Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast
Two emerging screenwriters – Chas Fisher and Stuart Willis – try to work out what makes great screenplays work. Discovering what it takes by analysing what successful writers put on the page
info_outline DZ-60 Unfilmables and Unscriptables (Part 1) - Engaging imagination 08/07/2019
DZ-60 Unfilmables and Unscriptables (Part 1) - Engaging imagination In this episode, Chas and Stu deep dive into the controversial area of “unfilmables” — those alleged screenwriting sins, where a writer writes a line that (apparently) cannot be seen or heard. But many produced spec scripts use unfilmables to great effect. So how and why do they “get away with it”?
info_outline DZ-59: Avengers Endgame - Ending Character Journeys 07/01/2019
DZ-59: Avengers Endgame - Ending Character Journeys A short-shot into Avengers Endgame. What began as an exploration of how to dramatise character change swiftly became an exploration of how to position audience in relation to your characters. Do you want the audience empathising with the characters? Feeling what they are feeling in the moment? Or do you want your audience sympathising with your characters? Being rocked by surprise after the fact? Reminding your audience of their own personal relationship with the characters.
info_outline DZ-58: Game of Thrones - Character Exposition 05/16/2019
DZ-58: Game of Thrones - Character Exposition while we thought this episode would be an extension of our previous musings on exposition, in nearly every great scene we assessed, the characters basically said “screw talking about plot or backstory” and instead exposited about their character. How it feels to be them. How they have, or have not, changed.
info_outline DZ-57: Backmatter - Aesthetics and Forgiveness in Writing 05/01/2019
DZ-57: Backmatter - Aesthetics and Forgiveness in Writing It is time (in fact, well past time) for our semi-annual #Backmatter episode. For the uninitiated, this is an episode where Stu and Chas discuss career and craft-related topics beyond what makes great screenplays work. To that end, Stu and Chas dive into: a five year review of Draft Zero and how it has changed their writing craft and process; a discussion on the aesthetics of writing; learnings for emerging writers in having their work produced; and finally forgiving yourself for not writing.
info_outline DZ-56: Character Motivations (Part 2) 03/30/2019
DZ-56: Character Motivations (Part 2) Chas & Stu examine moments where they did not believe a key decision being made by a character and so were taken out of the movie. They apply the tools they developed in Part 1 to workshop potential fixes to these beats.
info_outline DZ-55: Character Motivations (Part 1) 01/15/2019
DZ-55: Character Motivations (Part 1) In part 1 of this 2-part episode, Chas & Stu look at examples of good character motivation. We’ve all watched movies where we don’t believe the motivation of a character or characters. We may have even written scripts where readers don’t buy the character’s choices. To help us solve the problem of how to improve our character motivations, in this episode we explore great examples of character motivation and how they have helped the audience believe a character’s decision.
info_outline DZ-54: Thematic Sequences 10/10/2018
DZ-54: Thematic Sequences Chas and Stu are joined, once again, by the inestimable Stephen Cleary. This episode is a spiritual sequel to our last episode with Stephen, the one on sequence structure. We 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.
info_outline DZ-53: Antagonists! (Part 5) - vs Audience 08/26/2018
DZ-53: Antagonists! (Part 5) - vs Audience The Epic Deep Dive(TM) into Antagonists has reached its shuddering conclusion. And for this Part V - by choosing films that have no obvious singular antagonist (and in some cases no obvious narrative either) - Stu and Chas realised there was indeed a final category of antagonists: the films themselves. Where the film (and the filmmaker) are engaging directly with the audience. Where the films are... VERSUS AUDIENCE
info_outline DZ-48: One-Shot - Blade Runner 2049 – Agency vs Choice 02/28/2018
DZ-48: One-Shot - Blade Runner 2049 – Agency vs Choice Can your characters be given choices and yet still be deprived of agency?
info_outline DZ-47: Backmatter - A Lost Jedi, White Knighting, and Writers-On-Set 01/11/2018
DZ-47: Backmatter - A Lost Jedi, White Knighting, and Writers-On-Set Will Director Stu allow Writer Chas on his set?
info_outline DZ-44: Marvel - First Acts and Establishing Characters 09/17/2017
DZ-44: Marvel - First Acts and Establishing Characters How can your first act effectively establish your character journey?
info_outline DZ-43: Driving Sequences - Character and Plot Intensity 07/08/2017
DZ-43: Driving Sequences - Character and Plot Intensity What gives your sequences their intensity? Chas and Stu are joined for the fourth time by the inestimable Stephen Cleary - this time to take a deep dive into sequences. A real deep dive. A 3+ hour deep dive. Stephen postulates that sequences can compel the audience in different ways via the type of dramatic questions being posed. Are they plot questions ("Will she defuse the bomb?") or character questions ("Will she understand what compels her to defuse bombs?") or a combination of both? What is the impact on the pacing, structure of your story or audience experience of your characters by changing the type of question being asked? What happens to your story when your protagonist decides to literally abandon the plot? Our deep dive roams through THE BOURNE IDENTITY, NAKED, THE DIVING BELL & THE BUTTERFLY, THERE WILL BE BLOOD, FARGO (the movie) and CHILDREN OF MEN... with many-a-tangent referencing HEAT, FRENZY, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, AMOUR, CHEF, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, THE KINGSMAN, FURY ROAD, THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES, LIVING IS EASY WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED, MOONLIGHT, and probably some more that we've forgotten. SPOILERS ABOUND!! Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. PS: Thanks to all our listeners who provided feedback on a draft edit of this episode. EPISODE LINKS HISTORY & THEORY OF SEQUENCES [@ 1m 38s] PLOT-LITE REVISITED - AMOUR, CHEF and HAPPY-GO-LUCKY [@ 13m 24s] DZ-35: Character driven or driving characters? DZ-29: Showdowns & Scene Structure HIGH INTENSITY PLOT SEQUENCES [@ 24m 01s] Youtube: Heat - Bank Robbery JustWatch: Heat Youtube: Frenzy - Potato Truck Scene JustWatch: Frenzy Youtube: Saving Private Ryan - Omaha Beach Landing JustWatch: Saving Private Ryan PLOT/CHARACTER SEQUENCES THE BOURNE IDENTITY w Tony Gilroy [@ 36m 07s] Youtube: Bourne vs The Professor Find it on JustWatch PLOT SEQUENCES MOVING INTO PURE CHARACTER SEQUENCES NAKED w & d Mike Leigh - Maggie Sequence [@ 54m 43s] Youtube: Naked - "Maggie!" scene IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107653/ ROAD MOVIES [@ 1hr 06m 35s ] IMDB: Living Is Easy with Your Eyes Closed JustWatch: The Motorcycle Diaries NAKED w & d Mike Leigh - Security Guard Sequence [@ 1hr 13m 00s] Youtube: Naked - Jonny and the Security Guard IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107653/ PLOT AS THE HOOK [ @1h 21m 31s] THE KINGSMAN w Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn [@ 1h 26m 44s] Find it on JustWatch CHARACTER SEQUENCES & AUDIENCE INTROSPECTION [@ 1h 34m 52s] THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY w Ronald Harwood [@ 1h 34m 52s] Script: http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/The_Diving_Bell_and_the_Butterfly.pdf Find it on JustWatch THERE WILL BE BLOOD w Paul Thomas Anderson [@ 1h 55m 41s] Vimeo: There Will Be Blood Opening Scene Find it on JustWatch FARGO (1996) w Joel & Ethan Coen [@ 2h 05m 28s] Youtube: Mike Yanagita Find it on JustWatch CHILDREN OF MEN w A Cuaron, T Sexton, D Arata, M Fergus, H Ostby [@ 2h 20m 12s] Youtube: Faith vs Chance Youtube: Baby Ceasefire Find it on JustWatch SUMMARY & FINAL WORDS [@ 3hr 03m 44s] Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter.
info_outline DZ-42: One-Shot - Split, Character Worldview & Macro POV 04/26/2017
DZ-42: One-Shot - Split, Character Worldview & Macro POV What screenwriting lessons can be we learn from SPLIT? In our first (and perhaps last) one-shot, we take a close look at the M. Night Shyamalan's SPLIT. Rather than having one topic with many examples, we use the one example to look at many topics. Well, okay, a few topics. Firstly, we take the opportunity to revisit theme. SPLIT offers a very clear example of the worldview of the characters and the rules of the world working together to create a coherent theme. Then we look at the SPLIT's use of macro point of view. Given the film's contained nature, it makes some interesting choices in the story structure in order to control what the audience knows vis-a-vis the characters. This assists in generating tension (in both conventional and unconventional ways) while also creating a dramatic journey for the protagonist and reinforcing the theme. We also cover (in lesser detail) flashbacks, tactics, contained spaces, character individuation, and... being a M. Night Shamalyan film... TWISTS. And if its not obvious... this episode is FULL OF SPOILERS. Love it, hate it or indiffererent, please let us know what you think of this new format. We're not going to do it every episode, but it gives us the opportunity to look at some great films in more detail. EPISODE LINKS SPLIT by M. Night IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4972582/ Find it on JustWatch The Guardian: From Split to Psycho: why cinema fails dissociative identity disorder WORLDVIEW [ @ 6m 36s] DZ-41: Theme and Worldview MACRO POV AND NARRATIVE [ @ 35m 35s ] DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions FLASHBACKS [ @ 1hr 03m 26s ] DZ-21: Scene Transitions and the Hook TACTICS [ @ 1hr 12m 34s] DZ-40: Tactics and Scenes CONTAINED SPACES [ @ 1hr 15m 35s ] DZ-28: Containing Your Script CHARACTER INDIVIDUATION [ @ 1hr 19m 32s ] DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue DZ-14: Writing For Actors & Old Underwear The Fashionpedia: https://fashionary.org/products/fashionpedia TWIST ENDINGS [ @ 1hr 33m 00s] DZ-25: Coincidences, Contrivances & Giant Eagles EPISODE WRAP [ @ 1hr 50m 41s ] DZ-38: Excelling at Exposition (Part 2) Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-41: Theme and Worldview 03/24/2017
DZ-41: Theme and Worldview How can your characters' worldview dramatise your theme? In this episode, Stu and Chas tackle one of the more esoteric topics in screenwriting (and writing in general): theme! To help us tackle this topic, we decided to look at television pilots, because we felt that television requires the theme to be more explicit. Our zig-zagging (and long) discussion covers thematic engines, music themes, thematic loglines, punishment vs reward, and - perhaps most of all - the worldview of characters. So we take a look at the opening and closing scenes (and middle scenes, too) of some of our favourite shows: HOUSE OF CARDS, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, TRUE DETECTIVE, FARGO and TRANSPARENT. We also make passing reference to SPEC OPS: THE LINE, GAME OF THRONES (its Stu's new Star Wars), and BOJACK HORSEMAN. In backmatter, we talk about the difference between the written scripts of these pilots and their released versions. Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. It should go without saying but - SPOILERS AHEAD. DRAFT ZERO - Related Episodes DZ-24: Forging story rules in TV pilots DZ-15: World Building Rules, Okay? DZ-34: Game of Choices – Decision Making and Character Implications BACKGROUND MATERIAL /r/screenwriting: [QUESTION] How do I find my theme/moral/the point I want to make with my story? Game Maker's Toolkit: Morality in the Mechanics Game Maker's Toolkit: Telling Stories with Systems YouTube: SpecOps the Line - White Phosphorus Scenes PopMatters: Morality and Karma Systems HOUSE OF CARDS [@ 24m 33s] Script: HOUSE OF CARDS by Beau Williamson YouTube: Francis Underwood's first monologue YouTube: Tyrion and Varys Discuss Power Find it on JustWatch CRAZY EX GIRLFRIEND [@ 42m 23s] Script: CRAZY EX GIRLFRIEND "West Covina" Written by Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna YouTube: "West Covina" YouTube: Bojack Horseman Find it on JustWatch TRUE DETECTIVE [@ 01hr 07m 27s] Script: TRUE DETECTIVE "The Long Bright Dark" by Nic Pizzolatto YouTube: Rust & Martin Car Conversation YouTube: Six Feet Under - Elephant Art vs Termite Art Find it on JustWatch FARGO [@ 1h1 35m 40s] Script: FARGO script by Noah Hawley YouTube: Lester Nygaard talks to Lorne Malvo about Sam Hess Find it on JustWatch TRANSPARENT [@ 1hr 52m 46s] Script: TRANSPARENT by Jill Soloway YouTube: A Big Change Find it on JustWatch WRAP UP MATERIAL [@ 2hr 01m 05s] Slate.com: Against Subtlety: The Case for Heavy-Handedness in Art. BACKMATTER [@ 2hr 21m 29s] Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-40: Tactics and Scenes 02/04/2017
DZ-40: Tactics and Scenes How do tactics make your characters and scenes more dynamic? In this episode, Stu and Chas turn their gaze to the "tactics" that characters use in scenes to get what they want. Tactics are how the characters try to achieve their goals and (we reckon) can be revealing of the essence of their character. The shifting and thwarting of tactics can make scenes more dynamic; while over the course of a story, the changing of tactics can reflect the growth of characters... even if their goal stays the same. We take a close look at great single scenes from ZODIAC and TRAINING DAY. And then we look at a number of scenes over the course of HELL OR HIGH WATER, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and WINTER'S BONE. And we also skate over WILE E COYOTE, GAME OF THRONES, MACBETH, HAMLET, and EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below! It should go without saying but - SPOILERS AHOY. EPISODE LINKS DRAFT ZERO - Related Episodes DZ-34: Game of Choices – Decision Making and Character Implications DZ-32: High-Tension Sequences DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue DZ-29: Showdowns & Scene Structure DZ-14: Writing For Actors & Old Underwear DZ-08: Status Transactions and the Power of Washing Machines The Game of the Scene Improv’s Babel: Defining the Game of the Scene http://kevinmullaney.com/tag/game-of-the-scene/ ROADRUNNER [@ 8m 08s] YouTube: Wile E Coyote and Road Runner E01 Twitter: Coyote Rules for Road Runner Every Frame A Painting: Chuck Jones - Evolution of an Artist Scenes Compiled PDF of all scene excerpts ZODIAC [@ 16m 15s] Script: ZODIAC screenplay by James Vanderbilt YouTube: Zodiac - Arthur Leigh Allen interrogation Find it on JustWatch TRAINING DAY [@ 36m 53s] Script: TRAINING DAY by David Ayer YouTube: Training Day - Initial Scene Find it on JustWatch HELL OR HIGH WATER [@ 46m 22s] Script: HELL OR HIGH WATER written by Taylor Sheridan Find it on JustWatch SILENCE OF THE LAMBS [@ 1hr 21m 34s] Script: SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Ted Tally Every Frame a Painting: Who Wins the Scene? Find it on JustWatch WINTER'S BONE [@ 1hr 43m 23s] WINTER'S BONE written by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini Find it on JustWatch Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-39: Backmatter - Hitting LA, Receiving Feedback, and a Roguish One 01/15/2017
DZ-39: Backmatter - Hitting LA, Receiving Feedback, and a Roguish One How can writers make use of their time when hitting LA? In another backmatter-only episode, Stu & Chas zig-zag through a range of topics. We talk about Chas' experience(s) hitting both Los Angeles and the Austin Film Festival, effective networking, career capital, the art of receiving feedback, and Stu's harsh Three Strikes Rule. We look back at the most important lessons we've learned about storytelling in 2016 and that leads us to talk about character choices in a little-known and little-talked about film called ROGUE ONE. And, of course, we open the listener mail box for critiques, praise, suggestions and follow-up to earlier episodes -- especially our Exposition two-parter. Thanks to everyone for their support in 2016! We look forward to erratically bringing you new episodes this year. BACKMATTER LINKS Urban Dictionary: Career Capital Forbes: 7 Steps To Developing Career Capital -- And Achieving Success Music Bed: Creative Critique - The Art of Receiving Feedback Twitter: @theemilyblake on Failure and Hope Emily Blake: Choosing to Fail - Journey From Writer to Scripty /r/screenwriting: Fishmanmanfish on Given Circumstances vs Exposition ROGUE ONE links because, well, Stu KCRW The Business: Hollywood News Banter Yahoo UK: Rogue One's editors reveal the scenes added in the Star Wars standalone reshoots (exclusive) Mamo 459: Rogue Two Podcast Super Ticket 8: Rowgue Three Vashi Visuals: ROGUE ONE – 46 SHOTS NOT IN THE FINAL FILM Destroy All Monsters: The Meme-ification of ROGUE ONE Oscars.org: SHORT TERM 12 by Destin Cretton (Nicholls Draft) DZ-37: Excelling at Exposition (Part 1) DZ-38: Excelling at Exposition (Part 2) DZ-34: Game of Choices – Decision Making and Character Implications DZ-20: Writing Strong Secondary Characters – Trinity, Bechdel and a Bamboo Killer Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners
info_outline DZ-38: Excelling at Exposition (Part 2) 12/06/2016
DZ-38: Excelling at Exposition (Part 2) How can exposition twist your story in new directions? In the second part of Draft Zero's two-part episode on "Exposition", Stu & Chas take an even deeper look at this notoriously challenging part of screenwriting. For many stories there are pre-existing facts (or given circumstances) that need to be communicated to an audience, and often we rely on dialogue to do it. But exposition can do more than just communicate, it can serve as dramatic revelation that twists a story into a new direction or provides an emotional payoff - or both!. So how do great writers make exposition work for the story, rather than just tell audience stuff they need to know? And how can writers go wrong? To that end, we look at GONE GIRL, SHUTTER ISLAND, GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL, THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Audio quotations are included for educational purposes. It should go without saying but in case you missed it SPOILERS AHEAD. EPISODE LINKS Draft Zero: DZ-37: Excelling at Exposition (Part 1) Compiled PDF of all screenplay excerpts for Part 2 GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn Find it on JustWatch SHUTTER ISLAND screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis Find it on JustWatch GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig Find it on JustWatch THE MATRIX by Larry & Andy Wachowski Find it on JustWatch THE MATRIX RELOADED by Larry & Andy Wachowski Find it on JustWatch CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely Find it on JustWatch Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-37: Excelling at Exposition (Part 1) 11/23/2016
DZ-37: Excelling at Exposition (Part 1) How can you successfully integrate exposition into your story? In Draft Zero's first two part episode, Stu & Chas take an in-depth look at one of screenwriting's most common challenges: EXPOSITION. For many stories there are pre-existing facts that need to be communicated to the audience — whether those facts be about the rules of the world, the nature of a location, character motivations, character backstories or just character names. So how have great writers made exposition move the story forward, rather than stopping it to tell the audience stuff they need to know? To that end, in Part 1 of Excelling At Exposition we break down scenes from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, SHORT TERM 12, INSIDE OUT, THE WORLD'S END, THE BIG SHORT, IT FOLLOWS, JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC WORLD. Audio quotations are included for educational purposes. Many thanks to /r/screenwriting for suggesting so many examples. EPISODE LINKS On the Page: Ep 457. Terry Rossio Compiled PDF of all Screenplays Excerpts PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL by Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio Find it on JustWatch SHORT TERM 12 by Destin Daniel Cretton Find it on JustWatch INSIDE OUT story by Pete Docter & Ronnie Del Carmen; Screenplay by Pete Docter & Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley Find it on JustWatch THE WORLD'S END by Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright Find it on JustWatch THE BIG SHORT screenplay by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay Fandor: Who Deserves the 2016 for Best Picture by Kevin B. Lee Video Essayists - Nerd Writer & Every Frame A Painting IT FOLLOWS by David Robert Mitchell Find it on JustWatch JURASSIC PARK screenplay by David Koepp, based on the novel by Michael Crichton and on an adaptation by Michael Crichton and Malia Scotch Marmo Find it on JustWatch JURASSIC WORLD by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly, story by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver Find it on JustWatch Draft Zero: DZ-15: World Building Rules, Okay? Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-36: Backmatter - Time Risk and Fixing Movies 10/30/2016
DZ-36: Backmatter - Time Risk and Fixing Movies How can writers wisely invest their time in projects? In this "special", backmatter-only episode, Stu & Chas take inspiration from Terry Rossio's excellent article on TIME RISK and ice skate over a range of topics. We talk about time investment in projects, Stuart's project Restoration, doing you down work first, managing feedback, thinking positive being a negative, and we open the listener mail bag for critiques, praise and suggestions. We also explore how we could do Draft Zero episodes exploring tone and theme. We welcome any listener feedback as to whether we should do any backmatter-only episodes into the future. EPISODE LINKS RESTORATION written by Matthew Clayfield & Stuart Willis Watch it on STAN (Australia) The Solute: Could the Mirror Be Really You? RESTORATION (2016) Screen Director Podcast: Ben Mizzi talks to Stu Willis about directing Restoration YouTube: #Stranger2015 - Metallica's St Anger (2003) Album Re-Recorded Wordplayer: "Time Risk" by Terry Rossio Aeon: Thinking positive is a surprisingly risky manoeuvre Medium: Why You Should Do Your Work First, Others' Work Second /r/screenwriting: Mortified at first professional feedback David Foster Wallace "This Is Water" YouTube: David Foster Wallace Commencement Speech (Audio Only) Metastatic.org: http://metastatic.org/text/This%20is%20Water.pdf Kenyon.edu: http://bulletin.kenyon.edu/x4280.html Ira Glass on Creativity, Taste and Our Work Writer Underground: Ira Glass On Creativity (or, The Gap Between Our Taste And Our Work…) Vimeo: Ira Glass on Storytelling Vimeo: THE GAP by Ira Glass MikeJones.tv Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-35: Driving Characters or Character Driven? 10/06/2016
DZ-35: Driving Characters or Character Driven? How can films maintain audience interest without stakes or plot questions? Continuing their focus on "character", Stuart and Chas take a close look at films that may be considered character-driven... or rather character studies... or just plot-lite films? Whatever you call them, these films —CHEF, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, and AMOUR — let their plots take a back seat to a closer examination of their characters. Stuart and Chas dive in to investigate how, without plot driving the story forward, do these films maintain our interest? We talk Mike Leigh's 'Running Condition', Character Choice, SceneWork and the myriad other techniques the filmmakers use to keep us interested. PS: There is no backmatter this episode. PPS: Note that all these films are writer/directors. Hmm. EPISODE LINKS CHEF by Jon Favreau Watch it on iTunes or find it on JustWatch HAPPY-GO-LUCKY by Mike Leigh Watch it on iTunes or find it on JustWatch AMOUR by Michael Henke Watch it on on iTunes or find it on JustWatch ScreenOnline: On Mike Leigh http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/461294/ Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-34: Game of Choices - Decision Making and Character Implications 08/14/2016
DZ-34: Game of Choices - Decision Making and Character Implications How does the audience experience of a character's decision impact our feelings towards that character? After a spectacular end to Season 6 of GAME OF THRONES, Chas and Stu were struck by the very different portrayals of Sansa in Episode 9 - Battle of the Bastards and Cersei in Episode 10 - The Winds of Winter. Despite both characters having an enormous impact on the narrative, the audience's experience of those characters is very different -- largely because Sansa is absent from 98% of Battle of the Bastards. And thus: Stu and Chas embark on an exploration of how a writer's use of point of view - particularly in relation to how you show characters making decisions - can control how your audience perceives any given character (for good or ill). Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, we recommend you watch these two episodes for their contrasting but fascinating control of point of view and character. Both episodes were written by showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss. EPISODE LINKS HBO: The Official Website of Game of Thrones The AV Club: Thrones stages an epic battle, but to what end? Youtube: Jon and Sansa - "We need to trust each other" Youtube: Cersei [spoiler] DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions DZ-20: Writing Strong Secondary Characters – Trinity, Bechdel and a Bamboo Killer DZ-33: Protagonist vs Hero – Dawn of Character Function BACK MATTER /r/Screenwriting: Protagonist vs Hero - Dawn of Character Function The Guardian: Words are losing their power. Not even Jason Bourne can save them now Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-33: Protagonist vs Hero - Dawn of Character Function 07/15/2016
DZ-33: Protagonist vs Hero - Dawn of Character Function How does splitting 'character functions' enhance theme? We are often told that our 'protagonist' needs to be a active. That they need to be compelling. That they need to change. And - old faithful - that they need to be likeable. But after looking at MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, STAR TREK (2009), THE FIGHTER, and SICARIO, Chas and Stu learn that your primary character does not need to do all these things. In fact, they learn that splitting these functions between your primary characters can reinforce theme and create potential for different types of narratives. And stick around for backmatter if you want to hear Stu go on a rant. For a change. EPISODE LINKS John August: What’s the difference between Hero, Main Character and Protagonist? Screen Anarchy: Destroy All Monsters: All We Have Are Our Bodies On FURY ROAD MAD MAX: FURY ROAD by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy & Nico Lathouris Watch it on iTunes and Stan (AU) STAR TREK (2009) by Roberto Orchi & Alex Kurtzman Watch it on iTunes and Netflix Bitter Script Reader: How STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS gave us the Kirk we deserve THE FIGHTER screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; story by Paul Tamasay & Eric Johnson & Keith Dorringon Watch it on iTunes and Netflix SICARIO by Taylor Sheridan Watch it on iTunes and Stan (AU) DZ-03: Making Unlikeable Protagonists Compelling DZ-19: Car-Crash Characters DZ-20: Writing Strong Secondary Characters DZ-24: Forging Story Rules in TV Pilots BACKMATTER LINKS Done Deal Pro Forums: Podcast Recommendations Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.
info_outline DZ-32: High-Tension Sequences 06/12/2016
DZ-32: High-Tension Sequences How can you recreate the feeling of cinematic high-tension on the page? Chas & Stu take a close look at sequences of high-tension - the ones that make you lean forward in fear, or jump backwards in terror. Without camera angles, lighting, music or sound, how can screenwriters can evoke those emotions in readers using only the page? These sequences can be found in any genre of film, not just thriller or horror. To that end, Stu and Chas dive into high tension scenes from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, ZODIAC, ROOM, and THE BABADOOK. We cover their use of shifting POV, Dramatic Irony, Status Transactions, White Space, Sound FX, and many more. And in backmatter we talk SICARIO and high tension, crack open the mail-bag, and look at how the so-called gurus rated the Oscar-nominated scripts. EPISODE LINKS Aeon: Neurothriller - Horror Films are scarier than they were in the past Film Crit Hulk - HULK EXPLAINS ACTION SCENES - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - sequence starts page 60 YouTube: Hotel Showdown (excerpt) ZODIAC by Jamie Vanderbilt - sequence runs pages 125-129 YouTube: Zodiac Basement Scene (partial scene excerpt) YouTube: Zodiac Analysis - Inside the Basement ROOM by Emma Donoghue - sequence starts pdf page 56 (scene 35) YouTube: Jack's Escape (excerpt) THE BABADOOK by Jennifer Kent - excerpt for educational purposes only The Babadook Production Notes YouTube: The Possession Scene "You Can Bring Me The Boy" Watch THE BABADOOK on GooglePlay Watch THE BABADOOK on iTunes DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions DZ-13: True That – Tips from Tarantino DZ-08: Status Transactions and the Power of Washing Machines DZ-16: Masters of Time and Whitespace DZ-29: Showdowns & Scene Structure Jane Espenson: The Grim Brothers BACKMATTER LINKS Youtube: SICARIO - border crossing DZ-30: Oscars revisited – Spotlight and Carol Truby Rates the Oscar Hopefuls Robert McKee's Work/Doesn't Work - ROOM Scriptshadow on Spotlight (via Twitter) and his screenplay review Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero We are @chasffisher and @stuwillis on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like listeners.