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.

DZ-40: Tactics and Scenes

How do tactics make your characters and scenes more dynamic?

In this episode, Stu and Chas turn their gaze to the “tactics” that characters use in scenes to get what they want. Tactics are how the characters try to achieve their goals and (we reckon) can be revealing of the essence of their character. The shifting and thwarting of tactics can make scenes more dynamic; while over the course of a story, the changing of tactics can reflect the growth of characters… even if their goal stays the same.

We take a close look at great single scenes from ZODIAC and TRAINING DAY. And then we look at a number of scenes over the course of HELL OR HIGH WATER, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and WINTER’S BONE.  And we also skate over WILE E COYOTE, GAME OF THRONES, MACBETH, HAMLET, and EDGE OF SEVENTEEN. Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below!

It should go without saying but – SPOILERS AHOY.

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-39: Backmatter – Hitting LA, Receiving Feedback, and a Roguish One

How can writers make use of their time when hitting LA?

In another backmatter-only episode, Stu & Chas zig-zag through a range of topics. We talk about Chas’ experience(s) hitting both Los Angeles and the Austin Film Festival, effective networking, career capital, the art of receiving feedback, and Stu’s harsh Three Strikes Rule. We look back at the most important lessons we’ve learned about storytelling in 2016 and that leads us to talk about character choices in a little-known and little-talked about film called ROGUE ONE.

And, of course, we open the listener mail box for critiques, praise, suggestions and follow-up to earlier episodes — especially our Exposition two-parter.

Thanks to everyone for their support in 2016! We look forward to erratically bringing you new episodes this year.

BACKMATTER 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