Monday, August 17, 2015

Save the cat moment

You see it in many films and once you know what it is you recognise it all the time. Politicians, especially in America, referred to as the 'howdy factor', playing sports and allowing the public to see this display of human behaviour, which they can relate to. These staged moments help people to step into their shoes and identify with them. Equally Politician's sighting their service record in a way it highlights their personal sacrifice for others.

In Blake Snyder's book: 'Save the Cat', a must read for any inspiring screenwriter and fiction novelist. Suggest a moment where our hero does something that will make the audience like them portraying him/her as nice, so the audience will root for them. You can also give your evil, despicable villain a save the cat moment so as to create depth of character, after all they can't be all bad. Another way of making your evil character likeable is have him subordinate of someone more evil than him - this is save the cat by proxy.

It, of course, doesn't have to be someone really saving a cat.

Do we, inadvertently, use this in our lives to motivate people to like us? I think so. We just have to be subtle or it will be noticed. Teen movies showing some desperate boy paying a friend to steal his new date's hand bag and then gives chase. Pull some impossible gravity-defying marshal arts moves making the last kick up the thieves backside humiliating and letting him go with the words, "let that be a lesson - go straight punk."

This works in several ways, she buys into it totally impressed and the date is a success, she is hanging onto his arm as he walked her home. Or she sees straight through it and kicks off throwing a hissy-fit saying you sad bastard calms down and laughs at you for trying to impress her and making an effort.

But was this a save the cat moment or a desperate attempt at being seen as someone he is not. His ability to take an assertive action that would "save the cat." Or in this instance the handbag and personal belongings of a potential love interest.

The reality, as times are changing, the not so helpless female passes him running after his friend drop kicks him first with a hay-maker kick, a superman punch and a spinning back fist. Sprays him with pepper spray she bought off of Ebay, kicks him in the gonads with the conviction of a seasoned female football player realises her date was in on it, pulls his jacket over his arms launches an extended index knuckle punch and kicks him in the boys too - that’s call a save the cat fail.

My mother was an expert on using a combination of flattery and save the cat moments with my teen friends, stood in my kitchen to make them feel at home. She would complement them on the way they were dressed, their aftershave or hair cut that kind of thing and always followed up by trying to embarrass me. One of her favourites, hiding in the hallway and shouting in a convincing voice: "I'm having a bath do you want me to save you the water?" Amused it sparked thoughts of, wish my mother was a laugh like this.
"It's a shame you haven’t passed your driving test yet," she would say. "You could have taken my car I've just filled it up with petrol."
What a blatant lie, she wouldn’t let God drive her baby. She was making sure if I ever said anything negative about her. I would look like a person with sour grapes. So you could say she was using the save the cat moment to control me and my friends thoughts of her through possible action.

Anyway I have to go it's my turn to muck out the Donkeys at the sanctuary, serve the homeless soup from my kitchen, drop off some gifts at the children's home I have collected from different charitable businesses. And I noticed the elderly lady's pet, both who live next door, is stuck up a tree again. I must risk my life and literally - save the cat – honest!

Spoils of the Moon

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