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DZ-84: Choices & Decisions 1 - Booksmart

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Release Date: 10/30/2021

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Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

In our second part of our “series” on Choices and Decision, we take a deep dive into THE FAREWELL and WRATH OF MAN, with a sidebar on NOMADLAND.

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Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

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In our final part, part 3, of our Interweaving Timelines series, we take a deep dive into Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation of Little Women. In her adaptation of the iconic novels, Greta chose to interweave the seperate timelines of Little Women and it's sequel, Good Wives, to create a thematically and emotionally potent work. This differs from all the other adaptations, which have chosen to keep the chronological storytelling of the source material. It's almost like a scientific experiment!

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Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

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Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Stu and Chas are joined by Mel Killingsworth to dissect interweaving timelines. Not anthology films. Not Cloud Atlas. But films where two plot lines featuring the same characters, but from different timelines, are woven together. How do you manage stakes when you know a character’s future? What questions does this prompt in the viewer? And how the hell do you orient the reader?

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More Episodes

What is the difference between choice and decision when it comes to characters?

In order to better understand dramatising of character, Chas and Stu take a very draft zero look at very specific tool: choices and decisions. We analyse three films through the decisions made by their characters. In particular, how the audience understanding of: the choice available, the considered decision itself, and the consequence changes how we feel about these characters. And how separating those three things can create different emotional effects on your audience.

We debate this in the episode, but this is the terminology we settle on:

  • CHOICE: Are the options presented to the character.
  • DECISION: Is the knowing consideration of the choice and resulting action.
  • CONSEQUENCE: is the resulting outcome from the choice.

Part 1 (this part) establishes what we mean by choice and decision, and then takes a deep dive into BOOKSMART, directed by Olivia Wilde, and written by Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins and Susanna Fogel.  We all discuss FLEABAG, SEVEN, and old favourite, Star Wars.

Part 2 will turn our analytical eye on THE FAREWELL and WRATH OF MAN.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND

Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3.

Thanks to Chris for editing this episodes.


CHAPTERS

  • 00:00:00 - Introduction
  • 00:01:36 - Choices vs Decisions
  • 00:19:51 - Booksmart
  • 01:01:41 - Decisions & Structure
  • 01:05:50 - Mills' decision in Se7en
  • 01:07:50 - Key Learnings and Wrap Up

LINKS

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This episode brought to you by ScriptUp – https://www.scriptupstudio.com – use promo code DZ10 to get 10% off.

Thanks to all our patrons, especially Thomas, Garrett, Bjorn, Randy, Jesse, Theis, Sandra, and Khrob.

Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners. We are @stuwillis and @chasffisher on twitter. And you can find @draft_zero on Instagram and Twitter.