If you are working to create thorough characters that will be able to actually connect to your audience, you have a rather large task ahead of you. Most audiences will agree that they are more interested in what happens to characters that they are emotionally attached to. This emotional attachment is not impossible, and is in fact quite easy to create if you take the time to fully develop your characters. Just as people in real life have many aspects, your characters in the feature films that you create should be much the same.
You need to first begin by creating a complete background for your character. Information about where your character comes from, who their parents are, where they went to school and other details of the past may not actually be used in the film you create, but they can help to define your character. You may even decide to use some of these details in the film itself. Ensuring that each character has a life story will help make them much more real.
Regardless of the career that you select, each character needs to have a job. This is not to say that they should all love their jobs. After all, in real life many people dislike their jobs. Choosing appropriate careers that are suited to the character can create a smooth feeling, while picking out a job that is grossly incorrect can create a rather funny situation. Choosing the type of job you select for your character is very important to help set the tone, especially if there are parts of the movie that focus around scenes at work.
Friends, family and even pets are also needed. Most people have each of these aspects in their real life. A character that seems to merely fall out of the sky with no friends and family will not be very real to the audience. Again, a character that is not capable of getting an emotional attachment from the audience will likely cause your movie to suffer. Create a few friends, or at least attempt some awkward attempts at friendship. Once again, not all friendships have to be deep bonds, mimicking life is ideal in this situation.
Another place where the characters often fail is in personality. Is your character a clean freak, do they prefer to ignore the housework. Do they stress out if all of the vegetables in their kitchen are not organized alphabetically? Must shirts be thoroughly pressed with starch? These types of small details can really develop your character and provide endearing traits that are beloved by the audience. Consider the television show Monk, the quirky detective is loved by fans due to his strange and erratic behavior.
Developing each character is important. A lot of filmmakers will spend an excessive amount of time on their main character and leave the others in the dark. Giving each character a good workup will help to ensure that your film is well balanced. Unless you plan on making a movie with only a single character present for the majority of the movie, such as in the Will Smith movie “I Am Legend” you will need to develop each character to help the audience understand how they all fit together. This creates the larger picture that will really help your audience grasp all of the details, and really start to care for your characters.