsolete (skills out of date)
  • No suitable work
  • Too skilled or specialised
  • Not acceptable within the workgroup (race, colour, creed, etc.)
  • Not inclined to work (lazy)
  • Wants to do own thing (artists)
  • Disabled
  • Difficult personality to work with

What jobs would suit the following characters?

Rip Van Winkle - The Beast of 'Beauty and the Beast'
Tom Thumb - The Little Mermaid - Pinocchio
Donald Duck - Dracula


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