As soon as we had an offer, I started panicking and posting movie BCI pieces everyday, not as a first draft of the book, but as data gathering. Now that we’re halfway through the alphabet let’s go ahead and figure out what we’ve got so far:
- Why the hero might be hard to identify with: I didn’t have this when we did the BCI novel pieces, but I think it’s essential, and might be a main organizing principle of the book.
- Believe: One of the things I’m learning is that the things that make a character believable are the same things that make them hard to like (such as the sordidness of Jake Gittes’s P. I. business.)
- Care: I’m getting a better sense of this.
- Invest: I’m inclined to stick with the BCI language because I’ve already used it in my first book, but I have wondered if I should stick with this word. Part of the problem with my title is that “Believe, Care, Invest” sounds like a book about investing! I kind of prefer “root for” now, but I’m not sure.
- Eat: It is wild how common this is and how much it does seem to add to each of these movies. A huge part of Believability.
- Exercise: This was already on the checklist and it’s clearly a big part of Invest.
- Economic Activity: This is also clearly very important, sometimes for Believe, Care, and Invest.
- Enjoy: This is clearly another big contributor to Believability. It goes far towards making a character, especially if they’re in a bad situation, feel like a complete human.
- Emulate: If you go through those 20 pieces, you’ll see that I found this in more than a few movies, but I’ve never been convinced it plays a big role in Believe, Care, or Invest.
And the final two categories I’ve been considering so far:
- Rise above: I think that my contribution to the the Five E’s turns out to be essential. I think I’ve discovered almost every character eventually rises above their economic situation (walks off their job) at some point, but when they do so (sooner or later) is a big part of what defines them. There’s probably some big theory still to be gleaned from digging into that data.
- High five a black guy: I think I’ll stop including these in these blog posts, and certainly won’t focus on this in the book. It’s a funny phrase, and a good way to skewer some movies (like Blue Velvet!), but it’s not an issue in many movies.
But that brings me to another issue that I’ve begun to feel I should be examining in each movie. In my first book, I point out that a moment of humanity sometimes involves compassion, and I’ve begun to wonder if BCI discounts compassion too much. Let’s discuss that next time...