Tonight’s Dramatica Users Group found us looking at The Conversation–Francis Ford Coppola’s thriller from 1974. I was right in seeing Cindy Williams’ character, Anne, as the emotional Influence Character to Gene Hackman’s Henry Caul. But what I didn’t fully appreciate was the nature of their relationship–this idea of the watcher and the watched.

A core concept of effective narrative is this idea of one perspective adopting the other perspective–either the Main Character or the Influence Character takes on the other character’s perspective. That’s what gives a narrative its essential meaning.

In The Conversation, Hackman quite literally Changes from the watcher to the watched; he adopts Anne’s point-of-view.

It’s a simple, but powerful, concept that strengthens any narrative.

And obviously worked out quite well for Coppola all those years ago.

James R. Hull @jhull