Author: Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush

Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush

Ken Dancyger is a Professor of Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University as well as the author of numerous books on screenwriting, editing, and production. Jeff Rush is an Associate professor at Temple University's Department of Film & Media Arts as well as author of numerous articles on screenwriting and narrative theory.

Posts by Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush:

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Binary Character Psychology: Restorative Three-Act Structure


In order to be distinct, acts tend to inflict extreme choices. Bud is either with Gekko or he is not; Crash is either with Annie or he isn’t; there is no middle ground. As the strength of the restorative three-act structure is its use of progressive acts to chart a progression of character, we see…

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Stretching the Limits of Character Identification: Self-Revelation


An approach to overcome the negative qualities of a character is to provide him with an opportunity to reveal his real self. We generally see the social or public side of people. In everyday socializing, a person’s true feelings, true self, is concealed. Hence, if a character is a rogue, writers usually give him some…

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The Steven Spielberg Approach to Character


When we look at Spielberg’s characters, we find that they are most often extreme. Polarities create conflict, and Spielberg wants as much conflict as possible to drive the narrative. Consequently, the young/old, black/ white, Jewish/Gentile grid (schematic or narrative polarity) is applicable to the main character/antagonist relationship in Spielberg’s work. To articulate this relationship, we…

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