In this Part Three of our Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonistic forces (and sources of conflict), Chas & Stu explore “nature” antagonists, including some supernatural ones. What became clear in choosing the homework was that the antagonistic forces – whether natural or supernatural – presented different narrative challenges to the protagonists if (a) they did not seem to make choices and (b) could not be bargained with or defeated.
And so we embarked upon ALL IS LOST, THE GREY and CONTAGION — with special mentions of THE VVITCH, WORLD WAR Z, ZOMBIELAND, ANNIHILATION, ALIEN, ALIENS and probably some others we’ve forgotten.
Stu elaborates on his distinction between obstacles and pressure; Chas riffs on how nature antagonists can mirror the protagonist and reinforce theme; and they both explore the effect on protagonists who are pushed to their limits by antagonists that cannot be reasoned with.
As always: SPOILERS ABOUND!
In Part Two of our Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonists, Chas & Stu take a look at “vs self” stories. Stories where the protagonist (or main character) serves as their own antagonist as well as the antagonist for those around them.
It took us a long time to settle on our homework, but we ended up exploring LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, SHAME, and MONSTER. Our discussion continues in backmatter with MINDHUNTER and STEVE JOBS.
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.