DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue 1
How does dialogue serve to reveal character? Chas & Stu are joined once again by the renowned script developer and producer, Stephen Cleary. In the first part of our series on writing better dialogue (there will be more!), we take a close look at how dialogue serves character: individuating characters, revealing characterisation, shifting status, and much more. Together, they (well, mostly Stephen) break down scenes from ANALYSE THIS, NOTTING HILL, REMAINS OF THE DAY and THE AVENGERS. In a first for Draft Zero, we include audio excerpts to make everything even clearer / stop Chas & Stu (mostly Stu) from butchering lines. That, and not everything is on YouTube. And, in back matter, we continue the discussion into more academic areas of the difference between theatrical, cinematic and television dialogue. EPISODE LINKS Stephen Cleary's Website: http://www.stephenclearyfilm.com Inglorious Bastards - "Strudel" ANALYSE THIS screenplay by Peter Tolan and Harold Ramis and Kenneth Lonergan YouTube: Analyze This - "Anxiety Disorder" YouTube: Remains of the Day - "Book" NOTTING HILL by Richard Curtis YouTube: Notting Hill - "Just A Girl" THE AVENGERS by Joss Whedon YouTube: The Avengers - "We're a Timebomb" Goodreads: Directing Actors by Judith Weston iView: Please Like Me 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.
10 Apr 2016
DZ-44: Marvel - First Acts and Establishing Characters
How can your first act effectively establish your character journey? First Acts are hard. They have to set so much in motion, especially setting up characters. To help them understand how to write effective first acts better, Stu and Chas turn their analytical gaze to a franchise that has been refining and reiterating its first act "schema" for over a decade... THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE. The MCU has made (to date) six separate origin films, each tasked with establishing their titular characters. So you'd think they'd have found some patterns that works for them. In this episode, we take a look at three of these: IRON MAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, and DOCTOR STRANGE. Stu also makes numerous comparisons to THOR, and we enthuse about GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol 2. As we breakdown where these first acts succeed (and, er, not-succeed), our discussion moves through sequence structure, macguffins, supporting characters, exposition... and -- most importantly -- Character Wounds and Character Flaws. Even if you don't care for MCU films, there is plenty to learn from how they approach their first acts. SPOILERS ABOUND!! ... and stick around after the end credits, for an important announcement re: our launching of a Patreon. Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. EPISODE LINKS DRAFT ZERO - Related Episodes DZ-09: Characterising Introductions DZ-11: Clash of the MacGuffins! DZ-15: World Building Rules, Okay? IRON MAN w: Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway [@ 7m 42s] YouTube: Full Intro Scene - AC/DC YouTube: Tony wins an award Find it on JustWatch GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY w: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman [@ 39m 08s] YouTube: A Bunch of "A" Holes YouTube: Bunch of Jackass's Standing In a Circle Find it on JustWatch DOCTOR STRANGE w: Jon Spaihts and Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill [@ 1hr 18m 13s] YouTube: Ultimate Operation Scene YouTube: Heal the Body Find it on JustWatch WRAP UP [@ 1hr 47m 28s] DZ-43: Driving Sequences – Character and Plot Intensity WHAA? PATREON? [@1hr 57m 08s] /r/screenwriting Support us on Patreon 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 Apple Podcast! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners. Thanks to Khrob and Nick for being patrons. They're good people.
17 Sep 2017
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. And that’s often a real problem because most of these choices coincide with key structural moments — e.g. the moments where the characters decide to do something “out of character” in order to progress to the next part of the story. 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. And so Chas and Stu dive into NOTTING HILL, TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, GAME NIGHT, ARRIVAL, IN THE BEDROOM, BEIRUT, BREAKING BAD, THE MATRIX, BLOCKERS, A NEW HOPE (of course) and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. Passing/honourable mention also to MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, THE COMMUTER, THE LOBSTER, GAME OF THRONES, IRON MAN, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and DOCTOR STRANGE (as we re-visit and re-contextualise stuff we’ve analysed previously). The potential craft tools they uncover are character patterning, structural timing of the decision, debating the decision (both internally and externally), withholding the decision from the audience, and using external plot elements to either remove obstacles or push the character into making a decision that is... well... out of character. But believably so. Stay tuned for Part II where we - for once - actually do explore ome bad examples of character motivation. 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. Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here! LINKS CRAFT TOOLS AND THE ISSUE OF SUBJECTIVITY MANCHESTER BY THE SEA written by Ken Lonergan [@ 5m 03s] Reddit Thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriting/comments/8oew26/character_motivation_examples_of_motivations_that/ JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/manchester-by-the-sea DECISION vs MOTIVATION [@ 9m 48s] CHARACTER PATTERNING THE COMMUTER screenplay by Byron Willinger, Philip de Blasi and Ryan Engle [@ 11 m 3s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/the-commuter/movie-tickets GAME OF THRONES [@ 13m 8s] https://www.justwatch.com/au/tv-show/game-of-thrones EARLY CHARACTER DECISIONS NOTTING HILL written by Richard Curtis [@ 18m 54s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/notting-hill TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE written by Sofia Alvarez [23m 28s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before LATE CHARACTER DECISIONS AVENGERS INFINITY WAR written by C Markus & S McFeely [@ 37m 24s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/avengers-infinity-war DEBATING THE CHARACTER DECISION GAME NIGHT written by Mark Perez [@ 37m 24s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/game-night INTERNALLY DEBATE THE CHARACTER DECISION THE LOBSTER written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou [@ 52m 44s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/the-lobster ARRIVAL written by Eric Heisserer [@ 54m 53s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/arrival-2016 WITHHOLDING THE DECISION FROM THE AUDIENCE IN THE BEDROOM written by Robert Festinger and Todd Field [@ 1h] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/in-the-bedroom BEIRUT written by Tony Gilroy [@ 1 h 10m 45s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/beirut/movie-tickets PROVIDING MOTIVATION THROUGH BACKSTORY BREAKING BAD - “GRAY MATTER” written by Patty Lin and Vince Gilligan [@ 1h 10m 45s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/beirut/movie-tickets NOTTING HILL written by Richard Curtis [@ 1h 19m 47s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/notting-hill GAME OF THRONES - “AND NOW HIS WATCH IS ENDED” written by D Benioff & D B Weiss [1h 22m 15s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/tv-show/game-of-thrones WORLD BUILDING AFFECTING DECISION MAKING THE MATRIX written by Lana & Lily Wachowski [@ 1h 25m 3s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/the-matrix REMOVING OBSTACLES/ANCHORS STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE written by George Lucas [@ 1h 29m 23s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope OVERCOMING CHARACTER WOUNDS IN MARVEL FIRST ACTS [@ 1h 38m 8s] GOALS, STAKES & URGENCY ScriptShadow: GSU!!! BLOCKERS written by Brian & Jim Kehoe [@ 1h 41m 43s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/blockers WRAP UP [@ 2h 9m 14s] BACKMATTER [@ 2h 15m 20s]
15 Jan 2019
DZ-63: Tools for Better Dialogue 2 - Hook and Eye
How can you create flow and contrast in your dialogue? A full three years after the first instalment (and one of our most popular), Stu and Chas have kidnapped Stephen Cleary to once again develop some craft tools around dialogue. It would be fair to say that - in that time - all three have learnt a lot more about dialogue than they knew in 2016. It would be also fair to say that Stephen perhaps learnt a little more through his research into “genderlect”. In Part II, we analyse key scenes from films and TV shows famous for their dialogue, namely FLEABAG (Season 2, Episode 5), JUNO and DEADWOOD (The Pilot). The biggest tools we explore are: the hook and eye; how dialogue can reveal status and empathy; rhythm; contrast and affinity; and pacing. And just to help us all out, Stephen rounds out the episode with some quick fire examples - FIVE EASY PIECES, JERRY MAGUIRE, GROSSE POINTE BLANK, and NOTTING HILL (again) - and further dialogue tips. Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode during the holiday season. RUNNING ORDER Intro/Groundwork Status and Gender (@ 05:52) FLEABAG (Season 2, Episode 5) by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (@ 15:26) WATCH: Hair Is Everything — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q97iIDx-b7U JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/fleabag JUNO by Diablo Cody (@ 47:41) WATCH: Juno Tells Her Parents: — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWC-R-q85JU JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/juno DEADWOOD (Pilot) (@ 01:20:20) WATCH: Seth Bullock Hangs a Man in Montana https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtgjwmYgTOg JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/tv-show/deadwood More Dialogue Tips and Techniques (@ 01:40:55) WATCH: Jerry Maguire “Show me the money” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTFJocQBLyE WATCH: Grosse Pointe Blanke “You can never go home again” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgLr6qlpec4 WATCH: Notting Hill “Kitchen Scene” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtQShHQuPwI&t=93s EPISODE LINKS LISTEN: DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue (Part 1) WATCH: Five Easy Pieces “Side Order of Toast” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38maVb_30ng FOLLOW: Stephen Cleary JOIN: Stephen Cleary Workshops READ: Genderlect / Language and Gender READ: The Truth About How Much Women Talk — and Whether Men Listen 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. Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Theis, Jesse, Daniel, Jack, Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Matteo, and Carrie. They’re good humans. BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic
31 Dec 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
DZ-03: Making unlikeable protagonists compelling
Stu and Chas delve into unlikable protagonists in comedy. How do filmmakers keep us watching characters who should alienate us? To answer this question, Stu and Chas look at the first 20 pages of HOT FUZZ, AS GOOD AS IT GETS and - of course - GROUNDHOG DAY. PS: In ANCHORMAN (which we also talk about)... um... they renamed the character of Alicia Corningstone to Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) in the shooting script. We keep on referring to her as Alicia as that is what she is referred to in the screenplay. Wups. LINKS Steve Kaplan and his Definition of Comedy (plus Epiphany International Artists) Mentorless: Steven Soderbergh on the Best Way to Learn to Make Films HOT FUZZ by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. Hot Fuzz - Opening Montage - Angel is Awesome! (YouTube) Hot Fuzz - Angel is promoted to the country (YouTube) Hot Fuzz - Janine tells Angel his flaw (YouTube) AS GOOD AS IT GETS by Mark Aldrus and James L. Brooks - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. As Good As It Gets - "We're All Going to Die Soon" (YouTube) As Good As It Gets - "Never, never, interrupt me, okay?" (YouTube) GROUNDHOG DAY by Danny Rubin, 2nd Revisions by Harold Ramis - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. GROUNDHOG DAY by Danny Rubin, 3rd Revisions by Harold Ramis - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. Harold Ramis on the Metaphor of Groudhog Day Jason Reitman's Live Reading of Groundhog Day: "Reitman said the script was full of deleted scenes." Groundhog Day - Re-shot Opening (YouTube) Groundhog Day - "Any Chance of an Espresso or Cappuccino?" (YouTube) FilmSchoolRejects: 27 Things We Learned from Harold Ramis' Groundhog Day Commentary Scriptnotes: Podcast on Groundhog Day Filmspotting #480: Top 5 Harold Ramis Moments ANCHORMAN by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. Anchorman - Ron Hits on Veronica (YouTube) Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS. Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com. Please rate us on iTunes!
30 Mar 2014
DZ-13: True That - Tips from Tarantino
What is it about Tarantino's writing that elevates his work? Chapter 1: Of Milk and Men Tarantino is widely heralded as one of the great writer/directors. Yet new writers are advised to avoid emulating Tarantino because his voice is so strong. Only Tarantino can get away with being Tarantino. Or so the theory goes. But if Tarantino is that good, why shouldn't we look under the hood and analyse his screenwriting? You don't have to want to emulate his voice to want to understand why his craft is so good. Chapter 2: The Bloodied Purpose To that bloodied end, Chas and Stu look at three scripts from distinct phases of QT's career: TRUE ROMANCE, KILL BILL (Volume 1), and INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. Stu and Chas break down QT's use of structure, detail and - in particular - dramatic irony in an attempt to understand how Tarantino's films are that good. Chapter 3: Epilogue, or, Links To Things We Talk About USC School of Cinematic Arts: James L. Brooks and Larry Moss at USC (YouTube) Eric Sean McGiven: List of Intentions Wordplayer: The Task TRUE ROMANCE by Quentin Tarantino KILL BILL by Quentin Tarantino INGLORIOUS BASTERDS by Quentin Tarantino The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith: Writing for Tony Scott: A Quentin Tarantino & Richard Kelly Q&A Chicks Who Script Podcast: Lexi Alexander And The Power Of Determination Draft Zero: DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions Draft Zero: DZ-08: Status Transactions and the Power of Washing Machines BoardGameGeek: Dominion The Dice Tower: Dominion Review (YouTube) The Dice Tower: Dominion Intrigue Review (YouTube)
5 Oct 2014
DZ-15: World Building Rules, Okay?
How does setting up rules help you build a world? In our most epic/longest episode yet, Chas and Stu tackle world building in films. Specifically, how the rules make something a world and not just a setting. Starting with world-centric genres like sci-fi and fantasy, we also cover horror, crime drama and - er - "other". We discuss a variety of techniques for setting up the rules of the world, including cold opens, voiceover, title cards and outsider characters! We've limited ourselves to the opening 3-5 pages... mostly... because (so the theory goes) they're the pages that teach the audience how to read/watch your story/film. Like with the character introductions episode, we cover a lot of scripts. In no particular order... [deep breath]... THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED, MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, INCEPTION, GRAVITY, MINORITY REPORT, MOON, LOOPER, ELYSIUM, JURASSIC PARK, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, MADAGASCAR, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, PAN'S LABYRINTH, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, NIGHT WATCH, VAN HELSING, THE ONE I LOVE, 28 WEEKS LATER, WORLD WAR Z, DAWN OF THE DEAD, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, ZOMBIELAND, WOMAN IN BLACK, BRICK, ANIMAL KINGDOM, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, GOODFELLAS, SHORT TERM 12, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, MOONRISE KINGDOM,THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. Damn that was a lot! And we've probably missed some, too. So have a listen and please let us know! LINKS Draft Zero: DZ-09: Characterising Introductions Draft Zero: DZ-14: Old Underwear and Actor's Tools Diary of a Screenwriter: Stanley Kubrick : Thoughts of Narrative A Constatinework Orange: Non-Submersible Units Reddit: Kate Powers (from Breaking Bad) on Non-Submersible Units Visual Memory: 49 What are Non-Submersible Units? io9: 7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding THE MATRIX by Larry and Andy Wachowski THE MATRIX RELOADED by Larry and Andy Wachowski INCEPTION by Christopher Nolan MINORITY REPORT by Scott Frank MOON screenplay by Nathan Parker, story by Duncan Jones LOOPER by Rian Johnson ELYSIUM by Neill Blomkamp Think Progress: ‘Elysium’ Wants To Be A Lacerating Movie About Health Care, But It Has No Idea Why Inequality Exists io9: Here's What Elysium did wrong -- and what it did right JURASSIC PARK screenplay by David Koepp HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON by Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN by Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock & Hossein Amini, Story by Evan Daugherty LOTR: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson Trailer: NIGHT WATCH (YouTube) PAN'S LABYRINTH by Guillermo del Toro 28 WEEKS LATER by Rowan Joffé, Juan Carlos Frensadillo, E.L. Lavigne, Jesus Olmo (uncredited, undated script) ZOMBIELAND by Rhett Rheese & Paul Wernick 30 DAYS OF NIGHT by Steve Niles, Revisions by Stuart Beattie, Revisions by Adi Hasak WOMAN IN BLACK by Jane Goldman BRICK by Rian Johnson GOODFELLAS by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese ANIMAL KINGDOM by David Michôd SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK by David O. Russell TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan MOONRISE KINGDOM by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS by Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson Scriptnotes: Ep 149: The Long-Lost Austin Three Page Challenge (on Van Helsing) Scriptnotes: Ep 135: World-building Scriptnotes: Ep 160: A Screenwriter's Guide to the End of the World Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS. Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com or via our web form or @draft_zero on twitter. Please considering rating us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias!
4 Nov 2014
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.
23 Nov 2016
DZ-24: Forging story rules in TV pilots
Are your story rules in your pilot strong enough to play out over the life of your show? Stu and Chas move away from the world of features and dive into the Pilot Episodes of some (New) Golden Age Television: THE SHIELD, THE WIRE, BREAKING BAD, and MAD MEN. And we sneak in some discussion about ANGEL, THE SOPRANOS and GAME OF THRONES. Our spiritual guide on this tele-vision quest is Wallflower (aka Grant Nebel), writer at The Solute and formerly of The Dissolve and the AV Club. Together, they examine how the final acts of these pilot episodes - and the Dramatic, Literary and Cinematic rules established therein - will set the scene for the entire life of these seminal shows, right up to their end. Obviously, abound. This was one of our favourite episodes to record and - given that both Chas and Stu are casting seductive glances at writing television - hopefully one of our most useful too. LINKS The-Solute.com: Wallflower (Grant Nebel) Grant Nebel: Collected writing on THE SHIELD Soundtracking: Grant's Podcast on Movie Soundtracks THE SHIELD pilot by Shawn Ryan [@ 5m 02s] THE WIRE - Episode 101 "THE TARGET" teleplay by David Simon, Story by David Simon and Edward Burns [@ 35m 03s] BREAKING BAD pilot by Vince Gilligan [@ 48m 29s] MAD MEN - "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" by Matthew Weiner [@ 1hr 9m 45s] Vulture.com: Man Men Pilot Predicts the Final Episodes Draft Zero: DZ-04: Catharsis and the Post-Coital Cigarette Draft Zero: DZ-09: Characterising Introductions Draft Zero: DZ-06: Key Scenes and Unlocking the Story StyleCaster: ‘Breaking Bad’ and Colors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Theories, Costumes The Disenchanted Costumier: Breaking Bad Costumes Director's Guild of America: Elia Kazan - On What Makes a Director (pdf) ActionCutPrint: Elia Kazan - On What Makes a Director (excerpted) Every Frame A Painting: David Fincher - And the Other Way is Wrong (Vimeo) BACK MATTER (BACKDRAFT?) [@ 1hr 32m 56s] Bob Saenz: The Mean Old Writer Genre Hacks: What is the Most Important Screenwriting Tool: The Rewriting Cycle Wired: Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops GoodReader - PDF Reader (PDF Annotation) Readdle: Documents & PDF Expert (PDF Annotation) Literature & Latte: Scapple ("Flowcharting" for Scrivener) 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 us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias!
3 Aug 2015
DZ-06: Key Scenes and Unlocking the Story
Can one scene be the key to unlocking the whole story? Stu and Chas are joined once again by the inestimable Stephen Cleary to explore his idea of 'key scenes'. Scenes like the diner scene in HEAT. Or the boardroom showdown in MARGIN CALL. These scenes are not only key to a film, they can also be key to developing a story. Why? Stephen's observation is that if you put your protagonist and antagonist in a scene together for a period of time and they will instinctively play out the beats of your whole story... if you have the characters figured out. An interesting theory and one we put to the test. In addition to HEAT and MARGIN CALL, we look at scenes and sequences from THE GODFATHER, NOTTING HILL, THE DARK KNIGHT, THE RAID 2: BERANDAL and Stu avoids mentioning STAR WARS by working in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK instead. LINKS SHORT TERM 12 by Destin Daniel Cretton - (Pages 42 - 48) Mike Jones: "Mythology of Horror: The Story That Won't Go Away" - www.mikejones.tv Stephen Cleary's Website: http://www.stephenclearyfilm.com THE DARK KNIGHT by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (Pages 101-106) The Dark Knight - "Interrogation Scene" (YouTube) Hero Complex: "Christopher Nolan revisits his favourite scene in 'Dark Knight'" The Godfather Part II - "Corleone Family Flashback" (YouTube) HEAT by Michael Mann (Pages 84 - 88) Heat - "The Diner Scene" (YouTube) Den Of Geek: "Michael Mann's Heat: how research created a classic thriller" Mann Made: From LA Takedown to Heat Part 1 (YouTube) MARGIN CALL by J. C. Chandor (Pages 47 - 58) Margin Call - "The Music Stops" (Youtube) Margin Call - "Be First, Be Smarter or Cheat" (YouTube) The Empire Strikes Back - "Tested on Dagobah" (YouTube) The Decalogue: I Am Lord Thy God - "Catharsis" (YouTube) The Raid 2: Berandal - Trailer (YouTube) Jane Espenson: "Hot Cold Openings"
11 May 2014
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.
6 Oct 2016
DZ-09: Characterising Introductions
Can the introduction of a character be so good that the character doesn't need describing? Stu and Chas argue about different techniques for introducing characters and whether character descriptions are even necessary. This is important for writers, as we only have words to compensate for the whole range of cinematic expression. And so Chas and Stu explore techniques like introducing characters through action, having other people discuss the character first, ensuring the introduction represents the character's goal/flaw/theme, and many more. The scripts Stu and Chas tackle are... [takes a deep breath]... PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, BLADE, THE DARK KNIGHT, the BREAKING BAD pilot, GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, BLADE RUNNER, CHILDREN OF MEN, THE WRESTLER, THE SIXTH SENSE, MISS CONGENIALITY, LOCK STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS, AMELIE, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, FIGHT CLUB, ROCKY, JAWS, CABIN IN THE WOODS, and [mutters under breath] STAR WARS. Is that it? Probably missed some. Bugger. Oh well. Have a listen and let us know. LINKS PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio Youtube: Captain Jack Sparrow's intro Wordplayer: The Storyteller Cut by Terry Rossio BLADE by David S. Goyer Youtube: Blade Opening Scene THE DARK KNIGHT by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan (story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer) Youtube: The Dark Knight Bank Robbery Scene BREAKING BAD Pilot by Vince Gilligan THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Steve Zaillian THE WRESTLER by Rob Siegel THE SIXTH SENSE by M. Knight Shyamalan Youtube: Miss Congeniality Opening BLADE RUNNER by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples CHILDREN OF MEN by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy Sexton Youtube: Children of Men Opening JAWS by Carl Gottlieb and Peter Benchley Youtube: The Head, the Tail, the Whole Damn Thing AMELIE by Jean-Pierre Jeanet (transcribed and translated - not original screenplay) Youtube: Introduction of Amelie's parents (in French, no subtitles) FIGHT CLUB by Jim Uhls LOCK STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS by Guy Ritchie Youtube: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Opening Scene CABIN IN THE WOODS by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon THE WOLF OF WALL STREET by Terence Winter Youtube: Wolf of Wall Street Opening Scene TAXI DRIVER by Paul Schrader Chas Fisher: Seem vs Seen Jane Espenson: That's 'jack-assity', not Jack Cassidy DGA Quarterly: Picturing Life - The DGA Interview: David O'Russell John August: How to introduce a character Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS. Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com. Please considering rating us on iTunes!
23 Jun 2014
DZ-60 Unfilmables and Unscriptables 1 - Engaging imagination
How can unfilmables enhance the experience of your script? AKA Why your screenwriting guru is wrong 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”? In this first part, they look at unfilmables in micro moments: to describe locations, set (or change) the mood/tone, bring performances to life, and communicate certain types of humour. To that end, they breakdown into examples from LETHAL WEAPON, MY BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH, HEREDITARY, FLEABAG, KILLING EVE, A QUIET PLACE, KILLING THEM SOFTLY, SHARP OBJECTS, SPARTAN, THE NICE GUYS, DRIVE, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI, TREE OF LIFE, and MICHAEL CLAYTON. Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode, and Carissa Lee for performing the big print. As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes. RUNNING ORDER ASIDES (@ 23:08) LETHAL WEAPON by Shane Black YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH by Brian Duffield HEREDITARY by Ari Aster FRAMING THE SCENE (@ 52:58) READ: Jane Espenson - The Grim Brothers KILLING EVE, EPISODE1 by Phoebe Waller-Bridge OPENINGS (@ 59:27) KILLING THEM SOFTLY screenplay by Andrew Dominik, based on the novel “Cogan’s Trade" by George V. Higgins SHARP OBJECTS. EPISODE 1, VANISH Written by Marti Noxon, Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn HEREDITARY by Ari Aster SPARTAN a screenplay by David Mamet PERFORMANCE (@ 1:36:07) FLEABAG PILOT written by Phoebe Waller Bridge THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Erin Cressida Wilson, Adapted from the novel by Paula Hawkins THE NICE GUYS by Anthony Bagarozzi & Shane Black DRIVE written by Hossein Amini, Based on the novel by James Sallis TONE/THEME (@ 01:54:49) MICHAEL CLAYTON by Tony Gilroy THE TREE OF LIFE by Terrence Mallick THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI by Martin McDonagh WRAP UP / KEY LEARNINGS (@ 02:11:52) EPISODE LINKS READ: DZ-60 - Unfilmables Collated Examples READ: Cinephilia & Beyond -In Search of Our Better Selves: The Rebirth, Redemption and Road Warriors of George Miller’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ LISTEN: DZ-16: Masters of Time and Whitespace 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. Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Devin, Jack, Paul, Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Rob, Matteo, Daniel and Carrie. They’re good humans. BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic
7 Aug 2019
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.
8 Jul 2017
DZ-28: Containing Your Script
How do you keep contained movies engaging? Contained Thrillers seem to be a genre that never goes out of fashion. But being contained is not just limited to thrillers. It's a way of telling stories on a lower budget, regardless of genre. So - while allegedly easier to make / get made - limiting a story to a single location also limits the tools that maintain an audience's interest. Changing audience or character point of view, intercutting between locations or characters are all much harder (if not impossible) in contained films. So how do good contained films hook their audience and keep them? In unravelling this locked room mystery, Stu & Chas look at three scripts form different genres: LOCKE - a drama; THE ONE I LOVE - a romcom or psychological thriller depending if you're Chas or Stu; and EVERLY - an exploitation action movie. They also discuss films including BURIED, PHONE BOOTH, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED, CUBE & CUBE 2, INFINITE MAN and BOXING DAY. EPISODE LINKS Locke by Steven Knight (Script) YouTube: Locke - Trailer The Q&A Podcast: Steven Knight - Pawn Sacrifice Q&A The One I Love by Justin Lader (IMDB) Watch on Netflix (US) and on Stan (Australia) Everly screenplay by Yalo Hannon, story by Joe Lynch & Yale Hannon (IMDB) YouTube: Everly - Official Trailer #1 The Movie Crypt with Adam Green & Joe Lynch Chicks Who Script: Ep 25 - Brett Hedblom and the Skinny on Producing Boxing Day (IMDB) YouTube: Boxing Day - Trailer Boxing Day - Watch on iTunes The Infinte Man (IMDB) YouTube: The Infinite Man - Trailer The Infinite Man - Watch on iTunes YouTube: Buried - Trailer YouTube: Phone Booth - Trailer YouTube: the Disappearance of Alice Creed - Trailer YouTube: Cube - Trailer & Cube 2: Hypercube - Trailer ScriptShadow - GSU!!! (Goal, Stakes, Ugency) Wikipedia: Pathetic Fallacy & LiteraryDevices.Net: Pathetic Fallacy The Guardian: Covenhithe (short story) by China Miéville Draft Zero: DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions BACKMATTER Grant Nebel on Story Intensity Over Time & Forms of Storytelling on Television Pete's Blog: A Thousand Men : TV for Writers The Screen Director Podcast produced by Ben Mizzi Writing Predestination - The Spierig Brothers Corrie Chen on Bloomers Julietta Boscolo on Love Child Tommy Schlamme (The West Wing, Manhattan) interviewed by DZ's very own Stu Willis Patreon.com : Recurring funding for artists and creators 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 us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias!
21 Dec 2015
DZ-46: Structure & Point of View
What questions do you want your audience asking at any given time? Waaaaaaaaaay back in DZ-05, Stu and Chas examined how shifting narrative point of view (i.e. what the audience knows in relation to the characters on screen) heightens emotions in any given scene. We've now taken that micro idea and applied it to the macro: how can deciding what the audience knows and when in relation to the characters organise your story? Are whole sequences or even acts driven by the audience following a character, feeling concerned about a character, empathising with a character or being absorbed in the irony of knowing more than all the characters interacting on screen. To tackle this topic, Stu and Chas dive in to films that make very conscious structural choices in relation to narrative POV, namely: GET OUT, DUNKIRK and the underrated German film THE LIVES OF OTHERS (with honourable mentions to LA CONFIDENTIAL and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA). Wait till the end to hear poor Stu's mind absolutely blown in relation to the Kuleshov effect. As always: SPOILERS ABOUND Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here! EPISODE LINKS DRAFT ZERO Related Episodes DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions DZ-10: Midpoint Reversals and The Ride DZ-21: Scene Transitions and the Hook INTRODUCTION LA Confidential [@ 6m 21s] Manchester by the Sea [@ 10m 57s] GET OUT written & directed by Jordan Peele [@ 19m 57s] Vimeo: Get Out - Alternate Ending Jordan Peele on the Nerdist Podcast and on The Movie Crypt podcast Jason Blum on the Nerdist Podcast Find it on Just Watch DUNKIRK written & directed by by Christopher Nolan [@ 50m 15s] Vox: The sound illusion that makes Dunkirk so intense Find it on Just Watch THE LIVES OF OTHERS written & directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmark [@ 1hr 31m 00s] Find it on Just Watch WRAP UP [@ 2hr 11m 32s] The Kuleshov effect 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 Apple Podcast! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners. Thanks to Khrob and Joakim for being patrons. They're good people.
19 Dec 2017
DZ-49: Antagonists! 1 - vs Humans
What makes a strong human antagonist? Prompted by a listener (and patron of the podcast) question, Stu and Chas dive into antagonistic forces. And because Draft Zero does not do anything by halves, this is Part One of a Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonists; namely: vs humans, vs self, vs nature/supernatural, vs systems and “other”. aka the classic narrative conflicts. For this “vs humans” part, we chose to look at DIE HARD, MISERY and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI (with special mentions to THE DARK KNIGHT, LA LA LAND and - of course - STAR WARS). In particular, we look at some classical villains, internal vs external antagonists, and how antagonists and protagonists can swap roles over a scene or a sequence. As always: SPOILERS ABOUND Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here! EPISODES LINKS DRAFT ZERO RELATED EPISODES DZ-43: Driving Sequences – Character and Plot Intensity DZ-35: Driving Characters or Character Driven? ANTAGONISTS OVERVIEW READ: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boss_(video_gaming) READ: Different kinds of antagonistic forces? (for draft zero episode) READ: How can I create meaningful conflict for my characters without a physical antagonist? READ: There was a post the other day about making villains 'deep', I got distracted/carried away with my comment but thought it might be fun to still discuss it. WATCH: Movie Villains Done Right DIE HARD screenplay: Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza [@ 12m 27s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/die-hard-1 MISERY screenplay: William Goldman [@ 24m 25s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/misery-stephen-king THE DARK KNIGHT story: Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer screenplay: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan [@ 40m 12s] WATCH: The Dark Knight — Creating the Ultimate Antagonist JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/batman-the-dark-knight THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBING, MISSOURI w&d: Martin McDonagh [@ 45m 32s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri LA LA LAND w&d: Damien Chazelle [@ 1hr 11m 30s] JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/us/movie/la-la-land WRAP UP [@ 1hr 14m 33s] Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero! We are @chasffisher @stuwillis and @csmcmullen on twitter. Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcast! or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners. Many thanks to Sandra, Paul, Rob, Christopher, Joakim and Khrob for being top-level patrons. They're good human antagonists.
31 Mar 2018
DZ-19: Car-Crash Characters
How do you make unlikeable characters compelling to watch... in drama? Stu and Chas revisit a topic from a year ago: how do screenwriters make unlikeable characters compelling? This time, we turn our focus to dramas and analyse how AMERICAN HISTORY X, YOUNG ADULT, NIGHTCRAWLER all make their a**hole protagonists compelling to watch. We expand our original list of five writer's tools to include a few more for your tool belt. In response to our audience survey, we also introduce our first episode of backmatter. EPISODE LINKS Draft Zero: DZ-03: Making Unlikable Protagonists Compelling AMERICAN HISTORY X by David McKenna YouTube: American History X - First Scene YouTube: American History X - Basketball Game YOUNG ADULT by Diablo Cody (Final Draft) - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. YOUNG ADULT by Diablo Cody - First 20 pages. For educational purposes only. YouTube: Young Adult - Trailer NIGHTCRAWLER by Dan Gilroy YouTube: Nightcrawler Best Scenes New York Times: 'Nightcrawler' Anatomy of a Scene with Dan Gilroy YouTube: The Killer Inside Me - Trailer Every Frame a Painting: Snowpiercer - Left or Right BACKMATTER LINKS Cinephilla & Beyond: Alien 3 Archive The Contrarians: Episode 2 - Alien 3 Temple of the Seven Golden Camels: Staging and How It Affects Mood & Drama Temple of the Seven Golden Camels: (Just a Little Bit) More Flat and Deep Every Frame a Painting: Drive (2011) - the Quadrant System Every Frame a Painting: The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - the Geometry of a Scene Day One: A Simple and Elegant Journal for iPhone, iPad and Mac Shawn Blanc: Day One review IMDB: David Caesar 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 us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias!
2 Mar 2015
DZ-22: Romantic Comedy, Actually
How can studying RomCom clichés teach us to subvert them? With Stu busy working on Hollywood blockbusters, Chas is joined by Alli Parker (script department on Aussie TV series and former co-ordinator of European #scriptchat) to unpick successful romcoms to see if they can illuminate a path for writers working in this struggling genre. Cheap to produce and potentially highly lucrative, Chas and Alli look at romcom's conventions to see what it may take to reinvigorate this genre. To that end, they look at *deep breath* WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, WHAT IF, THE PROPOSAL, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER, NOTTING HILL, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS as well as special mentions to GOING THE DISTANCE, SEAN OF THE DEAD and ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND. EPISODE LINKS Vulture.com: 10 Most Over-Used Romantic Comedy Plot-Points Draft Zero: DZ-13: True That – Tips from Tarantino Goodreads: Writing the Romantic Comedy: From "Cute Meet" to "Joyous Defeat" by Billy Mernit WHEN HARRY MET SALLY by Rob Reiner, Nora Ephron & Andrew Scheinman Youtube: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY - Restaurant Orgasm Scene Youtube: WHAT IF trailer Youtube: THE PROPOSAL trailer 500 DAYS OF SUMMER by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber Youtube: (500) DAYS OF SUMMER - Expectations vs Reality The Atlantic: Love Actually is the least romantic film of all time BAFTA: Richard Curtis Delivers his BAFTA Screenwriters' Lecture Alli Parker: Twitter - @alli_and_that and website - http://www.alliparker.com BACKMATTER LINKS TV Tropes: Romantic Comedy Aeon Magazine: There Is No Language Instinct DZ-04: Catharsis and the Post-Coital Cigarette YouTube: Girls (HBO) Season 2 Episode 10 " Together" Finale NewStatesman: “Let's talk about genre” - Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation TheDailyDot.com: The Mako Mori Test: 'Pacific Rim' inspires a Bechdel Test alternative The Guardian: Woman sues to stop Drive getting away with a 'misleading' trailer Listener Project: EX-BEST Wikipedia: Cosmic Encounter 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 us on iTunes! or sharing us on the Social Medias!
11 Jun 2015
DZ-04: Catharsis and the Post-Coital Cigarette
How does the end of certain films make your soul shudder? Stu and Chas are joined by their first guest – illustrious script developer and producer Stephen Cleary – to explore how certain films can trigger an outpouring of emotion from the audience. Turns out that Aristotle may have figured it out a few thousand years ago and called it Catharsis. To examine how Catharsis can be triggered by a sequence of fixed beats, Stu, Chas and Stephen zone in on the last few pages of FIELD OF DREAMS, TOY STORY 3 and SE7EN. And Stu brings up FROZEN. Again. LINKS Stephen Cleary's Website: http://www.stephenclearyfilm.com Stephen Cleary's Lecture on Catharsis and Aristotle for Screenwriters SAFC Filmlab on Low Budget Filmmaking FIELD OF DREAMS by Phil Alden Robinson -- Last 5 pages. For educational purposes only. Field of Dreams -- “You’re not invited” (Youtube) Field of Dreams -- “Ray meets his father” (Youtube) TOY STORY 3 by Michael Arndt -- Last 11 pages. For educational purposes only. SE7EN by Andrew Kevin Walker -- Last 18 pages. For educational purposes only. Se7en – “The Box” (Youtube) FROZEN by Jennifer Lee – Last 10 pages. For educational purposes only. Stereofilm: "Defining TV Comedy One Word at a Time" blog by Leo Astudillo on Greg Daniels, writer on THE SIMPSONS and creator of the US version of THE OFFICE. Diary of a Screenwriter: Paul Schrader on the American existentialist protagonist #Scriptchat on Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23scriptchat #Scriptchat Archives: http://scriptchat.blogspot.com Done Deal Pro: http://www.donedealpro.com/ The Blackboard: http://theblackboard.blcklst.com Reddit /r/Screenwriting Subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/Screenwriting/ Line by Line Melbourne: http://linebyline-melbourne.blogspot.com.au Thanks to Noisepig Productions for location recording and producing this episode. Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS. Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com. Please rate us on iTunes!
13 Apr 2014