Do I have to show the Influence Character’s Resolve?
Do I have to show that the impact character has really changed at the end of my script? For the IC is a villain in this story and if I show him as a changed person in the end (since MC is steadfast) then it sounds like an age old moral tale.
A: If your Influence Character is a change character, you should show it. It doesn't matter if he is a villain. Being the antagonist is part of the Overall Story throughline and deals with the story goal. His function as Influence Character is more personal. Most films don't SHOW the moment when the IC changes. It usually happens off screen. We find out that he or she has changed after the fact. For example, Pussy Galore in Goldfinger changes and her change is only given two lines of discussion. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs changes off screen. We find out he has changed when he calls Clarice Starling and tells her he's not coming after her (he's killed everybody in his life that has come close to him). As a villain, you character will remain steadfastly against the Story Goal. As a Change IC, your IC is transformed.
For example, the character may go from indifference to caring (Sam Gerard in The Fugitive), or independent to committed (Jerry Maguire). In both cases, it's on a more personal level than the of the OS. Showing the IC change does two things for your story:
- It contrasts and emphasizes the MC's steadfastness, and...
- it gives the IC some emotional depth and complexity that counterpoints his function as an antagonist.
An excellent example of this kind of character is the first season "bad guy," Al Swearengen, in the HBO TV Series, Deadwood. He starts off as the series villain but always has a "human" side to him that makes him far more credible and potent as an Influence Character.