DZ-60: Unfilmables 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.

  • 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)
  • 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
  • WRAP UP / KEY LEARNINGS (@ 02:11:52)

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