New Narratives


Stage Seven: Approach To The Inmost Cave, (Pg. 143 – 155)

C. Vogler, 2007, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Performing Arts, Third Edition

Our band of Seekers leaves the oasis at the edge of the new world, refreshed and armed with
more knowledge about the nature and habits of the game we’re hunting. We’re ready to press on
to the heart of the new world where the greatest treasures are guarded by our greatest fears.
Look around at your fellow Seekers. We’ve changed already and new qualities are emerging.
Who’s the leader now? Some who were not suited for life in the Ordinary World are now
thriving. Others who seemed ideal for adventure are turning out to be the least able. A new
perception of yourself and others is forming. Based on this new awareness, you can make
plans and direct yourself towards getting what you want from the Special World. Soon you
will be ready to enter the Inmost Cave.

1. Campbell says that in myths, the crossing of the First Threshold is often followed by the hero passing through “the belly of the whale.” He cites stories from manycultures of heroes being swallowed by giant beasts. In what sense are the heroes”in the belly of the whale” in the early stages of Act Two in Thelma & Louise! Fatal Attraction, and Unforgiven
2. Campbell describes several ideas or actions surrounding the major ordeal of amyth: “Meeting with the Goddess,” “Woman as Temptress,” “Atonement withthe Father.” In what ways are these ideas part of Approaching the Inmost Cave?
3. In your own story, what happens between entering the Special World and reaching a central crisis in that world? What special preparations lead up to the crisis?
4. Does conflict build, and do the obstacles get more difficult or interesting?
5. Do your heroes want to turn back at this stage, or are they fully committed to the adventure now?
6. In what ways is the hero, in facing external challenges, also encountering inner demons and defenses?
7. Is there a physical Inmost Cave or headquarters of the villain which the heroes Approach? Or is there some emotional equivalent?

Heroes, having made the adjustment to the Special
World, now go on to seek its heart. They pass into
an intermediate region between the border and the very
center of the Hero’s Journey. On the way they find
another mysterious zone with its own Threshold Guard­ians, agendas, and tests. This is the Approach to the Inmost Cave, where soon they will encounter supreme wonder and terror. It’s time to make final preparations for the central ordeal of the adventure. Heroes at this point are like mountaineers who have raised themselves to a base camp by the labors of Testing, and are about to make the final assault on the highest peak.


A romance may develop here, bonding the hero and beloved before they encounter the main ordeal.

North by Northwest – Cary Grant meets a beautiful woman (Eva Marie Saint) on a train as he escapes from the police and the enemy spies. He does not know she works for the evil spies and has been assigned to lure him into their trap. However, her seduction backfires and she finds herself actually falling in love with him. Later, thanks to this scene of bonding, she becomes his ally.

In modern storytelling, certain special functions naturally fall into this zone of Approach. As heroes near the gates of a citadel deep within the Special World, they may take time to make plans, do reconnaissance on the enemy, reorganize or thin out the group, fortify and arm themselves, and have a last laugh and a final cigarette before going over the top into no-man’s-land.

Some heroes boldly stride up to the castle door and demand to be let in. Confident, committed heroes will take this Approach. Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop crashes into the precincts of his enemy a number of times at the Approach phase, conning his way past Threshold Guardians and flaunting his intention to upset his opponents world. Cary Grant in Gunga Din marches into the Inmost Cave of his antagonists, a cult of assassins, singing an English drinking song at the top of his lungs. His bold Approach is not pure arrogance: He puts on the outrageous show to buy time for his friend Gunga Din to slip away and summon the British army. In true heroic fashion Grant’s character is sacrificing himself and tempting death on behalf of the group. The Approach of Clint Eastwood’s character in Unforgiven is not so much arrogant as ignorant. He rides into the Inmost Cave of the town during a rain­storm, and is unable to see a sign forbidding firearms. This brings him to an ordeal, a beating by the sheriff (Gene Hackman) that almost kills him.
Our heroes cross yet another threshold, being ushered into the throne room of Oz by the Sentry, now their friend. Oz himself is one of the most terrifying images ever put on film — the gigantic head of an angry old man, surrounded by flames and thunder. He can grant your wish, but like the kings of fairy-tales, is miserly with his power. He imposes impossible tests in hopes that you will go away and leave him alone. Dorothy and friends are given the apparently unachievable task of fetching the broomstick of the Wicked Witch.
Message: It’s tempting to think you can just march into foreign territory, take the prize, and leave. The awesome image of Oz reminds us that heroes are challeng­ing a powerful status quo, which may not share their dreams and goals. That status quo may even live inside them in strong habits or neuroses that must be overcome before facing the main ordeal. Oz, Professor Marvel in his most powerful and fright­ening form, is a negative animus figure, the dark side of Dorothys idea of a father. Dorothy must deal with her confused feelings about male energy before she can confront her deeper feminine nature. The status quo might be a aging generation or ruler, reluctant to give up power, or a parent unwilling to admit the child is grown. The Wizard at this point is like a harassed father, grouchy about being interrupted and having demands put on him by youth. This angry parental force must be appeased or dealt with in some way before the adventure can proceed. We must all pass tests to earn the approval of parental forces. Parents sometimes set impossible conditions on winning their love and accept­ance. You can’t ever seem to please them. Sometimes the very people you naturally turn to in a crisis will push you away. You may have to face the big moment alone.
The three reluctant heroes evaluate the situation. The Lion wants to run, but the Scarecrow has a plan which requires Lion to be the leader. This makes sense since he is the most ferocious-looking, but he still wants to be talked out of it.
Message: The Approach is a good time to recalibrate your team, express misgivings, and give encouragement. Team members make sure all are in agreement about goals, and determine that the right people are in the right jobs. There may even be bitter battles for dominance among the group at this stage, as pirates or thieves fight for control of the adventure. However, here the Cowardly Lion’s efforts to escape responsibility are comic, and point up another function of the Approach: comic relief. This may be the last chance to relax and crack a joke because things are about to get deadly serious in the Supreme Ordeal phase.

What Makes A Hero?

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to save something bigger than oneself. – Joseph Campbell

You are the hero of your own story. – Joseph Campbell

The Power of Myth

Batman What is A Hero?

Batman the hero


Who Is The Hero At This Point?


Stage Eight: the ordeal (pg. 155 – 173)

C.Vogler, 2007, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Third Ed.

James Bond: What do you expect me to do, Goldfinger?

Goldfinger: Why Mr Bond, I expect you to die.

– from Goldfinger, Screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn

Now the hero stands in the deepest chamber of the Inmost Cave, facing the greatest challenge and the most fearsome opponent yet. this the real heart of the matter, what Joseph Campbell called The Ordeal. It is the mainspring of the heroic form and the key to its magic power.

Seeker, enter the Inmost Cave and look for that which will restore life to the Home Tribe. The way grows narrow and dark. You must go alone on hands and knees and you feel the earth press close around you. You can hardly breathe. Suddenly you come out into the deepest chamber and find yourself face-to-face with the towering figure, a menacing shadow composed of all your doubts and fears and well armed to defend a treasure. Here, in this moment, is the chance to win all or die. No matter what you came for, it’s Death that now stares back at you. Whatever the outcome of the battle, you are about to taste death and it will change you.

Death and Rebirth

  • The simple secret of the Ordeal is this: hero must die so that they can be reborn.

Vogler explains the dramatic movement that the audience enjoys more (than any other) is death and rebirth. In some way or other a “hero” will face death in one form or another to every story: this will most likely be their greatest fears, the failure of an enterprise, the end of a relation ship, the death of an old personality. Miraculously, ( or rather “magically”) our hero will survive this death: reborn literally or symbolically; thus, to reap the consequences of having cheated death – they have passed the main test of being a hero.

Heroes don’t just visit death and come home. They return changed, transformed. No one can go through a near death experience without being changed in some way.

The placement of the crisis or ordeal depends on the needs of the story and the tastes of the storyteller. The most common pattern is for the death – and – rebirth moment to come near the middle of the story: there is a diagram that demonstrates the Central Crisis –Midpoint Ordeal happens between the end of Act Two A and the beginning of Act Two B; the dramatic high point in a story with a Central Crisis – vertical lines represent the high point of each act.

Central Crisis has the advantage of symmetry, and leaves plenty of time for elaborate consequences to flow from the Ordeal; this structure allows for critical moments or turning points at the end of Act Two B.

Delayed Crisis is an equally effective structure and can be built with a delayed crisis, three quarters of the way into the story: there is also a diagram demonstrating the delayed crisis forming within Acts 1,2 and 3. A delayed crisis leaves more room for preparation and Approach; allowing a slow buildup to a big moment at the end of Act Two.

It is safe to say that every story needs a Crisis Moment that conveys the Ordeal’s sense of death and revival. A witness is an important factor at this stage; someone who stands nearby, who sees the hero appear to die, momentarily mourns the death, and is elated when the hero is revived. Witnesses stand for the audience, who are identifying with the heroes and feeling the pain of death with them.

Audiences are not sadistically enjoying seeing their hero die; it’s just that, we relish a little taste of death – it’s bitter flavour makes life taste sweeter. Anyone who has had a true near-death experience, a sudden close call in a car or a plane, knows that after a while colour seem sharper, family and friends are more important, and time is precious. The nearness of death make life seem more real.

The most common kind of Ordeal is with the opposing force in a battle or confrontation; this could be, a deadly enemy villain, antagonist, opponent, or even a force of power.

The archetype  of the Shadow encompasses all of these possibilities.

Demonization, generally the Shadow represents all of the hero’s fear and unlikeable, rejected, or negative qualities: all the things we do not like about ourselves – we try to project onto other people. This is called demonizing; the devil himself is God’s Shadow, a projection of all the negative and rejected potential of the Supreme Being.

This projection or polarization is needed in order to see the issue clearly. An unhealthy imbalance system for a long time if not categorized and polarized with the conflicts, means to duke it out in some kind of dramatic confrontation.

Villains can be looked as the Hero’s Shadow in human form; no matter how alien the villain’s values, in some way they are the dark reflection of the hero’s own desires, magnified and distorted, his/her greatest fears come to life.

Dracula’s abhorrence of sunlight is a symbol of the shadow’s desire to remain unexplored.

Villain’s are heroes in their own stories. Keep in mind that while some villains or Shadows “exult in being bad”, many don’t think of themselves, evil at all. In their own twisted/ psychotic minds they are right: the heroes of their own stories.

How heroes cheat Death, in the classic “hero myths” – the Ordeal is set up as a moment in which the hero is expected to die. These mythic heroes face certain death, but….survive! Reason being: because they have sought supernatural aid in the early stages; were as, other’s failed to do so.

The hero doesn’t have to die for the moment of death to have its effect. The hero may be a witness to death or the cause of death.They cheat Death, usually, with the help of the mentor’s gift.

The best example for this would be: Theseus and the Minotaur – in ancient Greek mythology Theseus (The Hero), has won the love of Ariadne, daughter of the tyrant Minos (The Antagonist/Villain) of Crete, in the Approach Phase. Once Theseus is sentenced to the uncertain, deadly depths of the Labyrinth; Ariadne seeks the aid of Daedalus (The Mentor), designer of the Labyrinth. His magical help is of the simplest kind: a ball of thread?

How would Theseus survive with a ball of thread you say? Well, Ariadne goes to Theseus before he enters the Labyrinth, she holds one end of the thread, as Theseus winds through the Labyrinth (with the ball of thread). This way Theseus recover his tracks, which will ultimately lead him to victory, escaping the Minotaur (The Central Crisis/Conflict/Confrontation) .

Ariadne’s Thread is a potent symbol of the power of love, of the almost telepathic wiring that joins people in an intense relationship. It can tug at you like a physical connector at times. It’s close kin to the “apron strings” that bind even adult children to their mothers — invisible wires but with greater tensile strength than steel.

Negative Amius or Anima – Sometimes in our lives we confront negative projections of the Anima or Animus. Asserting itself like Mr. Hyde taking over from Dr. Jekyll; this can be a person who is not good for us, or a bitchy or bastardly  part of ourselves. Such a confrontation can be a life-threatening ordeal in a relationship or a person’s development. The hero of Fatal Attraction finds that a casual lover can turn into a “lethal force”, if crossed or rejected.

  • An ideal partner can turn into the Boston Strangler
  • A loving father can become a killer, as in the shining
  • the wicked stepmothers or queens of Grimm’s fairy tales: mothers whose love turned dark

Questioning the Journey

  1. What is the Ordeal in The Silence of the Lambs? The Prince of Tides? Pretty Woman?
  2. What is the Ordeal in your story? Does your story truly have a villain? or is there simply an antagonist?
  3. In what way is the villain or antagonist the hero’s Shadow?
  4. Is the villain’s power channeled through partners or underlyings? What special functions do these part perform?
  5. Can the villain also be a Shapeshifter or Trickster? What other archetypes might a villain manifest?
  6. In what way does your hero face death in the Ordeal? What is your hero’s greatest fear?
movies the hobbit bilbo baggins 1920x1080 wallpaper_www.wallmay.com_67

The Hero With A Thousand Faces

J.Campbell, 2012, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, BookCaps Study Guide, KindleBooks


The Journey

The  theme of the Journey is representative of the journey that individuals take throughout life, the journey to spiritual awakening, the journey toward knowledge and enlightenment, and also the journey of the universe. The mythology of the journey stretches to many different cultures, religions, and societies, and, in each one, the journey is manifested differently. while the journey is interpreted different for everyone the language of the journey, represented with symbolism, is a concept that is universal.


In undertaking the journey the Hero is taking the responsibility of attaining a knowledge and enlightenment that not every man possesses. In undertaking this task, the Hero is responsible for spreading the wisdom and teaching others the knowledge which he has aquired. Though the Hero has the option to use his knowledge for evil and tyranny, he can choose to go the responisble route and head back to a place where he may not want to be because he knows that it is his duty to pass on what he knows. He feels as though it is his responsibility to repay those who have supported and protected him.


The concept of duality is central to Campbell’s notion of the Hero’s Journey. According to Campbell there is duality in everything aspect of life which allude to all things being one and the same. For every representation in the world, there is another representation in the world that is both opposite and equal. For example, Campbell uses the mother as the good and nurturing force while the father is the tyrant. He also uses the example that God is separate from all things yet He is also in all things. The duality is also reflected in the cosmogonist cycle of the individual, as well as the cycle of the universe as a whole.


Spirituality is something which is largely presented in mythology. The concept of the spiritual being remains vague in most myths because the story must be universal to transcend various cultures and belief systems, but the idea of a  higher power is always presented. The Hero is on a journey for spiritual enlightenment and truth that he can deliver to his people, which gives the Hero a godlike power that the everyday man may not be receptive to. This is in modern day religion as well; man can be on a spiritual journey and search for meaning and truth though not all men would agree with what is learned.


Symbolism is the vehicle used to rely the message if the journey in mythology. Because different cultures, religions, societies,etc. have varying languages and specific stories of creation, spiritual beliefs, and values symbols must be used as universal representations. For example, to Christians the virgin birth and subsequent journey described would identify most closely with that of Jesus. For other cultures, it may represent the journey of another god or spirit. The symbol of the World Navel is used to represent any significant point of truth and beginning, depending on the culture.


Perseverance is one of the defining characteristics of the Hero. He sets off on his journey and he never gives up, even when confronted with challenges that the mortal man may not be able to overcome. He sticks true to his journey and his goal and does not waver even when tempted with appealing alternatives, such as living a new life in a new place or accepting unexpected power. The Hero knows what is expected of him and what he is responsible for even if it is unappreciated by others. He knows that he will be rewarded for his good deeds by the powers that be.

Many actions, such as that of Oedipus, are grounded in our subconscious desires which are part of the Hero’s Journey. Every society has rituals which are manifested from subconsciously motivated or mythically-oriented belief systems. Campbell also points out that some archetypes appear in dreams which involve a journey, a set of obstacles, and the aid of an elder along the way. This is the same journey the Hero must take, with purpose of the bring his new found wisdom back to his people.

In the section called “Tragedy and Comedy”, Campbell suggests that tragedy and comedy are both equal parts of life. He notes that, while humanity has affinity for happy endings, death is the only real ending to life, and it results in the void of non-existence. Campbell states that tragedy is the sad pain of life, while comedy is the ability to find joy alongside that pain.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

J. Campbell, 1998, The Power of Myth, Anchor Books, United States.


extra Credits Season 4: episodes 20 – 21, The Hero’s Journey (Parts 1 and 2)

Winning the Story Wars – The Hero’s Journey

What is the Hero’s Journey?: Pat Soloman at TEDxRockCreekPark

Once upon a time, something happened to someone; and he decided he would pursue a goal. So, he decided a plan of action, and even though there were forces trying to stop him; he moved forward cause there was a lot at stake. And just as things seemed as bad as they could get: he learned an important lesson, and when offered the prize he had sought so strenuously, he had to decide wether or not to take it, and by making that decision he satisfied a need that had been created by something in his past. – Gary Provost
“You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.” – John Rogers

Journey of the Hero

The Hero’s Journey – Thor

The Twelve Steps of the Hero’s Journey

Step 1: The Call

Step 2: Refusal

Step 3: Spiritual Aid

Step 4: Crossing a Threshold

Step 5: The Belly of the Whale

Step 6: The Road of Trials

Step 7: Temptress

Step 8: Goddess

Step 9: Atonement with the Father

Step 10: Apotheosis

Step 11: The Ultimate Boon

Step 12: The Refusal to Return


Stage Nine: Reward (Pg. 175 – 184)

C. Vogler, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass. – from Ghostbusters, screenplay by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

With the crisis of the Ordeal passed, heroes now experience the consequences of surviving death. with the dragon that dwelt in the Inmost Cave slain or vanquished, they seize the sword of victory and lay claim to their Reward. Triumph may be fleeting but for now they savour its pleasures.

We Seekers look at one another with growing smiles. We’ve won the right to be called heroes. For the sake of the Home Tribe we faced death, tasted it, and yet lived. From the depths of terror we suddenly shoot up to victory. It’s time to fill our empty bellies and raise our voices around the campfire to sing of our deeds. Old wounds and grievances are forgotten. The story of our journey is already being woven. You pull apart from the rest, strangely quiet. In the leaping shadows you remember those who didn’t make it, and you notice something. You’re different. You’ve changed. Part of you has died and something new has been born. You and the world will never seem the same. This too is part of the Reward for facing death.

Encountering death is a big event and it will surely have consequences. There will almost always be some period of time in which the hero is recognized or reward for facing death or a great ordeal. A great many possibilities are generated by living through a crisis, and reward, the aftermath of the ordeal has many shapes and purposes.


When hunters have survived death and brought down their game, it’s natural to want to celebrate. Energy has been exhausted in the struggle, and needs to be replenished. Heroes may have the equivalent of a party or barbecue at this stage in which they cook and consume some of the fruits of victory. The heroes of the Odyssey always offered a sacrifice some ordeal at sea. Strength is needed for the return to the upper world, so time is given for rest, recuperation, and refueling. After the buffalo hunt (a supreme ordeal and brush with death) in Dances with Wolves, Dunbar and the tribe celebrate with a buffalo barbecue in which his reward for saving a young man from death is greater acceptance by the Lakota.

Campfire Scenes

Many Stories seem to have campfire-type scenes in this region, where the hero and companions gather around a fire or its equivalent to review recent events. It’s also an opportunity for jokes and boasting. There is understandable relief at having survived death. Hunters and fishermen, pilots and navigators, soldiers and explorers all like to exaggerate their accomplishments. There may be conflict over the campfire, fighting over spoils. Campfire scenes may also be a chance for reminiscence or nostalgia. Having crossed the Abyss of life and death, nothing will ever be the same. Heroes sometimes turn back and remember aloud what got them into this point. A loner Hero might recall the events or people who influenced him, or speak about the unwritten code by which he runs his life. These scenes serve important functions for the audience. They allow us to catch our breath after an exciting battle or ordeal. The characters might recap the story so far, giving us a chance to review the story and get a glimpse of how they perceive it.

In Walt Disney’s classic animated feature films such as Pinocchio or Peter Pan, the pace is usually frantic, but Disney was careful to slow down from time to time and get in close on the characters in an emotional moment. These quieter or more lyric passages are important for making a connection with the audience.

Love Scenes

The aftermath of supreme ordeal may be an opportunity for a love scene. Heroes don’t really deserve to be loved until they have shown their willingness to sacrifice. At his point a true hero has earned a love scene, or a ” sacred marriage” of some kind. The Red River campfire scene is also a highly effective love scene.

The romantic waltz in Beauty and the Beast is Beast’s Reward for having survived an ordeal with the townspeople and Belle’s Reward for having seen past the Beast’s monstrous appearance.
Taking PossessionOne of the essential aspects of this step is the hero taking possession of whatever she came seeking. Treasure hunters take gold, spies snatch the secret, pirates plunder the captured ship, an uncertain hero seizes her self-respect, a slave seizes control of his own destiny. A transaction has been made – the hero has risked death or sacrificed life, and now gets something in exchange. The Norse god Odin, in his Supreme Ordeal, gives up an eye and hangs on the World-Tree for nine days and nights. His Reward is the knowledge of all things and the ability to read the sacred runes.Seizing the SwordVogler also calls this unit of the journey Seizing the Sword because often it’s an active of the hero who aggressively takes possession of whatever was being sought in the special world. Sometimes a reward like love is given. But more frequently the hero takes possession of treasure or even steals it, like James Bond taking the Lektor, a soviet translating device,  in From Russia with Love.A moment of taking possession follows the death –  and – rebirth crisis in the King Kong. A transformation had occured in the monster ape during the Approach Phase. King Kong shifted from being Fay Wray’s abductor to being her protector, fighting off a tyrannosaur on the way to his Inmost Cave. By the time he reaches the Supreme Ordeal, defending her in battle to the death with a giant serpent, he has become a full-fledged hero. Now he takes possession of his Reward: like any good hero, he gets the girl.The idea of the hero seizing the sword comes from memories of stories in which heroes battle dragons and take their treasure. Among the treasure there may be a magic sword, perhaps the sword of the hero’s father, broken or stolen by the dragon in previous battles. The image of the sword, as portrayed in the Tarot deck’s suit of swords, is a symbol of the hero’s will, forged in the fire and quenched in blood, broken and remade, hammered and folded, hardened, sharpened, and focused to a point like the light-saber of Star Wars.
But a sword is only one of many images for what is being seized by the hero at this step. Campbell’s term for it is “The Ultimate Boon”. Another concept is the Holy Grail, and ancient and mysterious symbol for all the unattainable things of the soul that knights and heroes quest after.
A rose or a jewel may be the treasure in another story. The Wily Monkey King of Chinese legends is seeking the sacred Buddhist Sutras that have been taken to Tibet.
Elixir means a medium or vehicle for medicine. It could be a harmless sweet liquid or powder to which other medicine is added. Administrated alone or mixed with other useless chemicals, it might still work by what’s known as “Placebo, a substance with no medicinal value, even when they know it’s just a sugar pill – testimony to the power of suggestion.The Hero is often required to steal the Elixir. It is the secret life and death, and much too valuable to be given up lightly.
Battlefield promotions and knighthood are ways of recognizing that the heroes have passed an ordeal and entered a small group of special survivors. Joseph Campbell’s overall name for what we call Act Two is “Initiation”, a new beginning in a new rank. The hero after facing death is really a new creature. A woman who has gone through the life-threatening territory of childbirth belongs to a different order of being. She has been initiated into the company of motherhood, select sorority.Initiation into secret societies, sororities, or fraternities means that you are privy to certain secrets and sworn to never reveal them. You pass tests to prove your worthiness. You may be put through a ritual death-and -rebirth Ordeal and may be given a new name and rank to signify you are a newborn being.New PerceptionsHeroes may find that surviving death grants new powers or better perceptions.Seeing Through DeceptionA hero may be granted a new insight or understanding of a mystery a her Reward. She may see through a deception. If she has been dealing with a Shape-shifting partner, she may see through his disguises and perceive the reality for the first time. Seizing the Sword can be a moment of clarity.ClairvoyanceAfter transcending death, a hero may even become clairvoyant or telepathic, sharing in the power of the immortal gods. Clairvoyant mean simply “seeing clearly”.
Self-RealizationHeroes can sometimes experience a profound self-realization after tricking death. They see who they are and how they fit into the scheme of things. They see the ways they’ve been foolish or stubborn.Scales fall from their eyes and the illusion of their lives is replaced with clarity and truth.EpiphanyOthers may see in their changed behaviour signs that they have been reborn and share in the immortality of gods. This is sometimes called the moment of epiphany: an abrupt realization divinity.
James Joyce expanded the meaning of the word epiphany using it to mean a sudden perception of the essence of something, seeing to the core of a person, idea or thing. Heroes sometimes experience a sudden understanding of the nature of things after passing through an Ordeal. Surviving death gives them meaning to life and sharpens perceptions.DistortionsHeroes may suffer from an inflation of the ego. In other words, they get a swelled head. They might turn cocky or arrogant. Perhaps they abuse the power and privilege of being a reborn hero.

  • Their self-esteem sometimes grows too large and distorts their perception of their real value
  • heroes may be trained by the very death or evil they came to fight
  • soldier fighting to preserve civilization may fall into barbarism of war
  • cops or detectives battling criminals often cross the line and use illegal or immortal means, becoming as bad as the criminal themselves.

Blood shed and murder are the powerful forces and may intoxicate or poison a hero. Peter O’toole as Lawrence of Arabia shows us a man who, after the ordeal of the battle of Aqaba, is horrified to discover that he loves killing.

Heroes may also overestimate their own importance or prowess after a duel with death. But they may soon find out that they were just lucky the first time, and will have other encounters with danger that will teach them their lines.

Facing death has a life changing consequence which heroes experience by seizing the sword, but after experiencing their Reward fully, heroes must turn back and to the quest.

There are more ordeals ahead, and it’s time to pack up and face them, on the next stage of the Hero’s Journey.

Questioning the Journey

  1. What is the modern equivalent of a campfire scene in Thelma and Louise? Sister Act? Ghost?
  2. What do the heroes of your story take possession of after facing death or their greatest fear? What is the aftermath, the consequence, of the major event of Act Two? Have your heroes absorbed any negative qualities from the shadows or villains?
  3. What does the heroes of your story learn by observing death? By experiencing death?
  4. Does the story change direction? Is a new goal or agenda revealed in the Reward Phase?
  5. Is the aftermath of the Ordeal in your story an opportunity for a love scene?
  6. Does your hero realize they have changed? Is there self-examination or realization of the wilder consciousness? Have they learned to deal with their inner flaws?

Stage Ten: The Road Back (Pg. 187 – 194)

C. Vogler, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writer’s,

Easy is the descent to the Lower World; but, to retrace your steps and to escape to the upper air – this is the task, this the toil. – The Sibyl to Aeneas in The Aeneid

Once the lesson and Reward of the great Ordeal have been celebrated and absorbed, heroes face a choice: whether to remain in the Special World or begin the journey home to the Ordinary World. Although the world may have its charms, few heroes elect to stay. most take The Road Back, returning to the starting point or continuing on the journey to a totally new locale or ultimate destination.

this is a time when the stories energy, which may have ebbed a little in the quiet moments of Seizing the Sword, is is now revved up again. If we look at the hero’s journey as a circle with the beginning at the top, we are still down in the basement and it will take some push to get us back up into the light.

Wake up Seekers! Shake off the effects of our feast and celebration and remember why we came out in the first place! People back home are starving and it’s urgent, now that we’ve cover from the Ordeal, to load up our backpacks with food and treasure and head for home. Besides, there is not telling what dangers still lurk on the edge of the hunting grounds. you pass at the edge of camp to look back. they’ll never believe this back home. How to tell them? something bright on the ground catches your eye. You bend  to pick it up – a beautiful smooth stone with an inner glow. Suddenly a dark shape darts out at you, all fangs. run!Run for your life!


The Road Back marks a time when heroes rededicate themselves to the adventure.

Inner Resolve might be by a scene of a tired commander rallying dispirited troops after battle, or a parent pulling a family together after a death or tragedy.

The Road Back is a turning point, another threshold crossing which marks the passage from Act two to Act Three. Like crossing the First Threshold it may cause change in the aim of the story.


An important lesson of Martial Arts is finish your opponent. Heroes often learn that villains or Shadows who are not completely defeated in this crisis can rise up stronger than before. The ogre or the villain the Hero confronted in the Ordeal may pull himself together and strike a counterblow. A parent who has been challenged for dominance in the family may get over the initial shock and unleash a devastating retaliation.

A Martial Arts opponent knocked off balance may recover his centre rand deliver a surprise attack. Tianamen Square incident, the Chinese government rallied after days of confusion to launch a crushing response that drove the students and their Goddess of Liberty from the square.

The psychological meaning of such counterattacks is the neuroses, flaws, habits, desires, or addictions we have challenged may retreat for at time, but  can rebound in a last-ditch defence or desperate  attack before  being vanquished for-ever.

Chase Scenes

In many cases heroes leave the Special World only because they are running for their lives. Chases may occur in any part of the story, but the end of Act Two is one of the most popular places.

Magic Flight – Joseph Campbell gives several illustrations of magical flights, and suggests the motif stands for a hero’s attempts to stall the avenging forces in anyway possible, by throwing down “interpretations, principles, symbols, rationalisations, anything [to] delay and absorbs” their power.
Villain Escapes – Another chase scene variant is the pursuit of escaped villain. A shadow captured and controlled in the Ordeal escapes at this stage and becomes more dangerous than before.
SetbacksAnother twist of The Road Back may be a sudden Catastrophic reversal of the Hero’s good fortune. Things were going well after surveying the Ordeal, but now reality sets in again.The Road Back may be a brief moment or an elaborate sequence of events. Almost every story needs a moment to acknowledge the Hero’s resolve to finish, and provide her with necessary motivation to return home with the elixir despite the temptations of the Special World and the trails that remain ahead.Heroes gather up what they have learned, gained, stolen, or been granted in the Special World. They set themselves a new goal, to escape, find further adventure, or return home.
Questioning the Journey

  1. What is The Road Back in a League of Their Own? Awakening? Unforgiven? Terminator 2? From the writer’s point of view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of heroes being rejected or chased from the Special World? Of leaving voluntarily?
  2. What have you learned or gained from confronting death, defeat, or danger? Did you feel heroic? How can you apply your feelings to you writing, to the reactions of you characters?
  3. How do your heroes rededicate themselves to the quest?
  4. What is The Road Back in your story? Is it returning to your starting place? Setting a new destination? Adjusting to a new life in the Special World?
  5.  Find the Act Two/Act Three turning points in three current feature films. Are these single moments or extended sequences?
  6.  Is there an element of pursuit or acceleration in these sections? In The Road Back section of your own story?

Stage 11: Resurrection (Pg. 197 – 212)

C. Vogler, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writer’s,

What can I do, old man? I’m dead, aren’t I? -from The Third Man by Graham Greene

Now comes one of the trickiest and most challenging passages for the hero and the writer, a story to feel complete, the audience needs to experience an additional moment of death and rebirth, similar to the Supreme Ordeal but subtly different. This is the climax (not the crisis), the last and most dangerous meeting with death. Heroes have to undergo a find purging and purification before reentering the Ordinary World. Once more they must changed. the trick for writer’s is to show the change in their characters, by behaviour or appearance rather than by just talking about it. writers must find ways to demonstrate that their heroes have been through a Resurrection.

We wary Seekers shuffle back towards the village. Look! The smoke of the Home Tribe fires! Pick up the place! but wait – the shaman appears to stop us from charging back in. you have been to the land of death, he says, and you look like death itself, covered in blood, carrying the torn flesh and hide of your game. If you march back into the village without purifying and cleansing yourself, you may bring death back with you. You must undergo one final sacrifice before rejoining the tribe. Your warrior self must die so that you can be reborn as an innocent into the group. The trick  is to keep the wisdom of the Ordeal, while getting rid of its bad effects. after all we’ve been through, fellow Seekers, we must face one more trial, maybe the hardest one yet.

A New Personality

A new self must be created for a new world. just as heroes had to shed their old selves to enter the Special World, they must shed the personality of the journey and build a new one that is suitable for return to Ordinary World. It should reflect the best of the old selves and the lessons learned along the way.


One function of Resurrection is to cleanse Heroes of the smell of death, yet help them retain the lessons of the Ordeal. The lack of public ceremonies and counselling for returning Vietnam War veterans may have had in reintegrating with society. So-called primitive societies seem better prepared to handle the return of Heroes.

Sacred architecture aims to create this feeling of Resurrection, by confining worshippers in a narrow dark hall or tunnel, like a birth canal, before bringing them out into an open well-lit area, with a corresponding lift of relief.

Two great Ordeals

Why so many stories have two climaxes or death-and-rebirth Ordeals, one near the middle and another just before the end of the story?

The Central Crisis or Supreme Ordeal is like a midterm exam; the Resurrection is the final exam. Heroes must be tested one last time to see if they retained the learning from the Supreme Ordeal Act Two.

Physical OrdealAt the simplest level, the Resurrection may just be a Hero facing death on last time in an ordeal, battle, or showdown. It’s often the final, decisive confrontation with the villain or Shadow. But the difference between this and previous meetings with death is that the danger is usually on the broadest scale of the entire story.The James Bond movies often climax with 007 battling the villains and then racing against time and impossible odds to disarm some Doomsday device, such as the atomic bomb at the climax of Goldfinger. Millions of lives are at stake. Hero, audience, and world are taken to the brink of death one more time before Band manages to yank the right wire and save us all from destruction.
The Active HeroHeroes can get surprise assistance, but it’s best the Hero to be the one to perform the decisive action; to deliver blow to fear or the Shadow; to be active rather than passive, at this of all times.
ShowdownsThe Showdown is a distinct dramatic form with its own rules and conversations. Theoperatic climax of the Sergio Leone “spaghetti westerns” exaggerate the elements of conventional Showdowns: the dramatic music; the opposing forces marching towards each other in some kind of arena (the town street, a corral, a cemetery, the villain’s hideout); the closeups of guns, hands and eyes poised for the decisive moment; the sense that time stands still.Duels to the death form the climaxes of swashbucklers such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the Seahawk, Scaramouche and the Flame and the Arrow; knights battle to the death in Ivanhoe, Excalibur, and Knights of the Round Table. Duels or shootouts are not fully satisfying unless the Hero is taken right to the edge of death.
ChoiceA difficult choice tests the Hero’s value: will he choose in accordance with his old, flawed ways or will the choice reflect the new person he’s become?
Climax is a Greek word meaning “a ladder”. For us storytellers it has come to mean an explosive moment, the highest peak in energy, or the last big event in a work.Quiet ClimaxThere is such a thing as a quiet climax; a gentle cresting of a wave of emotion. A quiet climax can give a sense that the conflicts have been harmoniously resolved, and all the tensions converted into feelings of pleasure and peace.CatharsisThis Greek word actually means “vomiting up” or “purging”, but in English has come to mean a purifying emotional release, or an emotional break through. Greek drama was constructed with the intent of relieving anxiety or depression by bringing unconscious materials to the surface. The climax you are trying to trigger in your Hero and audience is the moment when they are most conscious, when they have reached the highest point of a ladder of awareness. You are trying to raise  the consciousness of both the Hero and the participating audience. Catharsis works best through physical expression of emotions such as laughter and crying.Laughter is one of the strongest channels of Catharsis. A comedy should crest with a gag or a series of gags that create a virtual explosion of laughter, Jokes that relieve tension, purge sour emotions, and allow us a shared experience. The classic Warner Bros. and Disney short cartoons are constructed to reach a climax of laughter, crescendo of absurdity, in six minutes.
Character ArcA catharsis is the logical climax of a Hero’s Character Arc. This is a term used to describe the gradual stages of change in a character: the phases and turning point of growth. A common flaw in stories is that writers make Heroes grow or change, but do so abruptly, in a single leap because of a single incident.  Someone criticizes them or they realize a flaw, and they immediately correct it; or they have an overnight conversation because of some shock and are totally changed one stroke.Here is a typical character arc compared with the Hero’s Journey model.Character Arc                                                                              Hero’s Journey

  1. limited awareness of a problem                               Ordinary World
  2. increased awareness                                                     Call of Adventure
  3. reluctance to change                                                                Refusal
  4. overcoming reluctance                                                Meeting with Mentor
  5. committing to change                                               Crossing the Threshold
  6. experimenting with first change                           Tests, Allies, Enemies
  7. preparing for big chance                                     Approach to Inmost Cave
  8. attempting big chance                                                             Ordeal
  9. consequences of the attempt                                             Reward (improvements and setbacks)
  10. rededication to change                                                         Road Back
  11. final attempt at big chance                                               Resurrection
  12. final mastery of the problem                                   Returning with Elixir

The Stages of the Hero’s Journey are a good guide to the steps needed to create a realistic character arc.

Last Chance

The Resurrection is the Hero’s final attempt to make major change in attitude or behaviour.

Watch Your Step

Sometimes great drama comes from Heroes dropping the ball at the last moment, just before reaching their goal. The Heroes of Quest of Fire came back to their people with elixir flame, but at the threshold of their world, the fire goes out, dropped into the water by accident. This apparent death of all hope is the final test for the Hero, the leader of the quest. He reassures the people, for he knows the secret of fire; he has seen the more advanced tribe using it a special stick to make fire at his Ordeal. However, when he tries to copy their techniques he finds he has forgotten the trick. Again hope seems dead. But just then his “wife”, a woman he met on the adventure and a member of the more advanced tribe, steps in and gives it a try. She succeeds, fire blossoms, and the possibility of life returns to the tribe.

ProofA common fairy tale motif is that proof brought back from Magic World tends to evaporate.Kids like to bring back souvenirs from summer vacations, partly to remind them of the trips, visited these exotic locales. Not being believed is a perennial problem of travellers to other worlds.Sacrifice comes from the Latin word meaning “making holy”. Heroes are often required to sanctify a story by making a sacrifice, perhaps by giving up or giving back to something of themselves.The classic sacrifice in literature is found in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, where a man gives his life on the guillotine to save another man’s life.ChangeThe Trick for the writer is to make change visible in appearance or action. It’s not enough to have people around a Hero notice that she’s changed; it’s not enough to have her talk about change.The audience must be able to see it in her dress, behaviour, attitude and actions.
Resurrection is the Hero’s final exam, her change to show what she has learned. Heroes are totally purged by final sacrifice or deeper experience of the mysteries of life and death.QUESTIONING THE JOURNEY
1. What is the Resurrection in King Kong) Gone with the Wind) The Silence of the Lambs) Death Becomes Her)
2. What negative characteristics has your hero picked up along the way? What flaws were there from the beginning that still need to be corrected? What flaws do you want to preserve, uncorrected? Which are necessary parts of your hero’s nature?
3. What final ordeal of death and rebirth does your hero go through? What aspect of your hero is Resurrected?
4. Is there a need for a physical showdown in your story? Is your hero active at the critical moment?
5. Examine the character arc of your hero. Is it a realistic growth of gradual changes? Is the final change in your character visible in her actions or appearance?
6. Who learns anything in a tragedy where the hero dies, where the hero didn’t learn his lessons?

Clash of Gods: The Lord of the Rings Real Story – History Channel


Stage Twelve: Return with the Elixir (Pg. 215 – 228)

C. Vogler, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers,

No, Aunt Em, this was a real truly live place. And I remember some of it wasn’t very nice. But most of it was beautiful. But just the same all i kept saying to everybody was ‘I want to got home.’ – from Wizard of Oz

Having Survived all the ordeals, having lived through death, heroes return to their starting place, and go home, or continue the journey. But they always proceed with a sense that they are commencing a new life, one that will be forever different because of the road just travelled. If they are true heroes, they Return with the Elixir from the Special World; bringing something to share with others, or something with the power to heal a wounded land.

We Seekers came home last, prayed, purified, and bearing the fruits of our journey. We share out the nourishment and treasure among the Home Tribe, with many a good story about how they were won. a circle has been closed, you can feel it. you can see that our struggles on the Road of Heroes have brought new life to our land. There will be other adventure, but this one is complete, and as it ends it brings deep healing, wellness, and wholeness to our world. The seekers have come Home.


Quest for fire has a wonderful Return sequence that shows how storytelling probably began, with hunter/gatherer struggling to relate their adventure in the Outer World.

Returning with the Elixir means implementing change  in your daily life and using the lessons of adventure to heal your wounds.

A declaration of healing powers of stories.


Another name for the Return is denouement, a french word meaning “untying” or “unknowing”, (noue means knot). A story is like a weaving in which lives of the characters are interwoven into a incoherent design. We also talk about “tying up the loose ends”, of a story in a denouement. These phrases point to the idea that a story is a weaving and that it must be finished properly or it will seem tangled or ragged.

Two Story Forms

The more conventional way of ending a story, greatly preferred in Western Culture and American movies in particular, is the circular from in which there is a sense of closure and completion.

The other way, more popular in Asia and in Australian and European movies, is the open-ended approach in which there is a sense of unanswered questions, ambiguities, and unresolved conflicts.

Heroes may have grown in awareness in both forms, but in the open-ended form their problems may not be tied up so neatly.

The Circular Story FormThe most popular story design seems to be the circular or closed form, in which the narrative returns to its starting point. Having your Hero Return to her starting point or remember how she started allows you to draw a comparison for the audience.

  • How far your Heroes has come
  • How she’s changed
  • how her old world looks different now

Achievement of Perfection

The “Happy Ending” of Hollywood films link them with the world of fairy tales, which are often about the achievement of perfection.

  • “And they lived happily ever after”
  • “louie, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship
The Open-Ended Story Formstorytellers have thought of many was to create a circular feeling of completion or closure, basically by addressing the dramatic question raised in Act One. Some storytellers prefer and open-ended Return. In the open-ended point of view, the storytelling goes on after the story is over; it continues in the mind and hear of the audience, in the conversations and even arguments people have in coffee shops after seeing a movie or reading a book.Functioning of the ReturnReturn with the Elixir can perform many functions, but there is something Special about being the last element of the journey. It must finish your story so that it satisfies or provokes your audience as you intended. It must bear a special weight because of its unique position at the end of the work, and it’s also a place of pitfalls for writers and their heroes.SurpriseA Return can fall flat if everything is resolved too nearly or just as expected. Return should untie the plots thread but with a certain amount of surprise. The Greeks often built a “recognition” scene into the ending of their plays and novels.The Return may have a twist to it. This another case of misdirection: you lead the audience to believe one thing, and then reveal at the last moment a quite different reality.There is usually an ironic or cynical tone to such Returns, as if they mean to say ” Ha, fooled ya!”Reward and PunishmentA specialized job of Return is to hand out final rewards and punishments. It’s part of restoring balance to the world of the story, giving sense of completion.

  • The villain dies or gets his just comeuppence should directly relate to his sins.
  • Heroes should get what coming to them as well, ( too many movie heroes get rewards they haven’t really earned).
The ElixirWhat does the hero bring with her from the Special World to share upon her Return? Whatever it’s shared within the community or with the audience, bringing back the Elixir is the hero’s final test.

  • It serves as an example for the others
  • shows above all that death can be overcome.
  • the Elixir may even have the power to restore life in the ordinary world.

Returning with the Elixir can be literal or metaphoric. More figuratively, it may be any of the things that drive people to undertake adventure: money, fame, power, love, peace, happiness, success,  or having a good story to tell.

The Elixir of Love

Love is, of course, one of the most  powerful and popular Elixirs. It can be a reward the hero does not win until the final sacrifice.

The World is Changed.

Another aspect of the Elixir is that wisdom which heroes bring with them may be so powerful that it forces change not only in them, but also those around them.

The Elixir of Responsibility

A common and powerful Elixir is for heroes to take wider responsibilities at the Return, giving up their Loner  status for place of leadership or service within a group.

The Elixir of Tragedy

In tragedy mode heroes die or are defeated, brought by their own flaws.

Sadder But Wiser

A feeling of closure by a hero acknowledges that he is Sadder But Wiser for having gone through the experience.

Sadder But No Wiser

A “Sadder But Wiser” hero is acknowledging that  he’s been a fool, in which is the  first step to recovery. The worse kind of fool is the one who deoesn’t get it. Either he never sees the error or he goes through the motions but has not really learned his lesson. He is Sadder But No Wiser. This is another kind of Circular Closure.

For this penalty of failing to return with the Elixir: The Hero, or someone else, is doomed to repeat the Ordeals until the lesson is learned or the Elixir is brought home to share.


An Epilogue or postscript on a rare occasion can serve to complete the story, by protecting a head to some future time to show how the character turned out.

Pitfalls of the ReturnMany stories fall apart in the final moments. The Return is too abrupt, prolonged, unfocused, unsurprising, or unsatisfying. The Return may also be to ambiguous.Subplots should have at least three “beats” or scenes distributed throughout the story, one in each act.Too Many EndingsThe Return should not seem laboured or repetitive.  Another good rule of thumb for the Return phase is to operate on the KISS system, that is: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Many stories fail because they have too many endings. People want to know the story’s definitively over so they can quickly get up and leave the theatre or finish the book with a powerful change of emotions. An overly ambitious film like Lord Jim, trying to take on a dense novel, can exhaust an audience with climaxes and endings that seem to go on forever.Abrupt EndingA Return can seem too abrupt, giving the sense the writer has quit it too soon after the climax. A story tends to feel in complete unless a certain emotional space tends is devoted to bidding farewell to the characters and drawing some conclusions. an abrupt Return is like hanging up the phone without saying goodbye.FocusWriters may have failed to pose the right questions in the first place. Without realizing it, a writer might shift the theme. The writer has lost the thread.PunctuationThe story should end with the emotional equivalent of a punctuation mark. A story, like a sentence, can end in four ways: with a period, and exclamation point, a question mark, or an ellipsis, (example: Do you want to go now, or)Dialogue flatly makes a declarative statement: “Life goes on.” “Good triumphs over evil.” “That’s the way life is.” “There’s no place like home.”Science fiction and horror films may end on a note of “We are not alone!” or “Repent or perish!”Stories of social awareness may end with a passionate tone of ” Never again!” or “Rise up and throw off the chains of oppression!” or “Something must be done!”In more open-ended approaches structures, you may want to end with the effect of and ellipsis.One way or another, the very end of the story should announce that it’s all over – like Warner Bros.’ cartoon signature “That’s all folks!”
And so the Hero’s Journey ends, or at least for a while, for the journey of life and the adventure of story never really end. The Hero and the audience bring back the Elixir from the current adventure, but the quest to integrate the lessons goes on. It is for each of us to say what the Elixir is – wisdom, experience, money, love, fame or the thrill of a lifetime. But good story, like a good journey, leaves us with an Elixir that changes more a part of everything that is : The Circle of the Hero’s Journey.
1. What is the Elixir of Basic Instinct) Big) City Slickers) Fatal Attraction) Dances with Wolves)
2. What is the Elixir your hero brings back from the experience? Is it kept to herself or is it shared?
3. Does your story go on too long after the main event or climax is over? What would be the effect of simply cutting it off after the climax? How much denouement do you need to satisfy the audience?
4. In what ways has the hero gradually taken more responsibility in the course of the story? Is the Return a point of taking greatest responsibility?
5. Who is the hero of the story now? Has your story changed heroes,or have char­acters risen to be heroes? Who turned out to be a disappointment? Are there any surprises in the final outcome?
6. Is your story worth telling? Has enough been learned to make the effort worth­ while?
7. Where are you in your own Hero’s Journey? What is the Elixir you hope to bring back?

Lawrence of Arabia, (1962), Sony Pictures Entertainment, PG Cert, 3 hrs 46 mins, [Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics]


This Oscar-Winning epic tells the story of T.E. Lawrence, who helped unite warring Arab tribes to strike back against the Turks in World War 1. This lush, timeless classic under scores the clash between cultures that changed of the tide of war.

Lawrence of Arabia: Cast (Character Arc)


1. Peter O’Toole…… T.E.Lawrence (hero, anti-hero, shadow)

2. Alec Guinness…… Prince Feisal (?)

3. Anthony Quinn……Auda Abu Tayi (?)

4. Jack Hawkins……General Allenby (Herald, Mentor [?])

5. Omar Sharif……Sherif Ali (Threshold Guardian, Shape-shifter)

6. Jose Ferrer…..Turkish Bey (Threshold Guaridan, Villain)

7.Anthony Quayle…….Colonel Brighton (?)

8. Claud Rains……..Mr. Dryden (Mentor)

9. Arthur Kennedy……..Jackson Bentley (?)

10. Donald Wolfit……….General Murray (?)

11. I.S. Johar……….Gasim (Herald)

12. Gramil Ratib……… Majd (?)

13. Michel Rey……… Farraj (Trickster)

14. John Dimech………..Daud (Trickster, Herald[?])

15. Zia Mohyeddin………….Tafas (Mentor)

16. Howard Marion-Crawford……… Medical Officer (?)

17. Jack Gwillim…………..Club Secretary (?)

18. Hugh Miller…………..R.A.M.C. Colonel (?)

The Importance of Visual Literacy

Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia – Conversation with Stephen Spielberg


The Cycle of the Hero’s Journey: Part 1

In an interview I watched from my  Blu-ray copy of the 50th Anniversary Edition ofLawrence of Arabia; entitled: Peter O’Toole Revisits Lawrence of Arabia. Director David Lean had a major (epiphany) discussion on the scene of the “White Robes” with Peter O’Toole. He says “Pete! There’s a whole.” To this remark, Peter O’Toole responds ” A whole? Where?”David explains ” There’s a whole in the script. Between putting the robes on, and meeting Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn).” David Lean then asks Peter O’Toole “What do you think a young man, who received these marvelous robes; would do if he were alone in the desert?”

David Lean entrusts Peter O’Toole to figure that scene. Peter O’Toole considers the scene. They take the shot unrehearsed/unscripted, and go for Peter O’Toole’s  improvisation. The result of this sequence soon becomes one pivotal metaphor to the movie.

Peter O’Toole enters the scene of the sand pit; he does what he believes any man alone in the desert would do? In his interview, Peter O’Toole explains that his idea for the scene/ his answer to David Lean’s question is…. “The Knife”. In the scene Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) picks up his knife, releasing the blade from it scabbard; he lifts the blade, looks into it and sees his reflection. Off set he says he could hear Lean’s admiration “Clever Boy”. Lean soon asks O’Toole to repeat this same act once again, in the battle sequence of the Turks; (Lawrence’s revenge after his Ordeal with the Inmost Cave at Damascus): in this scene we begin to see the change in his character; depicted by his famous battle cry “No Prisoners! No Prisoners!”

Lawrence marches to the battlefield relishing the deed of murder and revenge; for his ill-treatment in Damascus. After the carnage of warfare is over; we see Lawrence (close-up shot); he is traumatically exhausted; it is this scene in which the metaphor of the knife; interplay.  Lawrence lifts the knife and again looks into it and sees his own reflection. From the scene with the White Robes, to his revenge of Damascus. We begin to see a change in our hero’s character arc; a twist to his ego, claims him as our anti-hero.

O’Toole explains his conception between these two analogues: The scene of the White Robes – “Had come from this touch of wedding, touch of first communication and touch of frisky boy; a touch of all these things.” Battle/ revenge scene“Innocence is wronged in killing. His innocence is gone!”

O’Toole’s overview of Lawrence’s character:

  • He never fitted into the Oxford Academic
  • He never fitted military world
  • He use to forget he had his uniform on
  • He was hopelessly uncomfortable in an army uniform.

Here we can examine Lawrence’s character as a ever challenging concept.

A pinnacle challenge dawning the moral status of the character is his ever increasing Ordeal (or rather dream) to unite; so he pushes to extremes.

Originally the ending was to be the motorbike scene, but, director David Lean cut the scene, rearranging it to the beginning of the picture. This was a very interesting direction; as it now creates another metaphor (a team member brought up) which was depicted in the warning sign: “Warning Danger Ahead!” This could be debated as a pinnacle metaphor that I believe, breaks down the entire Hero’s Journey of Lawrence. As he races through the quaint British county lane; he undertakes many bends; in mid swing he gets over his head and begins to rev-up the juice of his motorcycle; finally he faces a collision ahead; wheeled out of control, and falls into a ditch.

The metaphor is that,  Lawrence’s journey will involve many “bends” (relating to his challenging character), “gets over his head” (at some point in the “Special World” fame overcomes his persona, and Lawrence believes himself a “crusader” (for the Turks) this can be clearly seen in the scene of entering Damascus: Lawrence and Ali enter Damascus, Lawrence prances around believing he can pass for an Arab, the plan is so he can find a way to formal introduce himself to the Turkish Bey (Jose Ferrer).

There was one final scene (of O’Toole’s);  David Lean was troubled with: this was on the stages of the editing process – Lawrence steps off the armoured car. David discusses this with Peter and says: “You stepped off the car too clumsy… I want it to be graceful.”

To solve the problem, Love Cutting was used…. the scene as we (the audience) know is: Lawrence steps off the armoured car….. there’s a cut to Anthony Quayle’s face…. then by the time the camera comes back clumsiness has gone. And it is just a graceful decent.

Animatoria: A History of Lawrence of Arabia.



The Cycle of the Hero’s Journey: Part 2 The Making of Lawrence Of Arabia

“You think I’m just an ordinary man do you?” – Lawrence of Arabia

In a 1989 interview with David Lean director of Lawrence of Arabia; he tells why he wanted to create the film: “It’s a really good story and I like good stories. I like good characters”, “It’s not far off a movie opera.”

The real-life Lawrence of Arabia was a man enshrined in myth and conspiracy theory. One example is his death by motorbike, which many people claimed to be a government operation.  Adrian Turner Film Historian said in the documentary – “He couldn’t die in a motorcycling accident. There had to be conspiracy theories. When your that sort of celebrity by dying young you create a huge myth around yourself.” 

Adrian Turner, points out a great phrase in T.E. Lawrence’s biography: “Backing into the Limelight”. Lawrence was a man who grave privacy, anonymity and yet, he loved to be famous. The reason why Lawrence of Arabia was made was because of the success of The Bridge of the River Kwai; also directed by David Lean.

Lean was soon asked by a producer Sam Spiegle, ” What other pictures have you got in mind?”

Costume Designer Phyllis Dalton explained that Peter O’Toole’s uniform was very deliberately contrived to look ill-fitted; she put it through the washing machine and shrank it, a bit more and battered it a bit more. This was very important for the character as it told the audience immediately that he was a…. “misfit”. She says what was amazing about it, when he got to wear the white robes was that he “fitted it” – he learned not to stand out like a sore thumb among the Arabs, and he looked as though he belonged.

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RED: The Caffeinated Colour

Notes taken from: Patti Bellantoni, If It’s Purple, Someone is Gonna Die, Elsevier, Oxford

Bright red is like caffeine. It can activate your libido, or make you aggressive, anxious or compulsive. In fact, red can activate power.

In Lawrence of Arabia, there were a lot of colours that expressed the mood of the scene, this aided the events of the characters in conflict and in other circumstances.

Red was one colour that could be found throughout the story of Lawrence of Arabia, with either blood or the clothes of the Arabs and British officer’s uniforms. This is understandable, as the course of the movie sees Lawrence take power and face death. Red is a colour that symbolizes, aggression, alert, and (also) warning.

Act Pyramid

Lawrence of Arabia Hero's Journey Pyramid


A History of Lawrence of Arabia

Thomas Edward Lawrence born 16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935, known professionally as T.E.Lawrence, was a British Army Officer who’s  renowned for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in his biography  –  “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; earned him international fame as “Lawrence of Arabia”, which also, was used for the 1962 film based on his World War 1 activities.

Arab Revolt

At the outbreak of the First World War was a university post-graduate researcher who had for years travelled extensively within the Ottoman Empire european provinces.The Arab Bureau of Britain’s Foreign Office concieved a campaign of international insurgency against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.

With his first-hand knowledge of Syria, the Levant, and Mesopotamia (not to mention having already worked as a part-time civilian army intelligence officer), on his formal enlistment in 1914 Lawrence was posted to Cairo on the Intelligence Staff of the GOC (General Officer Commanding) Middle East. The British government in Egypt sent Lawrence to work with the Hashemite forces in the Arabian Hejaz in October 1916.

During World War 1, Lawrence fought alongside the Arab irregular troops (non-standard military), by the command of Emir Faisal; an extended guerrilla operation against the Ottoman Empire.

He persuaded the Arabs not to make assault the Ottoman stronghold in Medina, but, allow the Turkish army to tie up troops in garrison. The Arabs were then free to direct their attention to the Turks at their weakest point. The Hejaz railway that supplied the garrison. This vastly expanded the battlefield and tied up even more Ottoman troops, who were then forced to protect the railway and repair the constant damage. Lawrence developed a close relationship with Faisal, whose Arab Northern Army was to become the main beneficiary of British aid.

In 1917, Lawrence arranged a joint action with the Arab irregulars and forces including Auda Abu Tayi. On 6 July, after a surprise overland attack; Aqaba fell to Lawrence and the Arab forces.

Lawrence now held a powerful position, as an adviser to Faisal and a person who had Allenby’s confidence.

Battle of Tafileh

The battle of Tafileh was an important  region southeast of the Dead Sea; Arab forces fought under the command of Jafar Pasha al-Askian, this was a defensive engagement, that turned into an offensive route; in the offical history of the war it was descirbed as being “brilliant feat of arms”.   Lawrence was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership at Tafileh, and was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

In the summer of 1918, the Turks were offering a substantial amount for the capture of Lawrence: £15,000. No Arab had attempted to betrayed Lawrence to the Turks.

The Fall of Damascus

Lawrence was involved in the build-up to capture of Damascus in the final week of the war. Much to Lawrence’s disappointment, and contrary to instructions he had issued, he was not present at the city’s formal surrender, arriving several hours after the city had fallen. In the newly liberated Damascus – which he had envisaged as the capital of an Arab state – Lawrence was instumental in establishing a provisional Arab government under Fasial.

King Faisal’s rule ended abruptly after the battle of Maysaaloun, in 1920.

During the closing years of the war, Lawrence sought, with mixed success, to convince his superiors in the British government that Arab independence was in their interests.

In 1918 he co-operated with war correspondent Lowell Thomas, who went to Jerusalem where he met Lawrence, whose enigmatic figure in Arab uniform fired his imagination.


At the age of 46, only two weeks after leaving military service, Lawrence was fatally injured on a motorbike, in Dorset; close to his cottage in Clouds Hill, near Wareham. A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles, he swerved to avoid them and lost control; thrown over the handlebars.

The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road. A bust of Lawrence can be found in the crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral.

One of the doctors attending to Lawrence was the neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns, his research led to the use of crash helmets by both military and civilian motorcyclists.

Act 1

Scene 1:

  • Film fades into focus: (Above shot) Lawrence polishes his motorcycle. Lawrence is soon driving off into the countryside, as he races though the country lane, a sign up ahead reads “Warning Danger”; this may reflect Lawrence journey throughout the film. In the scene Lawrence revs up the motorcycle at mid point; to me I feel this point represents the point in his journey that will be the most intense.
  • A team member also hinted at the idea; that the jittering/unfocused view of the camera, suggests the heightening  for intensiveness.
  • The narrow country lane – I think is also a descent for the audience point of view from the calm and homely, Ordinary World and brings them into the Special World, which to an audience is the starting point of a film. So in all, the country road scene acts like a passage for the audience; a kind of womb/ tunnel that will question and challenge their own view about Lawrence.
  • Another thing one team member pointed out was the goggles Lawrence is wearing, represent/metaphor of  him not being able to see from his flaws.
  • The heightened point of this scene is when, Lawrence loses control of his motorcycle; this is also a type of metaphor linking to his journey; at some point in the journey Lawrence loses his innocence, he can’t control his emotions, he does not see from his flaws that his acts are not the right solution to the problem. Hence the motorcycle journey ending with him spinning into a ditch.

Scene 2:

Lawrence’s Funeral – (Scene Opens outside St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bird’s Eye view shot; scene cuts to bust of Lawrence) Colonel Brighton stands in front of the bust, with a man; they are chatting about Lawrence.

  • Lawrence’s Funeral – A crowd ascends from a church; Colonel Brighton, is talking about Lawrence; he is praising him, a man asks the question “Yes, but, did he really deserve a place, in here?”, this asks the question everyone in the audience is thinking; who was Lawrence, it is a repeatedly asked question throughout the film. One that is never answered.
  • (Cut to) General Allenby, he is stopped by a reporter, trying to find out who Lawrence was? Allenby answer is not what the reporter or the audience is after; the reporter asks “Did you know him?” – Allenby replies “No, I did not know him?”
  • (Cut to) General Murray – Lean has the actors walking toward the screen, I feel like this centres the viewers/audiences attention to what is being said; Murray’s line are spoken like a introduction/ the starting point of the story. They pin the point which the film what’s the audience to think. “
  • With each conversation of this scene, Lean places the characters on the centre of the screen. This is so the the central aim of focus is to what the characters are saying.
  • I think really what this scene is trying to pin-down is the question that will be asked throughout the film. “Who are you?”
  • In the making of the film, the crew says that this question will never be answered: reason being Lawrence does not know the answer himself.

Scene 3:

Characters: (in order of Appearance)

  1. T.E. Lawrence
  2. Michael George Harvey
  3. William Potter
  4. Army Officer

Scene Description: Close up of Lawrence’s arm painting a map. Cut to Medium Shot of Lawrence. He looks towards the barred window; there is a group of camels walking across the barred window.

  • (Cut back to a long shot of Lawrence and his peer, Michael George Harvey) Lawrence: “Michael George Harvey. This is a nasty dark little room. We are not happy in it.” Michael Harvey replies: “I am.” This scene could suggest the desire of Lawrence; he is not happy sitting in a dark room painting a map; which in someway, (even if it might be reading too much into) also suggests he wants to venture out of the room.
  • “It’s better than a nasty dark little trench.” say Michael George Harvey. Lawrence’s face jumps up, and glares at him. Seems to me like he doesn’t agree and is offended by the very mention of it.
  • William Potter enters the scene far off behind characters in the the scene (whistling); Lawrence hears him before we see him, “Ah, here comes William Potter this mornings news paper.” The headline was not in the Times as hinted by Lawrence, so he reads it from an Arabic newspaper: Headline reads – “Bedouin Tribes Attack Turkish Stronghold.” 
  •  Army Officer (Messenger) brings Lawrence a letter.
  • At this point Lawrence is lighting Potter’s cigarette; he takes the match and snuffs it out with his fingers. At this stage we see Lawrence showing off to the officer’s in the room, of his unique talent (or rather his brilliance that he thinks of himself).
  • William Potter asks Lawrence “what is the trick?”, Lawrence replies “The trick William Potter is…. not minding that it hurts.” This act explains that Lawrence can withstand the heat, that he endeavors in the desert.

Scene 3:

Characters (in order of Appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Freddie
  3. Army Officer 1
  4. Army Officer 2

Scene Description –  Lawrence enters the bar of the Army Officers; he is called by Freddie. Lawrences folds his arms behind his back with a smirk on his face.

  • Freddie asks: “Your supposed to be on duty? Where are you going?.” Lawrence replies: “Mustn’t look so shocked Freddie, as a matter of fact I am going to the “pow wow” with the General. In this scene we see that Lawrence is a well-known misfit.
  • Freddie asks Lawrence again: Where he is going. Lawrence reacts by throwing a snooker ball toward a nicely pile being sorted by Army Officer 1. Army Officer 1 shouts back in anger. Freddie says of Lawrence: “Your a clown, Lawrence!” Lawrence replies: Ah well, we can’t all be lion tamers.” This is hinting to Lawrence’s nature again, suggesting himself as a lion and Freddie his Lion tamer. Showing the superiority of Freddie to Lawrence.
  • At the end of this scene Lawrence knocks over a table; he spills tea/water over Army Officer 2, who was seated at the table. This I think is director’s David Lean’s idea to show the clumsiness of Lawrence; Peter O’Toole talked about how Director David Lean, wanted to have a graceful descent for Lawrence in much later scene. This early scene mirror’s that same act as a metaphor.

Scene 4:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. General Allenby
  2. Mr Dryden
  3. Lawrence

Scene Description:

General Allenby’s office: General Allenby is seated at his desk discussing Lawrence to Mr Dryden.


Film Scenes: Lawrence of Arabia – Act 2 (A)

Watch: (1 hr 57 mins – 1:57:00)

Scene 1:

Characters (in order of Appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. General Ali

Scene Description: (fade-in) The Arab troops are surrounding a lake, filling their water bottles; camera gradually pans down, settling on a long shot of Lawrence reading a book with his feet in the water.

  • Lawrence says nothing in this scene.
  • (Cut) to Sheriff Ali. close-up shot; he is looking sternly at Lawrence; while drinking from his cup.

Scene 2:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Farraj
  2. Daud

Scene Description: Farraj and Daud enter new scene; they are crouching low so as not to be seen. Their focus is drawn to the bottom right of the screen.

  • (Cut to) Farraj and Daud; (medium shot) they are crouching half hidden on the ground. They are looking out beyond the camera at the camp. Daud taps Farraj on the shoulder; he makes a gesture signalling “drink”, then slowly creeps off frame.

Scene 3:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Gasim
  2. Farraj
  3. Daud

Scene Description:

  • (cut) Gasim is lying under the shade of the sun. He looks up. He notices something odd.
  • (Cut to) Farraj and Daud’s feet; entering from off camera from the left and walking along to the right. They are behind a camel.
  • cut back to Gasim, medium closeup shot of his face. He has a strange complex expression on his face.
  • Cut back to Farraj and Daud’s feet behind the camel and they are walking, behind a bush. The camel re-enters the scene and Farraj and Daud’s feet have gone.
  • Cut back to Gasim who reacts to this new event. He lifts himself up.

Scene 4:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Farraj
  2. Daud
  3. Gasim

Scene Description: Farraj and Daud crawl toward the lake for a drink; their hands barely touch the water before Gasim enters (half, waist down). Long Shot, Low angle.

  • Gasim grabs Farraj and Daud by the feet.
  • Farraj and Daud turn and cry out/whimper.

Scene 5:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Gasim
  3. Daud
  4. Farraj
  5. Lawrence

Scene description: Begin with Non-Diegetic sound of men laughing, shot fades into focus. There are men by a lake laughing at something in front of them off screen.

  • Cut to close-up shot of Ali; he looks around at the men to see what they are laughing at. Shot ends with him focusing on what the commotion is.
  • Gasim enters far-off from camera; dragging by the hair Farraj and Daud, who are struggling helplessly. “Sheriff I have caught them they have drank from the water.”
  • The camera follows Gasim and the boys. Shot ends with Gasim throwing the boys to Ali’s feet.
  • (Cut to) Long shot of Farraj and Daud, falling in front of Ali. Ali asks them why they are here. Farraj replies to serve Lord Lawrence. They were told to stay, they reply that they followed their camel to get to the camp, claiming she led them there to be Lord Lawrence’s servants; believing it is the will of Allah.
  • Ali beats them with his cane. Lawrence jumps to his feet and shouts at Ali, telling him not to do that.
  • Gasim tells Lawrence these are not servants, these boys are outcasts/parent less.
  • Ali warns Lawrence that Farraj and Daud are not suitable. Lawrence claims he thinks they are very suitable and takes them on as his servants. Farraj and Daud kiss Lawrence’s feet. Ali whips the boys again with his whip before exiting the scene.
  • Cut to low angle shot of  Daud and Farraj; Daud beckons Lawrence to lean closer to him. He asks him for “One shilling, every week…”
  • Gasim replies that, “That is fair.”
  • Daud – finishes – ” Each!” pointing to him and Farraj. Gasim refuses, saying that it is too much. Lawrence agrees. Snaps his fingers and points to his belongings; Farraj and Daud collect his things. Lawrence exits scene; Farraj and Daud follow after.
  • Scene ends with Lawrence and Farraj and Daud, walking to another part of the camp.
  • close-up of Gasim: “They will be lucky for you, Lawrence. Allah…. has smiled upon you(?)”

Scene 6:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence

Scene Description: High angle, medium shot; electric line, camera pans down to open the scene with two figures emerging in the distance, high up on a cliff/hill. Ali and Lawrence with their army behind them.

  • Ali points out into the desert; showing Lawrence their journey.
  • Cut to high angle shot of two figures riding on camels. Non-diegetic sound of Ali’s voice, warning Lawrence that there is no water until they reach their destination. “If the camels die we die.” This is telling the audience how dangerous a journey our heroes now face. This is the beginning/entering to the Inmost Cave.
  • Lawrence says there is no time to waste then, is there.
  • (Long Shot)
  • scene ends: Music starts the scene; the troops race over a track; low shot. Scene cuts to the troop riding off into the distance. (I think it is an) eye-level shot.

Scene 7:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence

Scene Description: Birds eye-view shot looking over the desert; we see the troops riding in the distance. Music is intense, heightening the mood. Lighting has faded slightly; colour looks less bright (than in the lake scene). Hint at change in mood and atmosphere; this shows something is about to happen.

  • Figures appear centre; at bottom of screen, as camera pans along. Extreme wide shot.
  •  (cut) Long Shot – Ali at the front of the herd/troop. Colour is getting slightly brighter now; music is fading; the tension is decreasing, the troops are now marching at a slow pace.
  • Everything seems dreary and slow; there are a series of cuts and panning, to show that everyone is feeling tired. Music has a slow motion of ups and down beats; vibrating that feeling of calm; the overall look of the scene colour sort of vague.
  • A sequence of ripped cuts to Lawrence and Ali are happening. Lawrence notices a sand storm off in the distance; he turns his head away, then looks back at the sandstorm. (I feel that these sandstorms may be hinting towards something Lawrence describes a later scene calling them “pillars of fire”, could be seven pillars of wisdom.)
  • Lawrence begins to drift off to sleep. Ali notices and races up to him, he looks at him for a moment, before beating him with a stick. Lawrence say “I was thinking.” Ali tells him he was drifting, Lawrence has no choice but to tell the truth. He says “it would happen again.” Ali looks as though he can not believe this, Lawrence tells him it won’t happen again.
  • Long shots of camels riding; there are hints of a mirage in the distance; cut to a lone figure on his camel, a mirage in the distance in front of him. Music becomes spindly, looping in to a spiral-down slope sound.

Scene 8:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Ali
  3.  Farraj

Scene Description: Camp site, Long Shot; Lawrence is shaving his face, the rest of the group watches him. In this scene, the light is beginning to fade, it is getting dark.

  • Ali complains that the water Lawrence has used to shave, is wasted; he tells them now they must travel by night and rest when it is too hot to travel.
  • Lawrence asks why don’t they start now. Ali refuses and tells him that they will rest now. We are getting a picture of who is in charge and who is not. Ali calls the shots.
  • Ali looks to the sky and says three hours. Lawrence is fine with this. “I’ll wake you up.” Lawrence is now getting back for what happened in the last scene; when he was about to fall asleep.

Scene 9:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Gasim
  3. Ali

Scene Description: Fades to scene (extreme long shot) of the troops marching on their camel across the dark desert. The troops are far off in the distance.  The camera slowly panning across the screen.

  • Scene fades again, this time it is lighter, and the troops are relaxing under a blistering hot sun. Trying to retain their strength.
  • Fade to the camel resting, the camera slowly zooms in.
  • Cut to long shot of Lawrence. Everything is quiet while this scene is happening; we can only hear the breeze.
  • Every one is asleep. Cut to Gasim, something is on his face so he smacks it.
  • Cut to Ali, he is hidden under his black robes. He looks out and gets up. He turns around and points his cane at one of his men, towards Lawrence who is just behind Ali’s camel. This shows how Ali and Lawrence have a conflicting relationship. Neither one of them can stand the other, at this point.
  • We cut to Lawrence, one of Ali’s men stands in front of him. Lawrence reacts to this and immediately wakes up. I feel like Lawrence is wanting to prove himself at this stage, he wants to show Ali that he can do this mission, and that he is the right man for the job.
  • Lawrence looks off camera, cut to Ali, he has a smirk on his face, Ali turns away; cut to Lawrence, the rage is building on his face. Lawrence gets up.

Scene 10:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence

Scene Description: Camera fades to another extreme shot; the troops are far off to the distance marching along the blazing desert. There is a funny sort of haze over the shot in this scene; I think it is to show the audience the effect of the heat, expressed. It creates that effect  well, I immediately feel like I understand what is going on in this shot. Also the music is slow pace, and has the bumping rhythm again; which I feel creates the mood as drowsy.

  • Cut to a low angle shot of  feet, one of the Arabs is walking over some boulders/rocks.
  • The camera is slowly zooming out, while panning upward.
  • We see a long shot of the troops moving away from the camera; backs facing the camera.
  • Cut to Ali; he is leading his camel among the rocks. He looks to the side of the camera, before looking down at his feet to watch his step.
  • Camera pans over to Lawrence who gradually appears in shot; the camera is still focused on Ali; but, slowly as he gets near to Lawrence begins to focus on him.
  • Lawrence is drinking from his cup; he turns to look at Ali. Ali’s face looks stern.
  • Ali looks off into the distance, off camera. Lawrence turns to look in the same direction.
  • Lawrence say “we rest here.” He sounds weak and tired. Ali refuses: “There is no rest, Lawrence… until we get to the other side of that.” He is speaking about the desert.
  • Cut to the Ordeal: Extreme Long shot of the desert; Lawrence says “And, how much of that, is there?”
  • Ali replies: that he is not sure.
  • I think I am starting to begin to see a softer side slowly beginning to emerge in Ali toward Lawrence. He must by this point be very surprised at how long Lawrence has managed to survive this journey.
  • Ali:” However,  it must be crossed before tomorrow’s sun gets up.” We now know how much of an Ordeal this part of Lawrence’s journey is.
  • The Stakes are high.
  • “This is the Sun’s Anvy”  Ali explains; and moves off, load music starts building the tension. Lawrence stands alone in the shot, his face not too happy about the challenge that lies before him.

Scene 11:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence
  3. Farraj

Scene Description: Extreme long shot of the troops moving in the distance along the desert. Music is still at that high shrieking pace; bobbing up and down. Finally it begins to dwindle and fade.

  • Fade to long shot; Ali, Lawrence and the rest of the troops in silhouette; marching along the night desert.
  • Farraj falls off his camel; cut to Daud turns. We cut back to Farraj, he scrambles to his feet.
  • Cut to a long shot, Lawrence in foreground, Farraj is visible racing along the camels to reach his camel.
  • The camera effect on this scene is blurred black around the edges, everything has a shade of nighttime blue; the blurred black is like a circle, centring on the troops. This I believe is an effect that is used to focus the viewers’ attention on the focal point of the scene.
  • Fade to an extreme long shot; still a blurred black frame around the screen. Silhouetted figures walking toward the bottom right hand side of the screen; camera is at a high angle.

Scene 12:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Ali

Scene Description: Camera fades into focus; the lighting is brighter than the last scene; the blurred black frame has vanished.

  • A haze is over the screen; it is a little hard to make out Lawrence’s face; but we can still see his expression; a light seems to be hitting him off screen left; Lawrence looks down to his watch.
  • There is moonlight in the scene.
  • Lawrence is tired.
  • We cut to Ali, who is watching behind him, at Lawrence. He turns away and continues what he is doing.
  • Cut back to Lawrence; he looks oddly off screen right; towards Ali.

Scene 13: 

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Ali
  3. Daud

Scene Description: Lawrence, Ali and the rest of the Arab troops have finally made it to the end of the desert. Lawrence is thrilled. Daud comes into shot. He points off screen towards left.

  • Cut to a camel wandering without a rider.
  • Gasim has fallen from his camel.
  • Lawrence asks Ali, why don’t you stop: Ali asks why, and says he will be dead by mid-day.
  • Lawrence says that they must go back. Ali refuses, saying that the sun will be up in one hour’s time.
  • Lawrence stops his camel.
  • Lawrence heads off to rescue Gasim.
  • Ali walks in his way, warning Lawrence that if he goes back he will kill himself.
  • Lawrence tells Ali to get out of his way.
  • One of Ali’s men says that Gasim’s time has come; and that it is written.
  • Lawrence barks back that nothing is written. He marches off.
  • Ali follows, shouting at him, go back then. He asks Lawrence what did he bring them here for, if he had blasphemy consent. He calls Lawrence an English Blasphemer. Ali is Lawrence’s Threshold Guardian the most at this point; he does not have faith in Lawrence, by telling him he can not complete his journey; giving negative thoughts.
  • He shout to Lawrence who has run off. He tells him he will not be at Aqaba. Lawrence replies; that he will be at Aqaba. he claims that is written in his head. This shows us, the audience, Lawrence’s determination to reach Aqaba. Lawrence heads off. Ali shouts after him calling him “English”, he throws his turbine down in  anger.

Scene 14:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Gasim
  2. Lawrence
  3. Daud

Scene Description: Low angle shot of Gasim’s feet emerge on screen; the sky off in the distance is a red orange colour; Gasim is in big trouble. The sky is like a ticking bomb about to go off.

  • Gasim walks off into the distance of the camera; (in the interview of the making of Lawrence of Arabia; the Director of Photography, Freddie Young, talked about how they had to dig a big pit to set the camera steady in a low shot, in this scene you can really see this working)
  • Cut to the sun, it slowly rises.
  • Cut to an extreme long shot, high angle of Gasim, his back to the camera; he is looking to the left, watching the sky.

Scene 15:

Characters (in order of Appearance)

  1. Daud
  2. Gasim

Scene Description:  Daud looking toward sky/up; he is waiting for Lawrence to return.

  • Cut back to the sun; David Lean really wants to get the urgency of this scene across to the audience. Gasim is in danger.
  • The camera becomes focused and unfocused at this shot of the sun high up in the sky; I think this was an effect that they wanted to make everything seem dreamy and dazed.
  • Cut to Daud, he is looking straight up to the sky. He looks down to he left. He has obviously stayed behind to wait for Lawrence to return.
  • Cut to sun, then immediately cut to Gasim; low angle shot; Gasim drops a belt into frame. the earth is cracked.
  • Cut to Gasim; he is walking toward camera; camera is backing off along with him. it is so the audience understands that Gasim is hot and he is stripping himself from his clothes to cool off. and carry less weight. it is a high angle shot.
  • soon the camera slows down, allowing Gasim time to catch up.
  • Scene ends with an extreme wide shot of Gasim off in the distance and a trail of his things left behind.

Scene 16:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Daud

Scene description: sun is put into frame, again bring across as a ticking bomb. Cut to a mirage effect of Lawrence riding his camel off in the distance; one end of the camera to the other.  Extreme long shot.

  • It is bright; there is not much colour; Lawrence’s uniform blends in with the scene (sand); only the blue of the sky separates land from sky.
  • Lawrence is marching along; camera pans along with him.
  • Again there is a faded blurr across the screen like a circle; transparent  not black this time, it is so that the eye focuses on Lawrence.
  • Cut to Daud; he is still waiting.

Scene 17:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Gasim

Scene description: Cut to the sun once again, Gasim walking along the long shot  eye level shot; he is off in the distance.

  • Cut to a high angle shot of Gasim; he is dizzy; he looks as though he might faint.
  • He looks up to the sky.
  • Cut to sun blazing bright; music reaches drastic peek.
  • Gasim falls to the floor.

Scene 18:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Farraj
  2. Lawrence
  3. Gasim

Scene Description: Cut to camel drinking by a lake, low angle shot; the troops have made it to the lake. the men wash their dirty faces in the cooling waters. Camera pans along.

  • Cut to Farraj, watching out for Daud and Lawrence to return; behind him others are getting water from the lake. Farraj has a bottle in his hands, he drinks from it.
  • Cut to Daud: he is still waiting for Lawrence to return.
  • Cut to long shot of the desert. this is to show he is waiting.
  • cut back to side view, long shot of Daud. He moves his camel forward, he’s spotted something.
  • cut back to desert shot; something is beginning to emerge from the mirage ahead.
  • Daud is not sure; but he slowly begins to move closer to the figure in the distance.
  • Continuous cutting back and forth; between the figure and Daud.
  • We hear non-diegetic sound of his camel’s feet. He races toward the figure; it is Lawrence.
  • We get a shot/frame (medium shot) of Lawrence. he puts his cane in the air. Gasim is on behind him resting.
  • Daud runs toward him shouting in praise.

Scene 19:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Farraj
  2. Ali

Scene Description: Farraj is seated on a cliff; waiting for Lawrence, Gasim and Daud to return. In this shot I think the golden ratio was used to direct the viewers’ eye from Farraj to the camp below; just to show that he is still with the troops and has not drifted off somewhere else.

  • Farraj turns toward the camp. This opens the next shot and directs the viewer’s attention to Ali.
  • Ali is seated under a bush. He looks up. he beats his stick into the ground.
  • Cut back to Farraj; he turns back round toward the camera, looking away from the camp below. this also directs the viewer to focus on him.
  • Cut to figures emerging from the edge of the screen.
  • Farraj gets to his feet. He calls out. We seen him run off, as camera pans after him to follow where he is going.
  • we see him stumble down the hill.

Scene 20:

Character (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence
  3. Daud
  4. Gasim
  5. Farraj

Scene description: everyone in the camp stand up to see what the fuss is. They hurry off screen.

  • Cut to Lawrence, Gasim and Daud; long shot of them walking back on camel.
  • Farraj runs to Daud.
  • Daud hits his camel to catch up to Farraj.
  • Farraj gives Daud his bottle of water.
  • Triumphant music is played; Lawrence looks like a courageous daring hero. He looks as though he is holding his guard for when he meets Ali.
  • Cut to Ali; long shot, side view.
  • Farraj offers Lawrence a drink; Lawrence does not take it, his attention is all on Ali.
  • The troops praise the hero. This stage is the coming of Lawrence’s reward and acceptance.
  • Lawrence looks for Ali, in the crowd.
  • Cut to Ali, there is a smile on his face. He has finally changed his views about Lawrence and now accepts him, as an ally.
  • Ali brings Lawrence his bottle of water; Lawrence accepts his offer. He says “Nothing is written.”
  • Everything has now changed for Lawrence in this scene. He is no longer taunted by Ali, who in turn offers Lawrence his seat. Lawrence is being praised by the Arabs now. He has shown courage beyond anyone of them. He comes back from the Ordeal a hero.
  • Lawrence falls on the blanket. fast asleep.

Scene 21:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence
  3. Farraj
  4. Daud

Scene Description: Ali notices Lawrence is awakened; it is nightfall. Ali calls Farraj to bring him food for Lawrence. Ali crawls closer to Lawrence.

  • He say: surely one man could not hold out in the desert.
  • Lawrence laughs and corrects Ali of his name.
  • Ali tells him it sounds better; Lawrence agrees.
  • Ali asks Lawrence about his parents; Lawrence tells him who his father is. Ali says when Lawrence’s father dies then he too will be a lord. This scene shows now a change in Ali; he thinks very highly of Lawrence.
  • Lawrence tells him no, he will not be a lord.
  • Ali does not understand why; Lawrence tells him, that his father didn’t marry his mother.
  • Ali looks shocked.
  • Ali tells him that it seems to him, that Lawrence should be free to choose his own name. This really explains Ali’s acceptance of Lawrence.
  • This is the coming of Lawrence’s rebirth, as he settles for Ali’s new name for him.
  • Scene ends with Ali, burning Lawrence’s old clothes.

Scene 22:

Characters ( in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence

Scene Description: Ali presents Lawrence with new robes of white; this is Lawrence’s Resurrection. He has been accepted by the Arabs/ it is as though they have adopted him.  High angle, long shot.

  • Lawrence has accepted them by saying it is a great honour.
  • One of the men, says it is an honour for them to have Lawrence as one of them.
  • Lawrence bows to them, and they bow back.
  • Lawrence rides off in his new robes.
  • the rest stay behind.
  • Lawrence turns to wave back; they all wave back to him too.
  • He rides off.

Scene 23:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Auda Abu Tayi
  3. Abu Tayi’s son

Scene Description: Lawrence is alone in the desert, by a sand pit; he walks onto the sand pit. It is a long shot. He walks around looking at his new clothes and pulls out his dagger.

  • He looks at the dagger to look at his reflection; this will be mimicked in a later scene of the movie. It shows innocence.
  • he starts to prance around, admiring his new clothes, believing he is alone.
  • He notices someone is watching him. He stops dead in his tracks.
  • Auda Abu Tayi asks him; what are you doing in this place.
  • Lawrence replies: as you see! he asks him if he is alone. Abu Tayi replies almost.
  • Abu Tayi, asks him if Lawrence is one of those men who is drinking from his well. He shoots his gun in the air.
  • A young boy enters the scene, Abu Tayi’s son. Abu Tayi asks him what manner of fashion is this; the boy replies to the name of the troops Lawrence has been with. He then asks the boy if Lawrence is one of those men; he replies “No, English.”
  • Lawrence has a shocked expression at this remark; like he is disappointed.
  • Abu Tayi says that they are stealing their water, he and the boy run off to tell them they are coming.
  • Lawrence is left on scene, he turns worried.
  • he races to his camel.

Scene 24:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Auda Abu Tayi
  2. Lawrence
  3. Daud
  4. Farraj
  5. Ali

Scene Description: there is a non-diegetic sound of a gun shot. The Arab Troops scatter. it is a high angle, extreme shot; off into the distance, we can see Abu Tayi approaching. The Arabs are collecting their guns.

  • Abu Tayi has taken one of their bottles, he pours it out on to the ground. He throws the empty bottle at one of their feet.
  • Lawrence enters scene; Tayi’s son has a gun pointed at him.
  • Tayi tells one to empty the water; Ali steps in and shouts in refusal.
  • they have a conversation; Tayi claims to have known Ali’s father; we learn that Ali did not know his father. Tayi is mocking him; Ali replies if Tayi knew his own father; Tayi turns as if to strike Ali with his blade. Lawrence shouts out.
  • Lawrence tries to calm down the feud. He is asking Tayi to take pity. Lawrence asks Tayi to call off his man (boy). He does so.
  • Tayi tells Lawrence, that he has only begun to teach the boy. Lawrence asks what he is trying to teach him? How to attack hospitality!
  • Tayi asks Ali who Lawrence is; Ali tells him a friend of Prince Faisal.
  • Abu Tayi is a Threshold Guardian; he is trying to figure out who Lawrence is; Ali was the previous Threshold Guardian; however, after Lawrence’s heroics, he has Shapeshifted his views.
  • Abu Tayi; is also a Threshold Guardian to the whole troop. He asks them if it is his hospitality, which they seek. He barks at Lawrence to hold his tongue. He wants to hear it from Ali. Ali says yes. Abu Tayi accepts this and grants it. The Threshold Guardian has been passed; they have passed his test.
  • He asks them to dine with him in his place.

Scene 25:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Abu Tayi
  2. Abu’s son
  3. Lawrence
  4. Ali

Scene Description: opens with a spectacular shot overlooking Abu Tayi’s camp. The camera is on a high angle; overlooking the top of a hill; camera slowly moves closer to the focus point of the scene, the camp. it is drawing the viewer to that particular spot.

  • Lawrence, Abu Tayi, Abu’s son, Ali and the rest of the troops come down from the hill to enter the scene.
  • Abu Tayi’s troops come to greet them; the scene has various cuts, and both high angles and eye view shots. it also pans along with each shot toward left as Abu and the rest are marching toward the right; this is to indicate that they are walking toward one another.
  • Abu’s troops circle around the Lawrence’s party. We hear a few frames in, a non-diegetic sound of a gun; with the music it is very subtle; the music is fast paced and loud. Expressing the excitement.

Scene 26:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Abu Tayi
  3. Ali
  4. Majd

Scene description: Camera fades to the next scene; we see a young girl’s face close-up shot; camera pans down along a crowd of people. They are all looking over at an area, where Lawrence and Abu Tayi are seated having a chat; this is the focus point. David Lean has done something truly brilliant here; by showing other’s interest in something, we the audience automatically feel interested too.

  • Camera pans in to the scene; Abu orders his men to take a big bowl of food away; we see them take it away; then, we hear gun shots of Abu’s men outside. We also see the gun sparks; behind them, Lawrence looks and smiles.
  • In this scene Lawrence and Ali are speaking with Abu Tayi; they are now acting the Heralds; this is Abu Tayi’s Call to Adventure.
  • Abu Tayi asks about profit; Ali tells him his people have no interest in profit; Abu Tayi is intrigued; he says that it is hard for a man to commit to serve, and says he can not serve. We see that Abu Tayi’s interest lies in profit.
  • Lawrence picks up on him permitting the Turks to stay in Aqaba. Abu replies yes it is his soul desire. I think he is being a little sarcastic.
  • Lawrence tells him that they do not work this fight for Aqaba for Prince Faisal; Abu Tayi asks him “for the English?” Lawrence says “For the Arabs.”
  • Abu Tayi, tells him of all the tribes he knows; but,  he says  Arabs, what kind of tribe is that? Lawrence laughs.
  • He tells him they are a tribe of slaves.
  • Abu Tayi says that they are nothing to him.
  • Abu Tayi is outraged by Lawrence’s remark of him, wanting the Turks to rule in Aqaba.
  • Abu stands and tells them of his greatness, shows his willingness, and his status.
  • He tells Lawrence that the Turks pay him 100 guineas; Lawrence corrects him and say 150. Abu looks shocked and asks him who told him that.
  • Lawrence tries to persuade him that money is of no matter. Lawrence tells them that Abu will not go for profit, or the Turks, or another reason; he states that Abu will come because it is his pleasure.
  • Camera pans into Abu Face, close-up shot; he says his mother mated with a scorpion.
  • He has accepted the call.

Scene 27:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Abu Tayi
  2. Lawrence
  3. Ali

Scene Description: Abu Tayi signals his troops to Aqaba. We get an extreme long shot of them marching off.

  • Camera pans along with troops, showing that they are going off for battle.
  • Abu’s people are on a cliff yelling at them leaving. it is their farewell.
  • There are various cuts to long shots of the troops marching and cuts to extreme long shots to show where they are marching to; it is showing us that they are leaving the camp area and moving toward Aqaba.
  • We hear non-diegetic sound of soldiers/men singing; and the women on the cliff screaming their farewell.

Scene 28:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Ali

Scene Description: opens with nightfall; high angle shot; extreme long shot. we see the moon off in the distance. Everything in the scene is lit by moonlight.

  • We cut to Lawrence and Ali; sneaking up the mountain behind some rocks.
  • Ali points toward off frame; cut to an extreme long shot of a city of lights; Aqaba.
  • Lawrence say “Yes Aqaba”, Ali pulls his fist down as he says “tomorrow we will go and get it.”
  • From what my team and I discovered it was Lawrence’s brilliant idea to take Aqaba by land, rather than sea,  which they would have been expecting.
  • Lawrence asks Ali does he think they will; Ali says yes, if Lawrence is right about the guns. Non-diegetic sound of a gun shot; Ali and Lawrence look round in shock.
  • Camera hurriedly pans to the camp.
  • We see the troops getting up, to look to see where the commotion is coming from.
  • Cut back to Lawrence and Ali; they hurry back to the camp.

Scene 29:

Characters (in order of Appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Abu Tayi
  3. Lawrence
  4. Majd

Scene Description: High shot of crowd; gathered round the commotion.  the moonlight acts like a spot light surrounding them.

  • Camera pans in.
  • We see a man dead on the ground. It is one of Abu’s men.
  • Abu speaks with Ali; he says “he killed, he dies.”
  • Ali says “this is the end of Aqaba.”
  • All their plans seem to be failing.
  • Majd tells Lawrence that one of their men killed one of Abu Tay’s men.
  • Lawrence is outraged and asks why? Majd says money/blood feud. he is not quite sure.
  • Lawrence tries to speak to Ali; Majd says it is an ancient rune. Lawrence explains under his breath that he did not come here to see some tribal blood bath. He wants to resolve the situation without killing.
  • He runs to Abu Tayi; Lawrence is struggling to keep the troop together; all Abu Tayi’s men have moved to one side; All of Ali’s men to another. They are dividing; if Abu Tayi kills the man who shot his man, the troops will split; Lawrence must act fast.
  • Lawrence tries to persuade Abu Tayi not to do it; he claims it is the Law. Lawrence asks him “the Law says a man must die?” Abu Tayi nods; Lawrence tells him if he dies will that prevent the Khorati’s? Abu say “yes”
  • Lawrence asks Ali if none of Abu Tayi’s men harm his, will that content the kharkiv.
  • Ali agrees.
  • Lawrence agrees to execute the Law.
  • This way the tribe will stay united.
  • Lawrence says he has no tribe; and that way no one is offended.
  • He loads his gun; camera close up of Lawrence’s hands loading the gun. He points the gun; the camera follows.
  • Camera pans into the man responsible; it is Gasim.
  • Cut to Lawrence’s expression. Gasim was the man he rescued from the desert.
  • Lawrence has no choice but to do what he must to; for the sake of keeping the tribes united and, so that the plan does not fail. Gasim is now his Ordeal (maybe one of his greatest yet); it is hard for Lawrence to bear it. He fires.
  • Gasim moves out of the way; Lawrence keeps firing until Gasim is dead.
  • This is a new resurrection/shapeshift, for Lawrence as we will discover later on.
  • Lawrence moves along; Abu Tayi tries to get his attention; Lawrence ignores and walks on.
  • Abu Tayi asks Ali what is wrong with Lawrence; Ali explains that was the man Lawrence rescued. Abu Tayi understands – He says it was written then.

Scene 30:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Ali
  2. Lawrence

Scene description: Ali and Lawrence walk away from the last scene. Ali talks to Lawrence. Lawrence looks horrified, and deep in thought.

  • Ali tells him he should have no shame in it. Besides it was necessary. He says that Lawrence gave life and he took it.
  • Cut to Lawrence, he is disgusted; he looks at Ali, then the gun and throws it away.Cut to shot of the gun hitting the ground; long shot.
  • Some of the men race to get it.
  • Cut back to Lawrence, camera pans up to close-up of his face.

Scene 31:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Abu Tayi
  2. Lawrence

Scene Description: Cut to next scene; first before, we hear non-diegetic sound of bells ringing.

  • We see a new camp; Aqaba. Men are looking over; what is happening off screen. One of them hurries for his gun.
  • Camera cuts to his back; we see what he sees; Lawrence and his troops; racing for battle.
  • A series of cuts long shot and extreme long shots of the action taking place.
  • we get a frame of Lawrence; racing toward the battlefield, among the soldiers.
  • Non-diegetic sound of gun fire.
  • We get an extreme long shot of Aqaba; the Turks are retreating.
  • Camera pan along the extreme shot; at a high angle; it finish at a canon.
  • Music is high and fast paced

Scene 32:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Ali

Scene Description: the hype of the last event has dwindled; we fade into a scene of a setting sun near a beach; Lawrence is riding his camel across the ocean sand/beach. this is a high angle shot; orange is used in this scene to calm the audience back down.

  • Orange is described in If it’s Purple, Someone’s Gonna Die, by Patti Bellantoni as a colour as generally  ”nice”, stating “I am here”.
  • The scene starts with a high angle shot overlooking the troops, in Aqaba; and Lawrence entering the beach alone.
  • We hear calming music and the sound of the waves soothes the atmosphere.
  • We cut to Lawrence, we hear the troops, non-diegetic sound of voices, Lawrence looks round.
  • He looks to his hand; he wipes it on his robe; he is still traumatized by killing Gasim.
  • Lawrence looks out to sea; he then spots something floating in the water. It is red flowers, chained together.
  • Lawrence turns.
  • Cut to Ali. He says the miracle is accomplished.
  • He explains that the flowers are garlands for the conquer of Aqaba.
  • Lawrence jumps off his camel; into the water; he picks up the garlands.
  • Ali laughs; tributes for the prince, flowers for the man. the flowers were a congratulation for Lawrence.
  • Lawrence claims he is none of those things. Ali asks him what then? Lawrence says he does not know, but thanks him all the same.
  • Lawrence expresses his feeling to Ali; saying he “loves this country”.
  • there is a banging in the distance.

Scene 33:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Abu Tayi
  2. Lawrence
  3. Ali
  4. Daud
  5. Farraj

Scene Description: cut to Abu Tayi,  he is angry that there is not gold in Aqaba.

  • One of his men come to him and tell him that they have found it.
  • He hurries off with them.
  • Lawrence enters the scene; he tries the transmitter signal, it is dead.
  • Lawrence asks Ali to go to Faisal to ask him to find any boats coming in.
  • And to bring the Arab army here to Aqaba.
  • Lawrence tells him he is going off to tell the general.
  • He has to cross the desert.
  • He takes Daud and Farraj with him; saying they will be alright with him.
  • Ali does not understand; Lawrence explains that if he did go and tell about the conquer of Aqaba all his generals would laugh.
  • Ali thinks he is deserting him. He says Lawrence will take off “these funny clothes”; and wear trousers and tell stories of of quaintness and barbarity and then they will believe you.
  •   Lawrence calls him an ignorant man and leaves.

Scene 34:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Abu Tayi

Scene Description: Abu Tayi is looking for gold in a box. All he finds are papers. He is outraged.

  • cut to a new area; Abu Tayi exits the place where he was in the last scene. Abu Tayi throws the papers at Lawrence who has gotten onto his camel. Ready to go.
  • Lawrence asks him if he came just for gold? Abu replies “for my pleasure as you said”.
  • Now we know he was only really interested in gold. He says Lawrence promised gold and Lawrence lied. He thinks Lawrence has tricked him.
  • Lawrence signs a sheet of paper saying that the crown of England promises to pay 5,000 gold guineas to Auda Abu Tayi. Lawrence tells Abu that in ten days he will have his gold.
  • He tells him he will be back with the gold, with guns with everything.
  • Abu Tayi says “you cross shinde?” Lawrence replies “why not , Moses did.”
  • Lawrence leaves.  Abu Tayi says and you will take the children; Lawrence replies, Moses did. Abu Tayi tells Lawrence Moses was a prophet.
  • We see now that Lawrence could be relating himself to a prophet. Like when in the metaphor of the motorbike; he revved up the juice; which I believe to be this point of the film; Lawrence believes himself unstoppable. He thinks he is a prophet because he can survive deserts.
  • Scene ends with Ali and Abu Tayi saying to him; “he said there was gold here; he lied. he is not perfect.” Ali’s eyes look toward Abu Tayi, as though considering these words; he looks back to Lawrence leaving.

Scene 35:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Farraj
  3. Daud

Scene description: Lawrence, Farraj and Daud are on their camels moving across the desert.

  • Farraj asks for rest. Lawrence says there will be no rest until he has told them that he has taken over Aqaba.
  • He promises them by tomorrow they will have the finest of everything.

Scene 36:

Characters (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Farraj
  3. Daud

Scene Description: Cut to a high angle shot; extreme long shot of the desert; camera pans to focus point of Lawrence, Farraj and Daud; wandering on their camels in the desert. It is not very bright; they are crossing at night.

  • Lawrence stops them; he points and tells them to look. Cut to a sand twister; “Pillar of Fire” he explains.
  • Daud corrects him “no lord, dust.”
  • Lawrence laughs and moves on; Daud and Farraj look confused.

Scene 37:

Character (in order of appearance)

  1. Lawrence
  2. Farraj
  3. Daud

Scene description: Lawrence and the boys, venture through a sandstorm.

  • Wind is blowing the sand hard on them. This is their greatest Ordeal so far.
  • We see a shot of Lawrence’s compass falling to the ground. He does not notice this has happened.
  • soon the storm clears.
  • Lawrence notices his compass is missing.
  • He points due west.
  • Cut to a scene of a setting sun; our heroes ride off into the sunset; silhouetted.

Motion Graphic

Motion Graphics (written by Jennifer Taylor)

The superstar of animation software is After Effects, an application published by the Adobe Corporation, a  longtime leader in computer graphics. After Effects is a powerful creative tools that allows artists to produce professional-looking 2-D animation and special effects on a desktop computer. In the few years of its existence, After Effects has achieved a preeminent position within the animation industry – from advertising commercials to broadcast graphics to title sequences to animated show on TV. So pervasive is the impact of this software program that it has single-handedly relaunched  an entire animation technique: motion graphics.

The roots of motion graphics go back to the 1950s and 1960s, when Hollywood turned to a group of graphic designers like the legendary Saul Bass and asked them to design title sequences for feature fulms. Movie titles, of course, consist mainly of words: the name of the film, its stars, director, producers, and other key talent. The skill set of the graphic design profession was new to the feature industry: typesetting expertise, logo design, and, in particular, familiarity with a wide variety of photographic techniques such as solarization, audio screens , koldaliths, and duotones. The enriched visual vocabulary of graphic designers began showing up in feature film opens, an in Hollywood a number of title houses established themselves – post-production labs/animation studios that specialized in design and use of technically demanding 35mm production tools like the optical printer.

In the 1980s the television industry began to develop very expensive digital tools that made it easier and faster to do the same kinds of animated graphics effects refined in feature titles. Machines with exotic names like the Paintbox, the Squeeze-Zoom, and the ADO (for Advanced Digital Operations) cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and rented out at $500 per hour and up. In the 1990s a new generation of such machines (with new names like the Harry and the Flame – and new, higher price tags!) continue to give frame-at-a time control over image making. With these high-end digital tools, live-action, animation, and special effects are all composited into a seamless whole. The results are found in most often in feature films, television advertising, and, more recently, high-budget TV series.
After Effects brings to the desktop computer almost all of what was until recently the exclusive province of those expensive, super-high-end digital compositors. It is, in effect, both the 35mm optical bench of film technology and the Flame of digital composition technology.It’s useful to think of After Effects as a place where the basic raw materials – picture, story, and sound – are fused into a final piece. You can, for example, important artwork created in Photoshop or Illustrator, along with sound created in SoundEdit 16, and marry them into a single digital file that can become a QuickTime movie or be exported to video – or even film. Another way to look at After Effects if to see it as an all-in-one animation camera stand, non-linear editor, and post-production facility where you add titles, sound, and special effects. That’s one cool package!

A History of the Title Sequence

Lawrence of Arabia: Mr Dryden and General Allenby

“None of my Business. Thank God I’m a soldier.”

“A man who tells lies, like me, merely is hiding the truth…. but a man who tells half lies, has forgotten where he put it.”

Mr Dryden

Mr Dryden is an amalgamation of several historical figures, mainly thought to be the British diplomatic advisor Colonel Sir Mark Sykes and French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot.

Robert Bolt stated: The character was created – “to represent the civilian and political wing of British interests, to balance Allenby’s military objectives.

  1. We see Dryden has been reading the same newspaper as Lawrence, (in the last scene); he knows about the attack, and tries to tell General Murray who is not interested.  ”Big things have small beginnings, sir.”
  2. Mr Dryden has a meeting with Lawrence in General Allenby’s office. Lawrence tells them about the taking of Aqaba. Dryden, Allenby, Lawrence and Brighton; head for the bar, it is here that they discuss the next action for Damascus. Lawrence asks for artillery. Lawrence also asks in this scene if the British have any interest in Damascus; Allenby looks to Dryden and repeats the question to him – Dryden remarks with a smirk: “It’s a difficult question.” Allenby agrees to give Lawrence all what he needs; in the next scene, General Allenby, Brighton and Mr Dryden discuss about the artillery – Dryden say: “If you give them artillery, you make them independent.”
  3.  We see Prince Faisal and General Allenby, (also Dryden), in the same room. Before the scene begins, and before Lawrence enters they must have been having a discussion about Lawrence and the matter of Arabia, etc. Prince Faisal says: I believe you General; it seems Lawrence has his reports to tell. About my people… and their weaknesses. In this scene Dryden tells Lawrence about the Sykes and Picot agreement; of the France and England’s agreement to share the Turkish Empire, including Arabia. An agreement to effect. Lawrence: “There may be tolerance among thieves; but, none upon politicians.” Dryden: “Lets have no display of indignation. You may not have known, but, you certainly had your suspicions.” – “If we told lies, you have told half lies; and a man who tells lies like me, merely hides the truth…. but, a man who has told half lies, has forgotten where he put it.” Lawrence: “The truth is, I am an ordinary man… you might have told me that, Dryden.”
  4. Next scene, we see Dryden leaving the office; we see Brighton behind him as he opens the door. (maybe Brighton was asking Dryden what happened), Dryden leaves the room without saying a word to Brighton; and is immediately bumped into Jackson Bentley. Bentley wants to know what went on in the room, Dryden will not say anything to him – Bentley: “Walk away, Dryden. Walk away. You’re always walking away, aren’t you.” Dryden: “Well, I will you, it is a little clash of temperament going on in there; inevitably, one of them’s half-male and the other – Holy Unscrupulous.”
  5. Dryden, Brighton and Allenby watch from Allenby’s office, the Arab Council as the have their meeting; Allenby wants to get involved – Dryden: “If you interfere…. you will have a full scale up-raising on you hands.”
  6. Later, we see Dryden reading a book, with Allenby reading a book about fishing and Brighton still watching the town hall. Brighton wants to do something. The Power goes off. Dryden checks the light switch – Dryden: “No, its the power.” Then, the men hear the sound of voices in the street; they look out from Allenby’s balcony and see the Arabs leaving.
  7. Dryden at the meeting of Prince Faisal and General Allenby; (the promoting of Lawrence), he stay stump through the first half of the discussion. Allenby and Faisal argue about the flag over the water works.  Allenby addresses Dryden, who says: It seems we are meant to have a British water works, with an Arab flag on it. You think it was worth it?” Prince Faisal asks Dryden what his views are on all of this – Dryden: Me your Highness? On  the whole, I wish I had stayed at Ten Bridge Ways.”

General Allenby

Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby (1861-1936) who was born in Brackenhurst on 23 April 1861, began his military career with the Inniskilling Dragoons in 1882 following an education at the Royal Military Academy (Sandhurst), serving in South Africa between 1884-88 and taking part in the Second Boer War from 1899-1901.  By the end of the war, Allenby had reached the rank of brevet colonel.

Reproduced below is General Sir Edmund Allenby’s account of events which led to the fall of Jerusalem into Allied hands on 9 December 1917.

Allenby recounts how he formally entered the historic city two days following its fall and noted that “the population received me well”.

In taking Jerusalem Allenby had exceeded British Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s instructions to ensure the city’s fall by Christmas.  The capture of Jerusalem proved a notable morale booster to the Entente Powers in rounding off what was generally regarded as a difficult year.

  1. General Allenby has travelled to to the base of the British Army. He is informed by Lawrence that he has taken over Aqaba. Allenby, is going to break through to Jerusalem.
  2. Dryden, Brighton and Allenby head off together. Allenby has given Lawrence his word that he will give him artillery. Allenby, Brighton and Dryden discuss the matter. Dryden: “If you give them artillery, you have made them independent.” Allenby: “Then I can’t give them artillery, can I.”
  3. Allenby at a meeting with Dryden and Faisal. Faisal says about the French treaty. Allenby claims that he said there was on such thing. Faisal: We have lied most bravely, but, not convincingly.” General Allenby tells Lawrence he is making his big push for Damascus and Lawrence is apart of it. Lawrence does not want to be apart of it.
  4. General Allenby watches the Arab Council at the Town Hall, from his office. Allenby is with Brighton and Dryden. They have been discussing the Arab Council. Dryden asked Allenby about Prince Faisal’s arrival. Allenby tells him, Prince Faisal arrives in two days, just like he asked him.
  5. General Allenby is reading a book about fishing. Brighton asks they must do something about the Arab Council in the Town Hall. Allenby and Dryden are both uninterested.  Allenby remarks about fishing to Dryden as an old man’s sport.
  6. General Allenby in a meeting with Prince Faisal and Dryden, (Lawrence’s promoting). Prince Faisal and Allenby argue about the water works; Prince Faisal agrees he will aid them with water supplies – Dryden: “In all fairness, you shall bring down your flag.” Prince Faisal disapproves. Prince Faisal goes on to talk about illusions, and throws a newspaper at Allenby, a picture of Lawrence on the front cover. Prince Faisal: “Ah yes, then Lawrence is a sword with two edges…. we are equally glad to be rid of him are we not?” General Allenby: “I thought I was a hard man, sir.” Prince Faisal: “You are merely a General…. I must be a king.”

Lawrence of Arabia Motion Graphic Designs

Lawrence design

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabiatitle

These are some of my designs for the Lawrence of Arabia graphic. Very much influenced by Arabic culture (buildings and design) and also, Art Deco; an  little sprinkling of Erica Russel thrown in as well, (for the character design).

Some early rough concept sketches of the teams idea for the graphic. Thinking and discussing design elements and ratio size; also thinking about colour as a key aspect to the graphic, as this helps identify character and emotion.


These were some reference I found in a book in the library. The designs were a great source of inspiration for many of the designs above.

Kichi – Sori Bleu

(One team member found this link:

N.A.S.A Feat. Karen O and Ol’ Dirty Bastard – ‘Strange Enough’

Easy – Mat Zo & Porter Robinson (Official Video)

Wall Flowers

Everything I Can See From Here

Motion Graphic Camel Reference

IMG_1774[1] IMG_1773[1]IMG_1772[1]

Back To The Drawing Board!

IMG_1761[1] IMG_1767[1] IMG_1762[1] IMG_1763[1]IMG_1768[1] IMG_1764[1] IMG_1765[1] IMG_1770[1] IMG_1766[1] IMG_1769[1] IMG_1771[1]

Lawrence of Arabia (The Drawing Board)

After being given feedback on our progress through this assignment, the team now see how we could have thought through things differently. So, now it is all hands on deck. We met with some second years and this helped us figure out our brainstorming and how we should be attempting this module’s instructions. I feel it has really revved the juice on the motor.

One fantastic piece of information we received was from one of the second years; they mentioned an artist M.C. Escher. The team are really inspired by this artist’s work and we have decided to use their style for our project.



With us now looking to this artist as our main source of inspiration on the project, new ideas have sprung into our minds that could potentially influence our finalized product. We discussed how we see the film Lawrence of Arabia as a kind of chess game (or someone playing Monopoly), then further to this conclusion we started to discuss about metaphors, which brought us to thinking of Myths (in particular… Theseus and the Minotaur/ the Labyrinth). Theseus has been sentenced to the lair of the Minotaur, Araidne the King’s daughter has fallen in love with Theseus and goes to the mentor for aid in  helping Theseus escape from the Labyrinth. The mentor is also the designer of the Labyrinth and feeling sorry for the girl, tells her the secret to escaping the maze; he hands her a piece of yarn, and tells her to hold one end of the string, while Theseus ventures through the maze with the ball of yarn. In discussing this we talked about how Lawrence and Ali’s relationship could relate to our story.

Even the story of Dante’s Inferno has something of an intrigue to us; we think of the desert as the Inferno (blazing hot and uncomfortable), a journey through hell, and Lawrence has undergone a lot in his quest.

We even feel that colour should be incorporated into the final project – orange is calm, red is power, black absorbs and is a colour used predominately for villainous characters, and white is purity (when Lawrence get his white robes we see it as a rebirth, this is his innocence).  Red is used quite a lot in Lawrence of Arabia, signifying Power; there was one interesting piece of information we figured out (with the help of a second year): Lawrence in the scene with the white robe has innocence, this innocence is demolished in the next scene; (the knife Lawrence owns plays a part in establishing this).

  • the white robe scene: he takes out the blade and looks to his reflection (he is pleased with what he sees)
  • in another later scene, he does this again after the bloodshed he has caused, he looks to his blade (all bloody) in disgust.
  • However, it is in the scene in which he and General Allenby are discussing the take-over in Aqaba, that we get a piece of information from Lawrence about his nature… he says he has done something he did not like… he killed a man; Lawrence goes on to explain that he did not like that he enjoyed it. What we figured out at this point was that Lawrence has a lust for power, through murder – Red!

Lawrence starts off by taking orders from his superiors, he then decides at some point to not take orders any longer, but to take matters into his own hands. This sets his status among the other characters to slowly ascend the ladder; at the end Lawrence is promoted to the position of general officer.

Maze designs are a key aspect of our project, in that they relate to an earlier idea we have about finger prints. In Lawrence of Arabia, the story is truly about identity – asking the question…. “who are you?”

The Lawrence of Arabia story is….. a puzzle, a maze, isolation, never ending, filled with metaphors, a box within a box, prophet, fate, power, remorse and loss of identity.

Lawrence as a character is …… an outcast, well educated, prophet, isolated, pacifistic, tragic hero, “a sword with two ends”, innocence, and loss of identity/innocence.

If we look at Lawrence of Arabia as a kind of Rubik’s cube; it is a complex story trying to fix or solve the puzzle, but it can’t; Lawrence does not know who he is as a character. That is why the team and I think it is a never ending battle for Lawrence with his own demons.

We are still in the process of figuring out our concepts, and progressing our ideas further; we are now trying to keep thinking outside the box and finding more interesting solutions to our problem.

What Escher might have done?

There are many ways in which a tiling can be coloured systematically. the most satisfactory colourings, both from an artistic and a mathematical point of view are those which are proper and perfect. all Escher’s colourings, with one or two possible exceptions, have both these properties which we shall now describe.

A colouring of a tiling is proper if no two adjacent tiles have the same colour. This condition is familiar in the colouring of maps, where adjacent countries are usually coloured differently. A colouring of a tiling is perfect if every symmetry of the tiling is associated with a colour symmetry. H.S.M. Coxeter explains, in his contribution to this volume, the concept of a colour symmetry. Here we shall confine ourselves to giving some examples. The simplest is that of the chequerboard colouring with two colours. This can be applied to any tiling in which each tile has four adjacents, and four tiles meet at each vertex. Such a colouring is clearly proper. To see that it is perfect we need only observe that every symmetry of the tiling either leaves each tile the same colour or inter changes the two colours, and so yields a colour symmetry of tiling. Most, but not all, Escher’s colourings of tilings using two colours are of this kind.

A perfect colouring with three colours; every symmetry of the tiling is associated with a permutation of the colours and so with a colour symmetry.A perfect colouring of this same tiling by two  colours is also possible, namely the chequerboard colouring mentioned above.



It is easy to use After Effects as a virtual camera that will simulate complex navigation across a flat piece of artwork in a way that mirrors the animation stand “moves” used in traditional filmmaking. All the techniques talked about in the preceding chapter on kinestasis and collage animation can be achieved faster, cheaper, and with more accuracy by using After Effects by referring to familiar film technology.Pans. When shooting film, you create pans by moving the camera or the animation stand frame to give the feeling of moving across still image. To create a pan in After Effects, you simply move artwork left, right, up or down in the program’s composition window. You tell the computer where you want your pan to start and stop by setting key frames at your start and finish points.Zooming. In film, zooming in is achieved by changing the distance, frame by frame, between the camera and your artwork. In After Effects, you can simulate a zoom by scaling or resizing your artwork over time.

Andrew Stanton: The Clue To A Great Story

Fades. Traditionally, in-camera fades are made by slowly adjusting the amount of light coming through the lens aperture. To fade out (to black) you close the lens down over, say, 24 successive frames. To fade in (from black) on the new piece of artwork, that process is reversed. In After Effects you can fade in and fade out by manipulating key frames. Think of key frames as markers of precise moments when a selected image will be manipulated in one way or another.  When making fades, a first key frame marks the moment when the computer will begin to adjust the opacity levels. If an image is set at an opacity of 0 percent, then it is not opaque at all. In other words, you can see through it. If an image has an opacity of 100 percent, then it is fully opaque and cannot be seen through at all. It follows, then, that if you cent opacity all the way to 100 percent opacity, the resulting effect will be that of watching an image go from being perfectly transparent (clear) to being completely opaque (solid) in the amount of time you have designated by choosing two key frames. In After Effects, 0 percent to 100 percent opacity appears in fade-up from black – because the black background (a default setting) will show through your image when it is not fully opaque. To the viewer’s eye this looks exactly like a fade-up from black in traditional filmmaking.
Laybourne, K., 1998. The Animation Book. New York: Three Rivers Press bethkirkytumblr)This is the best Ted Talk I have ever seen. I understand exactly what Andrew Stanton is saying about “story”; it is exactly how I feel about  stories, and, how I feel stories that work around this method have a great impact – (Which is what Vogler describes in his book too).As I have been studying Lawrence of Arabia, for the past few weeks, I too finally came across that same idea about the story’s theme, “Who are you?”. I became curious to know what Lawrence’s journey meant because at the start I did not truly understand it; as my team and I discussed and made connections to the story, we all soon caught on to various different aspects of the story. By doing this I feel it has greatly affected our understanding of Lawrence as a character and his journey. Lawrence of Arabia is a great story!My favourites movies would be….

  1. Bambi, one of my favourite films as a kid. Bambi is a story that everyone can truly relate too; the story of Bambi is the  journey of life, through childhood to adulthood, death/loss, love and survival.
  2. (The most recent) Wreck-it Ralph: the moral of the story is, to not judge people by who they are and to also except who you are as a person.

Disney movies instill hope, dreams and happiness; they tell you, even though things look bad now – keep moving forward” – there is a silver lining in the end.

Pixar movies are genuinely great stories too. They have a lot of heart…. the best to come out of their studio would be without a doubt – Toy Story trilogyFinding Nemo and UpToy Story 3 being my top favourite in that category, it was the perfect ending to a trilogy!

Daedalus’ Labyrinth


Designing A Maze

(Information found: Design Your Own Maze)

Designing a puzzle maze
Here is a fool-proof way to make a branching puzzle maze.

Take some squared paper and draw out a rectangle with an odd number of squares on each side. This design has 19 squares on each side, but it could be a rectangle. When drawing the maze, use a soft pencil, as you’ll be rubbing lots out.

Fill in alternate lines and columns like the picture on the right, making a waffle pattern. All the white squares will end up as part of the paths. All the dark blue squares will be walls. Medium blue squares will be either paths or wall. You don’t have to use colour, of course, but shade the medium blue squares very lightly, as you will be rubbing some of them out.

Designing a unicursal maze

This type of maze may seem strange if you haven’t met it before, as you don’t ‘solve’ it. However, when you walk it, you constantly twist and turn, getting closer and further from the centre, until finally you arrive there. You walk continuously, without pausing to make choices or back-track. Children love to run through these mazes! A unicursal maze can also make an attractive pattern.

Perhaps surprisingly, it is hard to design a good unicursal maze. When you make a unicursal maze, then the main path must cover the whole area. You can’t fill in spare areas with dead-ends as you do with puzzle mazes. So I suggest that you start by looking at existing patterns to see how they work. The Cretan design has its own trick for drawing its maze; look at the Cretan webpage to see what it is. The Roman and Chartres designs have to be copied. This isn’t too hard, and it teaches you something about how these mazes are made. Let’s try to copy a Chartres maze. It’s easiest to design the paths rather than the walls of the maze.

This is what we’re copying.
The Chartres maze is based on concentric circles.
Rub out from top to bottom and side to side.
Now start from the top and join the lines as in the original.
Now on the left. While you have the same sort of join, they are not in the same order.
The right part has a different order again.
And the bottom. This is the most complicated.
For three of the arms, there are two types of joins: double backs, and rejoin the circle.
Designing maze Designing maze
At the bottom, while there are double backs, there are also more complicated double backs, overlapping the others.
But by concentrating on just one part you should be able to reproduce it.

The Roman maze is based on concentric squares rather than concentric circles. See how to reproduce one on the Roman maze webpage.

Once you have copied some designs, you can try your own! First choose your shape. You’re not restricted to circles or shares. To save you time, here are some. (Right click, then click on Save As to save to your computer. Use any Paint program to make the maze.)

Concentric circles Concentric squares Concentric hexagons
Concentric pentagons Concentric stars Concentric octagons

Once you’ve chosen a shape, rub out where you’re going to make the doubling back, etc. Then join up the paths similar to the Chartres or Roman. You can bend a path back on its tracks by joining it to the next shape. You can join it to a path further in. You can continue in the same direction on the same circuit (in which case you don’t need to rub it out!) Or you can continue in the same direction, but jig inwards to the next circuit (although this is rare).

Designing maze Designing maze Designing maze Designing maze Designing maze

However, if you join paths at random, you will probably find that you don’t have a unicursal maze, but several distinct paths. You may not be able to get to the centre at all! One way to check this is to colour in the path (if using a computer, try the Paint tool). This makes it obvious whether you have a single path or not (see right). Remember that you will need an entrance, and an end (probably in the middle). Start designing maze

So now look again at the existing patterns again to see how they work. The Roman patterns are easy, since you only need to get one quarter right, then repeat it. The Chartres pattern is trickier, since you swing from one quarter to another and back again. This makes it more interesting to walk, but harder to design. Remember that you can change shape quite easily, so you can make a circular Roman design, or a square or octagonal Chartres design (or even a hexagonal one with a few changes).

Once you starting designing mazes, you will start to appreciate what the problems are, and how existing mazes solve them. Even if you never construct a maze of your own, designing mazes gives you far more insight into their nature. You feel closer to the original designers of the traditional mazes. You can imagine a Roman, or medieval monk scratching in the earth, then saying “Bother, that won’t work!” Like them, you will muse “Perhaps a Greek Key will get me out of there” or “Essentially I need a wiggly spiral…” But however you do it, and whatever your success is, by the end you will get through a lot of paper and rubber, or have an aching mouse hand!

If you want a more hands-on approach, you can mark the pathway in its final location with a long piece of rope. This way you can play around with it until it looks right, and you can guarantee that you have the correct pattern which does get to the centre, and the paths don’t cross. This method allows you to design a more fluid, less structured maze.

You may wish to use a design from this site. There are modern designs which are copyright, and you should approach the designer before copying them, but you can copy any ancient design, or one of my designs, without asking permission. However, it’s much more fun to design your own. If anyone wants to download the pictures or text on this website, and use the result on a computer or in print form, feel free to do so. I’d love to hear about any of your maze designing efforts, but it’s not compulsory!


Constructing a flat maze

Most unicursal mazes are flat mazes, or almost flat. This means that the ‘walls’ are not really proper walls or hedges. One strange side effect of this is that you can get the paths and walls muddled up. For example, some turf mazes have the grass as the path, and some as the walls. Flat mazes emphasise the pattern. Hedge mazes are in fact rather dull to look at; all you see is a hedge. Flat mazes are usually much easier to maintain. Another advantage of a flat maze is that once you get to the centre, or if you get bored with it, you can just walk straight out. This does mean that you can’t really get lost in a flat maze, and at all times you can see what you’re doing. They’re still fun, though!

All paper mazes are flat mazes, of course, and you can have other small mazes. These are sometimes called finger mazes, as you travel through them using a finger. A lot of the earliest mazes seem to be like this, treated as designs rather than big enough to walk through. I heard a nice idea, to have a large maze, and then when you get to the centre, there’s a notice board with a small finger maze! Even if you have a large maze, it doesn’t have to be on the ground or floor. You can have one on a wall, or even the ceiling. You can also have fun with using different materials; how about a patchwork quilt!

If you want a maze on the ground, then you can use Roman mosaic mazes as a model. You can use mosaic tiles, but you can use any pathing material (contact your local gardening shop or builders for suggestions). Make sure that you have two contrasting colours, one for the path and one for the walls.

Turf mazes were made originally by lifting the grass turf in strips to reveal the ground underneath. I suspect that this was often chalk. Now, the paths (or walls!) are usually emphasised with paths made of brick or other material, which needs less maintenance. Make the paths lower than the grass, and then you can mow over them easier. However, there are other mazes that you can make with grass. You can mow a path through grass to create the paths. Or you can get armfuls of grass cuttings and pile them up as walls. Both will tend to get trodden down or kicked, so this sort of maze is strictly temporary!

In Scandinavia, there are Cretan mazes marked out with pebbles. This is suitable for Cretan mazes, since you mark out the walls rather than the path, so you walk between the pebbles rather than on them. If you make any other type of maze, make sure you mark the walls rather than the path. The pebbles might get disturbed quite easily by people’s feet, so perhaps you could set the pebbles in concrete, or at least, dig them into the earth a bit.

Even if you don’t want a high hedge maze, you can still have a garden maze. You could make the walls into flower beds, leaving the paths as grass or pathing material. Then you can plant up the flower beds as you wish. I’ve heard of a lavender maze, which is a lovely idea! Or you can make tiny hedges, made of herbs perhaps, or box. This is getting back to the idea of a parterre or knot garden, which was the origin of garden mazes.

You may get inspiration from other places. How about a water maze as in Bristol? That may sound too ambitious, but you can make a wonderful temporary maze on a beach; see right, one of the few mazes that I’ve ever made in the real world. If you scrape a channel in the sand, then when the tide comes in, you have an instant water maze. It’s very quick, and if you make a mistake, it’s easy to correct, and the sea wipes it all clean again. Beachmaze

If you have a flat, or fairly flat, maze, you may like to think of something to put in the middle, such as a sun-dial, or a tree, or statue, or bench, or even a small finger maze!

If that all seems like too much work, then you can do what I do, and keep your mazes on computer! Or follow the intriguing idea of using beads to guide you though an imaginary maze.


Labyrinth References

Link: Mark Willinger’s Labyrinth For Art On The Underground

Mark Wallinger unveils the largest art commission ever, for London Underground’s 150th anniversary. Labyrinth features 270 unique works, one for each of the 270 stations on the London Underground network. Here, Wallinger talks to Adrian Searle at Oxford Circus station.

Tester Samples

Experimental Piece Dotted Line On Map

Final Motion Graphic


Maya Team: The Peculiars Club


gilbertconcept2 gilbertconcept3

Here we have a few concept ideas from the team’s most favoured story; Trick Candles is a story about young Gilbert’s 2nd birthday, as he tries to blow out some candles and fails as he is a dragon who breaths fire.

One problem we face with this story is the fire – how will we animate the fire? Well, the team has come up with a solution to create a shape in Maya like a fire/flame, and in our animation we want to have that shape wriggle for a few seconds.

sneeze concept AHHHH! Chhhooooo!sneeze storyboard hedgehogsneeze

Here we have another story which the team find pretty funny. It was based on a comic strip we came across on the internet. Sneeze tells the story of two hedgehogs, who are chatting with one another when all of a sudden one of them sneezes, sending his spikes flying through the air, which happens to kill several birds passing by above.

zombie slug Awww! Brains!

Zombie Slugs Storyboard

Zombie Slug tells the story of a zombie slug and a snail. The zombie slug is trying to get the shell of the snail; the snail screams in terror as the zombie slug, only a short distant away, slowly tries to catch the snail. We find out that the snail is in fact seeing a person coming from behind with a salt bottle, which he pours onto the zombie slug and kills him.

penguin peculiar There’s a Cereal on the loose.

Penguin Peculiar, the story of P.I. (Private Investigator) Pablo (a cold case penguin detective) on the case of a…. cereal murder?

The team have had a lot of fun imagining these stories; there are many others which we are currently working on, these are just a few examples that we have been discussing. The other ideas are still in development for the story, and the storyboards for those are underway.

Here are some of the inspirations we found that aided us in our process to these initial ideas…

What we most admire about this CBBC short animation created by, was its simplistic style and staging; also the colour code was a very big inspiration.

With this animation short what the team like most is the simple storytelling and situation scenario.

The Comic strip style in this animation is another inspiration for the team.

This was an earlier inspiration, we are still intrigued by its story.

When we first began this project we threw in all kinds of ideas for the animation’s story – it could be myth, fairy tale/folktale, slapstick humour/comical. What about a worm, penguin, bears (teddy bear and gummy bears), caterpillar, slugs, fish, chicken etc. Until it came to actually thinking of situations to put these characters into, we had no ideas that sprung to mind. So, we decided to look at Animal Vines – best funny videos; and our ideas began to form from there.

(I particularly like the video above with the grizzly bear.)

(Above- Family Guy Video) This was were the title Trick Candles was formed/inspired from.


Our aim now is to go back on our ideas and fill them out more. We want to extend to other ideas for stories and add in more stories to the ones we already have, as we are now beginning to debate which three (each) of those original stories (above) we most prefer.

Once we have done this we want to narrow that list down to the one we would like to choose as our animation; but, before that decision is made we want to first create a script (for each); this will be a rough idea of scene lengths and camera shots/angles, and dialogue, if there is any at all, and refine the rough storyboards we have produced.

New Narratives: “Bless You” Storyboard Planout

After Friday’s vote from a few other teams’ members, we have finally decided to go with the story of “Bless You”.

Plot Summary: Bless You – is the story of Harry and Harriet (the hedgehogs); the couple are out in the park on a romantic picnic. After Harry finds a flower and gives it to Harriet, she suddenly begins to sneeze. Thus, sending her spikes flying into the air. One of her spikes unfortunately hits another couple in a tree nearby, the Lovebirds, who were having a romantic day too, until the female bird was hit in the heart with the hedgehog’s spike.


The story was based upon this little comic strip I came across on the internet, while looking for ideas for our story.

Ideation Process

IMG_1922 IMG_1924 IMG_1925 IMG_1926 IMG_1927 IMG_1928 IMG_1929 IMG_1930 IMG_1931

This was the team’s ideation stage; we had loads of ideas for stories. We worked on a range of rough storyboard ideas; this was the work we presented on Friday to the other teams’ members. It was then put to a vote.

Rough Storyboarding

IMG_1932 IMG_1933 IMG_1934

This was the work done today. The team sat down together and planned out each scene. We worked out what shots would be used, where characters would be placed, what actions, SFX and dialogue would be used, etc. We later split the finalised storyboard in to six pages each, keeping to the notes/plans on the rough layout.

Camera Positions

As these plans were being made I developed a structured Plan Out sheet of the camera position; mapping out where the central action takes place. Also adding notes about camera shots that would be used (to keep a note of).

back ground planout 1 back ground planout 2

Finalised Storyboard

IMG_1935 IMG_1936 IMG_1937

Above is the beginning sequence.

Sequence 13 Sequence 14 Sequence 15 Sequence 16 Sequence 17 Sequence 18

Above is the ending sequence. Fairly basic ideas of lighting, SFX and action.

Stop-Motion Animation/Animatic

A rough idea for the timing of the animation, done in clay-animation.

Character Designs


Photo: And Henriette! #clay #animation #hedgehog

Photo: Little Spiney #clay #animation #hedgehog


We want simple designs for the animation. This is some of the stuff we have been looking at while discussing our storyboards; we think it helps to visual the scenes better if we know who this is going to be aimed at? And what style it will have?

New Narratives: “Bless You” Harry & Harriet


New Narratives: Bless You Refined Storyboard

Sequence 13 Sequence 14 Sequence 15 Sequence 16 Sequence 17 Sequence 18

I have gone back over the storyboards to make them more consistent; keeping in flow of the background.

Harry and Harriet Model Sheet Designs

Bless-you-Character-designs-model-sheet Bless-you-Character-designs-model-sheet2

Harriet Sneeze Model Sheet


Bless You – Eyvind Earle Reference

061111-sleeping-beauty ancient-foresta-tree-poem-1991 KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAEyvindEarleStepbyStep fired-by-sun-1996moonlit-eucalyptus purple-sunset-1996seven-white-horses silent-meadow-1990slide17

Hedgehog Model Rigging/Ctrls Layout

Body Ctrl Options Body Rig CtrlsFrontview eye ctrls Hedgehog model rigLeg ctrl options Snout Ctrl OptionSpike Ctrl Option

These are very rough ideas the team discussed, for the placing of the controls and the rigging of the hedgehog models.



Rigging 3D Models

Sintel | Fantasy Animation Movie


New Narrative: Bless You Stage Setup

Stage_Setup_01 Stage_Setup_02

These were the final setup stages for the side-view and front-view examples for the team’s 15sec animation. The one problem we now face with these setups is for a high angle camera shot, by using the skydome in Arnold we have come across a slight hiccup. There is a black border that runs along the horizon. For the lower shots I discovered a similar problem, but managed to find a solution that worked in hiding the border; this solution was adding hills along the horizon line and moving everything on the stage geometry up. This little trick worked effectively to hid the black border, I figured I would try the same with the high camera angle shot, and found it was not as easy.

So, I was told by my tutor to try another approach; his suggestion was to create a ramp that would represent a sunset or sunrise, put it onto a sphere polygon cut in half and set it along the border line. I have now gone on to try out this idea; below are some examples I tried.


What I plan to do is to try the second image method again to the team’s actual stage setup, to see how this will look when rendering.

New Narratives: Light

R. Dawkins, 2011. The Magic of Reality: How we know what’s really true.Bantam Press: London

Note: Hedgehogs and jaguars and many other mammals work by night and sleep by day.

Into Orbit

Why do the planets stay in orbit around the sun? Why does anything stay in orbit around anything else? This was first understood in the seventeenth century by Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. Newton showed that all orbits were controlled by gravity – the same force of gravity that pulls falling apples towards the ground, but on a larger scale. (Alas, the story that Newton got the idea when an apple bounced off his head is probably not really true.)

Newton imagined a cannon on top of a very high mountain, with its barrel pointing horizontally out to sea (the mountain is o the coast). Each ball it fires seems to start off moving horizontally, but at the same time it is falling towards the sea results in a graceful downward curve, culminating in a splash. It is important to understand that the ball is falling all the time, even on the earlier, flatter part of the curve. It’s not that it travels flat horizontally for a while, then suddenly changes its mind like a cartoon character who realises he ought to be falling and therefore starts doing so!

Light of our lives

I want to end this chapter by talking about the importance of the sun for life. We don’t know whether there is life elsewhere in the universe (I’ll discuss that question in a later chapter), but we do know that, if there is life out there, it is almost certainly a star.

What light is made of

First, we need to understand about something called the spectrum. It was discovered in the time of King Charles II – that’s about 350 years ago – by Isaac Newton, who may well have been the greatest scientist ever (he discovered lots of other things besides the spectrum, as we saw in the chapter on night and day). Newton discovered that white light is really a mixture of all the different colours. To a scientist, that’s what white means. How did Newton find this out? He set up an experiment. First he blacked out his room so that no light could get in, and then he opened a narrow chink in the curtain, so that a pencil-thin beam of the white sunlight came in. He then let the beam of light pass through a prism, which is a sort of triangular chunk of glass.

What a prism does is splay the narrow white beam out; but the splayed-out beam that emerges from the prism is no longer white. It is multi-coloured like a rainbow, and Newton gave a name to rainbow he made: the spectrum. Here’s how it works.

When a beam of light travels through air and hits glass, it gets bent. The bending is called refraction. Refraction doesn’t have to be caused by glass: water does trick too, and that will be important when we come back to the rainbow. It is refraction that makes an oar look bent when you stick it in the river. So, light is bent when it hits glass or water. But now here’s the point. The angle of the bend is slightly different depending on what colour the light is. Red light bends at a shallower than blue light. So, if white light is a mixture of coloured lights, as Newton guessed, what’s going to happen when you bend white light through a prism?n The blue light is going to bend further than the red light, so they will be separated from each other when they emerge from the other when they the yellow and green lights will come out in between. The result is Newton’s spectrum: all the colours of the rainbow, arranged in the correct rainbow order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.

A video link to show the camera positions that have been developed from the storyboards. This is how the final animation will play out; the timing was important by this stage, our current timing is now 25 secs.

Love Birds Animation Tests

This was a test I did to learn the controls and understand the rig. Testing my limits and see what worked with the rig.

Another test that I did, it helped doing these tests as it was fun to play with and we discover some glitches in the earlier development of the rigs that had to be fixed.

None Camera Maya File

With the next two animation tests I was working in the stage setup, this allowed me to plan out what motions I wanted to create within the time set for each scene. All that I was doing in these animation tests was feeling and planning out the motion, seeing what could be plausible within the shots time frame.

Love Birds Scene Animation Tests:

Take 1


Take 2

Take 3

While doing these I was taking notices, and searching up animation tutorials on YouTube; also referred to the examples shown in Richard William’s The Animator’s Survival Kit.

Camera Maya File

I decided to practice some tests in the final file the team would be working on. In the file there were cameras placed at certain frames and timed. I thought I would have to practice and get to understand what these camera’s would be doing within my scenes; so, I opened the birds to a copy of that file.

Now that I had a basic idea of where I wanted to go with the character’s actions/motions; my next task would be to bring those ideas and work them to play along side the set cameras of the scenes.

We had a plan out sheet for what each of the camera’s did within the file; the list also gave the names of the cameras, their shot numbers and the timing and frames.

It took a while to get use to the cameras, a lot of my previous ideas had to be re-thought, so I did a reference video for my actions, to time movement and etc.

Bird Scene with Camera Maya File Animation test:

Take 1

  • Working with Camera 3 > Original frames = 504 to 600. Shot 6.
  • This was the animation test for the last scene, the female bird falling down and the credits.

Everything on this scene was focused on the motion of the Bird Character; I needed to see how the action would look within Camera 3’s position and time frame. This video’s timing was 1 sec long. The action within it, runs from frames 528 to 552. The action within this test, was taken from the previous tests’ plan for the motion; the actions were not working as I had thought/hoped. And I could see it was a little rough in places.

Take 2

  • Using planned out frame numbers for camera 3: 504 to 600.

I wanted to test the motion to the full length of the frame numbers for Camera 3. This Allowed me to see the full timing of Shot 6, and gave me insight of how the motion of the character was playing within the scene. I noticed by this test that, at the ending of the scene the bird is motionless. I have learned from a YouTube video tutorial by Bloop Animation, that having a character motionless for  along period of time within a scene, can make the character look dead. So now I have a plan to add in a action of the bird trying to lift herself off the ground but finding it difficult. This way the motion will not make the character look dead; the teams’ idea for the story is that the female bird is only knocked out, she does not die.

Here is that video

Take 3

  • Re-thinking the character’s motion within the scene. Adjusting to some movements.
  • Added full Shot 6, frame/ timing.

With this scene I went back and adjusted to some of the movements that I was not happy with in the previous tests. I also added the full sequence of the scene, from the spike to the impact of the spike. What I noticed on this scene was the end does not look like she will fall off the branch.

Take 4

  • Some changes where changed in this scene.

In my previous tests I had adjusted my frame bar to a set number of frames to make it easy for me to understand what I was doing, and show my time for one scene. I later expand the frame bar to the frames 456 to 600. By doing this, I was able to switch from Camera 3 to Camera 4, to give me an overall understanding of what would be seen in the final version.

Some actions I found were running late others where happening to fast, and some inbetweens were hitting their marks late and happening at the wrong time/places. So I had to go back over these an adjust them to a better time frame.

With this test, I am satisfied with what is happening with the fall, it feels right and the impact looks good. What I am now planning is to fill out the final piece of this puzzle; by adding in some motion of the bird trying to get up from the ground, so she doesn’t look dead.

These were the plan outs for each of the scenes and the camera shots the team had to follow for the animation. All the time and framing were planned out to exactly 25 Seconds.

Below are some of the tests sequences for the scene. There is also a video that shows how the full animation will play out.


In this sequence we have the a wideview of the birds and the whole surround of where the scene is set; this is to explain to the audience where the scene takes place. After this shot the camera zooms down toward the hedges and our scene begins.

Spike/Impact Scene

In this scene we have the travel of the spike and the impact. For a humorous approach I thought, spike hits bird and bird gets dizzy; whilst trying to keep her balance. But the we have decided that this could go a little faster. So it is currently being worked on at the moment.


This is the scene with the bird impact. I wanted to have the fall looks as believeable as possible; I know that when something falls, after the impact with hitting the ground usually there would be a bounce. It is the reaction to the force of the impact. Then at the end of my scene, there was a pause in which the bird lay there and did nothing. I have heard that when working with 3D it is never a good idea just to have something stand motionless, even when we a standing still there is always a slight movement that we make. So for this I added that the bird tries to lift herself back up; but, ends giving up on it.

Flower Scene

In this scene we have the hedgehogs, the male giving his partner a flower.

Sneeze and spike Impact 2

In this scene we see the female hedgehog about to sneeze. Then the impact of the spike to female bird. Again this scene is to have some minor changes that are underway. This was just to give the team an idea of how the scene would look put together.

Sneeze Scene

This is the scene of the hedgehog sneeze.

Bless YOU Animation Full Test

In this file there is one scene that was missed out. That scene has now been rendered and will be added to the final.

This was to give the team the idea for where the animation was going. How things would play together, and there were a few little suggestion made that are being changed at the moment. This we hope will improve the scenes a little better.

Some redid scenes attempts

This was an attempt done by another team member. It was a good attempt, but there was still little things that weren’t working within it.

This scene would have cut at frame 504, the extra bit below the screen viewer board would not have been added. I had to hold the bird at the exact position so that when the next scene took place. It would begin where it was suppose to be. But the problem was we were running out of time, and the fall in the next shot I thought was way to fast. So, I thought I would stick to what we originally had been planned. Adding another team members file extra pose before the sneeze jump.

A previous attempt on the final animation

In this scene there is the end credit of which I have only noticed that the final animation below does not have. This is to show that I had planned to the spike and the slower be on the ground in the final shot. The reason why I did not use this file was because, one frame did not render properly and I had to get help to fix this problem. In this animation because of the problem with the render, it was short by 2 mins.

Bless You

In the final animation, I managed to get to 24 secs, after the rendering problem was fixed, this is because one of the scenes was too short in time by one sec. I kept to the frames in the time sheet given to us, but every time I rendered it after Fchecking the scenes; it ended up 3 secs. This scene was the sneeze scene 360 – 432, which was initially supposed to be 4 secs long.

Scene 360 – 432 (Above).

New Final Version of Bless You (with credit scene correction)


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