Every great movie follows a certain structure known as “The Hero’s Journey”. To get a sense of how this applies, I’ll be taking a look at one such great movie: Pitch Perfect.
1. Hero at rest
Our story starts with our hero, Beca Mitchell, on her first day at Barden University.
2. Call to action
At the Activities Fair, Beca ends up at an a cappella group’s booth; the Barden Bellas’. She meets Aubrey and Chloe, who try (but fail) to persuade Beca to audition.
3. Reluctant Acceptance
Convinced by her dad’s proposal to join one club on campus, and a timely run-in with Chloe in the dorm showers, Beca decides to show up for auditions.
4. Introduction to villain
We are officially introduced to our big bad, Aubrey Posen – a bossy control freak, and leader of the Bellas – at the Bellas’ initiation.
5. First Battle
The Bellas perform their usual snooze-fest at the ICCA semi-finals. Sensing the crowd’s boredom, Beca decides to improvise. Though Beca prevented them from truly losing face, Aubrey accuses her of sabotage.
6. Hero defeat
As the third place, the Barden Bellas can’t make it to finals. Having quit a now disbanded Bellas, Beca is alone.
With the help of sheer luck, the Bellas are reinstated for finals.
8. Second battle
Beca pleads with Aubrey; begging her to take her back as a Bella.
9. Villain defeated
Aubrey accepts, relinquishing her position as leader to Beca. The Bellas are reborn.
The reformed Bellas finally have what it takes to win nationals.
10. Hero returns changed by adventure
We find Beca and the Bellas six months later at auditions, as the most recent ICCA national winners.
Pitch Perfect is but one great example of the Hero’s Journey. Can you think of others?