Top Blog Posts of 2010: Casablanca and the Four Levels of Worldview

Casablanca-posterI thought it might be a good idea to end 2010 by revisiting my most popular posts of the past year. According to Word Press the most popular post of the year was Casablanca and the Four Levels of Worldview (updated and improved in 2013.)  It evoked a solid conversation with screenwriting experts, Jim HullKey Payton, and Stanley D. Williams. Frankly, they kinda schooled me on my understanding of screenwriting, complete with a two-hour personal tutorial from Key Payton (who has agreed to do a guest post in the new year.)  Still, it was fascinating to see how concepts I “reverse-engineered” from Academy Award-winning films in order to teach worldvew were helpful to real live screenwriters.

Toward that end, I found this very cool chart laying out a construct to the four levels of worldview (not sure where it came from, so if anyone has seen it before, please let me know.) It calls only the central/core level “worldview,” but it lays out the elements of all four levels very clearly and concisely.  I’d love to know if you find it more helpful (or less) that the simplistic chart I’ve been using.

My (lame) first attempt at charting the four levels of worldview.


A Cool Four Circle Version of the Construct I Found.

So… which is more helpful?


One Reply to “Top Blog Posts of 2010: Casablanca and the Four Levels of Worldview”

  1. I think it’s all good, but I think your onion example to be more visually helpful, and you give some examples at each level. What may be more helpful is to create two onions for Rick’s worldviews, one at the beginning, the other at the end. That way, you can plot the changes at each level and show them side by side so readers have the construct in action.

    As of now, some of the discussion feels rather academic, because I don’t see its application. I’m all about establishing tools for film discussion and story development, something that can cut through the noise of surface stuff and gets to the core, the real belief. How is the construct going to help me? How is it used to focus my discussion of a film with others and allow me to create deeper stories?

    For example, one of my favorite tools is: “what’s your protagonist’s coping mechanism?” This question requires the writer identify specific behaviors (that hurt others and prevent him from a full life) that are a response to past trauma (AKA backstory), based on a belief (protagonist’s need) that the story conflict (plot) will break down until he makes a new moral action (character arc illustrating theme). The question doesn’t plunge as deep as your construct but it can be used with it to identify a story’s meaning and what it’s missing. It may work well with your concepts too if we see a structured way to organize things. What do you think?

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