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Puppets Reenact Your Favorite Movie Moments to Explain Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’

The Hero's Journey glove and boots puppets Joseph CampbellScreenplays are structured stories, pure and simple. Most screenwriting books will essentially tell you the same things about structure, putting their own unique nomenclature on the common story beats found in screenplays. One structure referenced frequently in screenplays is Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, more commonly known as “the hero’s journey”. Not familiar with the hero’s journey? Nonsense. You’ve seen Star Wars, right? Then you’re familiar with the hero’s journey. To learn about it in relation to your screenwriting, you could read Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. But it’s summertime. So why not watch a 6-minute YouTube video with puppets explaining the hero’s journey instead?


Campbell argued that many myths from different eras and regions shared the same structure, which led to their popularity and longevity. Campbell called this structure the monomyth, which he broke down into 17 distinct stages. In the late 1980s, two documentaries, The Hero’s Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth, used the phrase “the hero’s journey” to describe Campbell’s monomyth, and the phrase stuck. Many writers and filmmakers have referenced the influence of the hero’s journey on their stories, most notably George Lucas in his creation of the Star Wars trilogies.

Thanks to the comic genius of Glove and Boots, we can now learn about the hero’s journey from puppets and why recent Adam Sandler films suck in the opinion of these puppets.

Do you adhere to the hero’s journey when writing your screenplays? Do you find Campbell’s argument that all great myths adhere to the same structure as valid? Or do you think diversion from this structure is necessary to find originality in today’s screenplays? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.

Link: The Hero’s Journey – Glove and Boots

[via johnaugust.com]

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Raphael Wood on 07.18.13 @ 6:36AM

    That’s the classic greek hero story.

    https://brown.digication.com/JBeckerStudentTeaching/Academic_Semester_Courses

    It’s actually one of the best examples that even if we try to give our stories a few twists and turns, everything is still a remix of something done before.

    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coGpmA4saEk

  • Aaaand that’s the thing that ruins movies stories. Watching a 90 minute movie? Oh, let me tell you about the things that’ll happen, to the minute…

  • Hero’s journey is a good starting point. you don’t necessarily adapt the entire formula or if at all but learning it once, the ideas that you also share in values will be in your mind conscious or unconscious when you write/create your own work. It’s also good to compare on contrast your personal views and approaches of what is widely accepted.
    you might also have a great great movie but it needs a little “help” to get it through distribution or connect with a greater audience.

    It’s not about selling out. Be realistic, you need to get paid to eat, put a roof over your head and if you do have a family support them. Also we all know it’s not FREE to make a movie/short/music video.
    We need the distribution and budget to continue to do what we love.
    Video (even music and writing) is a media form created to share with an audience. If it’s for just yourself that’s just masturbation.

  • Wow. That video could well be my innermost cave as a screenwriter…

  • For a change, I’d like to see an instructional video on how to write dialog. ‘Cos most screenwriters are pretty lousy at it compared to their glorious predecessors – Riskin, Wilder, Houston, MacArthur, Hecht, Goldman, et al.

  • where are the women heroes? even dorothy doesn’t get a shout out??

    • Christopher Boone on 07.20.13 @ 9:44AM

      This is one of the main criticisms of Campbell’s monomyth, the focus on male heroes. To your specific point, though, Dorothy does get a shout-out from Glove and Boots. She’s the hero in their example of The Trickster. More to your point, though, Dorothy is the only female hero highlighted in this video, and she dates back to 1939. I think we can do better with female heroes on the whole.

  • i love that an animation house is illustrating these points…. chicken cutlets ova here.