DZ-101: Creating Immediacy & Anchoring Action on the Page

What can we learn by analysing how ‘oners’ are written on the page?

Chas, Stu and Mel reunite to talk about writing the *feel* of camerawork in screenplays. We use “oners” — a long-playing continuous take — as a lens to talk about how some writers have “directed” from the page. We talk immediacy, camera positions, handovers, and anchoring action and more.

We breakdown the famous Copacabana shot from GOODFELLAS, the awe-inspiring chase sequence from THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, and the heart pounding ‘Zed attack’ from CHILDREN OF MEN. We also briefly discuss THE BOURNE IDENTITY, HEREDITARY, THE BEAR, ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN and TOUCH OF EVIL.

And we do this breakdown by closely reading the actual words on the page. So thanks to Meegan May (of Starship Q Star) for performing the big print / action lines. Script Pages available on our Patreon.

Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes.


  • 00:00:13 – Cold Open
  • 00:00:23 – ScriptUp Sponsorship
  • 00:00:33 – New Chapter
  • 00:01:58 – Intro: Camerwork on the page
  • 00:09:50 – Contrary Examples: The Bourne Identity and Hereditary
  • 00:13:15 – Narrative Purpose and Oners
  • 00:16:30 – Goodfellas (intro)
  • 00:16:57 – Goodfellas (excerpt)
  • 00:18:22 – Goodfellas (discussion)
  • 00:32:48 – The Adventures of Tintin (intro)
  • 00:34:14 – The Adventures of Tintin (excerpt)
  • 00:37:23 – The Adventures of Tintin (discussion)
  • 00:49:34 – Children of Men (intro)
  • 00:53:38 – Children of Men (excerpt)
  • 01:00:32 – Children of Men (discussion)
  • 01:12:24 – Key Learnings and Wrap Up





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