Screenwriting Concept

CULTURE

Human behavior drives much of life, as it does good dramatic stories. Culture drives human behavior, or a big chunk of it. Culture is the prism through which impulses and urges are bent on their way to external comportment, "acceptable behavior" in a group or region. Even universal truths and eternal verities attain a flavor from the ambient culture.

Female culture is distinct from male, young from old, black from white, European from American, artistic from scientific. The rich act differently than the poor, Irish from Italians, city slickers from country folk. Individual organizations have cultures all their own, to which people adapt, and adapt quickly, or find themselves bounced out. Small regions, like neighborhoods, have distinct, readable cultures, sometimes from one six-block area to the next.

Individual families can define a different culture.

Dramatic success can result from nailing the depth and breadth of two highly different cultures, and then clashing them together. The fun derives from the inherent humor of such a clash, the self-awareness gained; but also the potential cross-adaptation to make a situation work, the reciprocal character changes this requires.

What better example of a successful culture-clash movie can you find than My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). Not only was it Nia Vardalos' first screenplay, but it became the highest grossing independent film of all time.

See also: Culture-Clash Movies.

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