Slacker is an independent film, which has no conventional narrative structure. Instead
it is a series of stories encapsulated within conversations between random ever-
changing characters. All of which are in some form misfits in society. The protagonist
changes every few minutes and there is no conventional character arc. It is an
observation of different people living in Austin, Texas. It focuses on conversation
between characters, but does not become involved in their lives. Following one
protagonist for a time and then moving to the next as the character cross over. (J.J.
The conventional three-act structure follows one protagonist, who has a goal or
desire. The established character is flawed and needs to overcome this flaw in order to
achieve his/her objective. There is always an inner conflict and external conflict. As
the narrative develops the character finds way to overcome his/her flaws and is
fulfilled when they have overcome it and achieved their goal by winning the conflict.
In the 3-act based structure, the character may have more than one objective as the
story progresses, but these will be smaller ambitions that generally tie into the
achieving of the big goal. For example; in Harry Potter and the Order Of The
Pheonix, Harry the protagonist must complete a series of obstacles in order to win
The Tri-wizard Tournament. This objective is overshadowed by the fact that in doing
so it leads to him having to defeat Voldemort. (Yates, 2007)Which is he’s greatest
objective in the series of films.
In Slacker, characters have small goals as apposed to one large objective, they don’t
necessarily have to achieve these goals in order to reach fulfillment either. One of the
most famous scenes is the film, is of an interesting young woman who attempts to sell
Madonna’s pap smear. Her desire is to make money, but this is not fulfilled because
the characters she attempts to sell it to are broke. (J.J. Murphy, 2007)
The characters in slacker only cross paths once, before they part ways and the scene
follows a different character. These meetings are for the sole purpose of conversation.
It can be said that there is a lack of deep connection between most of the characters.
The only thing that really connects them is neutral relations or arbitrary conversation;
instead the only real connection is in the sharing of the town they live in in most
In the conventional 3-act based storyline the characters are linked. They have close
positive ties or antagonistic ties. They move in and out of each other’s space
continually. Harry Potter has two friends that are consistently in his life, Hermione
and Ron. (Yates, 2007) He has one major conflict with Voldemort; that continues to
plague him throughout the series. In the end he overcomes his inner conflict, (his fear
that he is not strong enough to conquer the dark lord) defeats the antagonist and
Because there are numerous protagonists in Slacker, there is no...