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DZ-54: Thematic Sequences

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Release Date: 10/10/2018

DZ-80: Interweaving Timelines 3 - Little Women show art DZ-80: Interweaving Timelines 3 - Little Women

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

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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DZ-79: Interweaving Timelines 2 - The Social Network show art DZ-79: Interweaving Timelines 2 - The Social Network

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

In Part 2 of Interweaving Timelines, DZ tackle The Social Network. We analyse Sorkin’s on-the-page skill with time jumps, managing intercutting and introducing characters - as well as explore how the flash-forward technique manages the absence of stakes (i.e. we know Facebook exists) and creates a different emotional experience to the flashbacks of Destroyer. Finally, we look at how the interweaving timelines change how the audience feel about Mark Zuckerberg (as portrayed in this film).

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DZ-78: Interweaving Timelines 1 - Destroyer show art DZ-78: Interweaving Timelines 1 - Destroyer

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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DZ-77: Backmatter - Prioritising and choosing projects show art DZ-77: Backmatter - Prioritising and choosing projects

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

In this particular Backmatter entry, Stu & Chas wax lyrical on [deep breath]: character journeys, hyperlink cinema, keeping genre fresh, beginning a new co-writing relationship, managing multiple projects, choosing your next project, and - naturally - Star Wars. SPOILERS ABOUND, particularly for The Mandalorian Season 2 and Ready or Not.

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DZ-76: Spotlight on Sofia Coppola show art DZ-76: Spotlight on Sofia Coppola

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

What can we learn from Sofia Coppola’s on-the-page skills over her career?

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DZ-75: Fury Road & Visual Storytelling show art DZ-75: Fury Road & Visual Storytelling

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Stu and Chas are joined by filmmaker, podcaster and writer Matthew Brown to deep dive into FURY ROAD and its astounding visual storytelling, both on the page and on screen. We talk about setups and payoffs, given circumstances, image systems, environmental storytelling, and how the relationship between Furiosa and Max is built over the course of the story with very little dialogue (besides Tom Hardy’s grunts and the odd bellow of “MEDIOCRE!”).

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DZ-74: Midsommar & Folk Horror show art DZ-74: Midsommar & Folk Horror

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

What can we learn from folk horror?

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DZ-73: Selling documents - Development Tools 3 show art DZ-73: Selling documents - Development Tools 3

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

In this final part from the epic recording on short documents, Stephen explores how we should craft the words on the page and structure these documents differently when they are to sell the project as opposed to develop the project. Something that Chas and Stu badly need to hear, learn and apply right now.

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DZ-72: Theme & The Story Synopsis – Development Tools 2 show art DZ-72: Theme & The Story Synopsis – Development Tools 2

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

How can I develop my theme without writing script pages?

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DZ-71: Treatments & Loglines 1 - Development Tools show art DZ-71: Treatments & Loglines 1 - Development Tools

Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Stu and Chas are joined by fan-favourite, Stephen Cleary, to NOT look at what makes great screenplays work -- but what makes great "short documents" work. Part I explores the short documents and tools you can use to develop your story’s PLOT before going to script, including the Premise, the Logline, various synopses, character documents, and - of course - the dreaded Treatment…

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How does removing character and plot questions force your audience to engage with theme?

Chas and Stu are joined, once again, by the inestimable Stephen Cleary. This episode is a spiritual sequel to our last episode with Stephen on sequence structure. That episode explored how sequences could be broken into plot, character, and plot/character sequences.

Well, Stephen’s back to talk about a different type of sequence: the thematic sequence. By limiting (or removing all together) questions related to character or plot, filmmakers can force their audience to engage with the deeper, underlying meaning of the story.

Our deep dive onto this topic focuses on LOVE ACTUALLY, THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL, APOCALYPSE NOW, and IN THE BEDROOM. But it wouldn’t be a Draft Zero without numerous digressions including into HUNGER, GET OUT, INFINITY WAR, and THE THIN RED LINE.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND!

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

Read the transcript on GitHub or in HTML.

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