DZ-76: Spotlight on Sofia Coppola

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

Following the success of the Tips from Tarantino episode, we have again decided to look at three different scripts from over the course of a long screenwriting career from a single writer to see what we can learn. Our beloved patreons not only selected Sofia Coppola as said writer, but also selected the scripts to analyse: LOST IN TRANSLATION, THE BLING RING and THE BEGUILED.

Stu and Chas are joined by repeat Draft Zero offender Melanie Killingsworth and are surprised to find that Coppola does not often write the tone or experience of her films into her scripts (given how specific her tone is and how unique the experiences of her films are). Instead, we are treated to a masterclass in writing character performance on the page – actor catnip, if you will – as well as Coppola’s insightful use of white space.

You can also watch the complete live stream on YouTube.


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

Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode, and to Carissa Lee for reading the script excerpts.


  • 00:00:00 – Intro
  • 00:02:12 – Sofia Coppola & Writing to Direct
  • 00:13:49 – Lost in Translation
  • 00:54:07 – The Bling Ring
  • 01:18:24 – The Beguiled
  • 01:34:53 – Wrap Up & Key Learnings
  • 01:45:28 – Backmatter: Cultural Portray in Lost in Translation



This episode brought to you by ScriptUp – – use promo code DZ10 to get 10% off.

Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Randy, Bjorn, Jack, Khrob, and Sandra. They’re good humans.

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