SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL | FILMMAKING: How to Create Empathy Through Structure with JOKER!

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL | FILMMAKING: How to Create Empathy Through Structure with JOKER!

In this episode, How To Create Sympathy For The Devil, we examine how Todd Phillips, in his movie, Joker, uses story structure to create empathy for a killer.

Using Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, we breakdown Joker to delve under the hood and examine how the protagonist, Arthur Fleck, suffers immensely throughout his journey. We see how the prolonged ‘take’ phase of his story circle narrative, is the reason his ‘change’ – into the notorious character, The Joker – is so rewarding and forgivable by the audience.

To learn more about Dan Harmon’s Story Circle, watch my video here:

There are a few spoilers in this episode, so if you haven’t seen the Todd Phillips film, Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Frances Conroy, give the film a watch and then come back and join in the discussion.


If you can think of other examples where film structure has helped to sell a complex character to its audience, then comment below!


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Welcome to Film Fix! This channel, we examine film and TV and break down technical elements to what we can learn from professional filmmakers. We deliver regular ‘how to’ videos, short form and long form analysis vides and video essays looking into film theory from many filmmaking disciplines. We delve into such topics as screenwriting and storytelling, script breakdowns, cinematography & camera work, props, art direction, filmmaker tips, filmmaking techniques and basics of the filmmaking craft.

Whether you’re a film school graduate, working professional or just have casual interest in movies, there’s guaranteed to be something of interest at Film Fix.


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