My favourite movies all have a point of difference - something about them that makes them stand out. Something we’ve never seen on screen before. The hook.
When something has a great hook, I want to drop whatever sandwich I’m eating and go watch it immediately. Aging rockstar hunts Nazis? Sold. Dinosaurs on a spaceship? YES. NOW PLEASE.
So, as a general rule, unusual character doing unusual thing = something we haven’t seen before.
So this week, I’m going to come up with ten unusual protagonists doing ten things you wouldn’t expect to see that character doing.
EXERCISE THREE: POINT OF DIFFERENCE
CHARACTER: Travelling family band a la Partridges
THING: Serial killing.
CHARACTER: High School Janitor
THING: Replacing students with robot clones.
CHARACTER: Kiwi summer orchard worker
THING: Discovers colony of Mole People.
CHARACTER: Aging failed Shortland St (soap) actress
THING: Creates porn parody of the soap she was fired from.
CHARACTER: Alien worshipping cult escapee
THING: Finally escapes just as aliens DO invade earth as the cult predicted.
CHARACTER: Unmotivated beneficiary
THING: Accidentally given $220,000,000 instead of $220 dole money one week, goes on philanthropist spree helping the poor while on the run from the cops.
CHARACTER: Kiwi back shed scientist
THING: Operates on himself and becomes the first human with working fleshy wings.
CHARACTER: Female ex gang member trying to get back on the right path
THING: Discovers literal Hell-Pit causing her to do bad things in backyard of her new state house.
CHARACTER: Sex workers
THING: Are invited to compete to be the first prostitute astronaut in space. SEXTRONAUT.
CHARACTER: A crust punk, a grandmother, and a law student
THING: Are abducted by aliens and find themselves trapped in an alien supermarket where they are for sale as a live delicacy.
I do this sort of idea generation every couple of weeks. I find it the easiest way to come up with ideas from scratch. But who knows, maybe your easiest way is to think while you’re playing Fruit Ninjas on the toilet.
Either way, give this a shot and comment back here with any unexpectedly awesome results. Plus let me know if any of mine are ones you'd drop a sammich for!