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Creating Character with Theme

Using Theme to Create Character

Storyteller OS users: Clip this video into your Knowledge Base and categorize it under Themes + Symbolism

In this video, Lessons from the Screenplay explores how the theme of progress is used to guide the design of the screenplay in Jurassic Park. By examining the creation of opposing characters, plot, and supporting characters, the video dissects how every choice in the film feeds the theme. With its exploration of the dangers of irresponsible progress, Jurassic Park is a great example of how to use theme to elevate a story above a simple monster movie.

Themes + Symbolism
Secondary Characters


  • The theme of progress is explored throughout the film, with the central question being whether everything we call "progress" is actually progress.
  • The screenplay uses opposing characters, Dr. Alan Grant and John Hammond, to explore different viewpoints on progress.
  • Characters' beliefs are tested in ways that challenge their perspectives on progress.
  • Supporting characters, such as Dr. Ian Malcolm and Dr. Ellie Sattler, are designed to test the beliefs of the central characters.
  • By the end of the film, both characters have learned to evolve and change their beliefs on progress.
  • The commitment to theme in Jurassic Park elevates it to a meaningful adventure, exploring progress issues from the early 90s, from legal and bureaucratic red tape to feminism to corporate espionage.