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

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.

DZ-42: One-Shot – 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

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.

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.

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.