DZ-110: Voiceover 

In this episode, we finally delve into the world of VOICEOVERS (as part of our larger series exploring craft tools that allow characters & storytellers to talk directly to the audience). Chas, Stu and Mel deep dive into the VERONICA MARS pilot, Disney’s THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, and the Michael Bay epic PAIN & GAIN.

In exploring what makes these particular examples of Voiceover great (and not feel like a cheat or a well-worn trope), we apply the four levers identified in our Part 1 (in particular ‘when in time is the Voiceover coming from’). In this episode we discover how Voiceover can set tone, reveal character motivations, enhance viewer empathy, or even create tension.

DZ-109: Talking DIRECTLY to your audience

Chas and Stu are joined by recurring guest Mel in this prelude episode to upcoming episodes on Voice Over and Breaking the Fourth Wall. In this episode, we attempt to taxonomise the different ways filmmakers can ask something directly of their audience. To this end, we identify 4 levers that can be pulled:
– Diagetic to non-diabetic (in story world to outside story world)
– Who is talking? From story-teller to a character
– Whom are they talking to? Themselves or directly to the audience?
– From when in time is the communication coming?

They then take these levers and ask a series of questions, including:
– What does the communication want from the audience?
– Does the audience know who’s talking?
– How reliable is the information?
– How aware is who is communicating of the audience?

They then apply these questions and levers to… deep breath… STAR WARS, ROBOCOP, STARSHIP TROOPERS, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, MINORITY REPORT, CHILDREN OF MEN, NEVER HAVE I EVER, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, STRANGER THAN FICTION, DUNE, OPPENHEIMER, YELLOWJACKETS, HUSTLERS, THE OFFICE, MASTERCHEF, ZOMBIELAND, FLEABAG, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SPONTANEOUS, BLACKKKLANSMAN, AMERICAN FICTION, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, THE KILLER, VERONICA MARS, FIGHT CLUB, SHUTTER ISLAND, SIXTH SENSE, HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, GOODFELLAS, EMPERORS NEW GROOVE, THE TRUMAN SHOW, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, DIE HARD, THE BIG SHORT, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, DERRY GIRLS, THE LAST JEDI, THE LAST DUEL, RASHOMON, BONES AND ALL, ARCHIVE 81, SANS SOLEIL, F IS FOR FAKE, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS, JULIUS CAESAR, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 1

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

Thanks to Chris Walker for his excellent editing this episode.

CHAPTERS:
– 00:00:00 – Cold Open
– 00:00:49 – Distinguishing communicating directly to the audience
– 00:04:32 – Different levers in how to communicate to the audience
– 00:09:20 – Who is communicating?
– 00:26:13 – Does the audience know who’s talking?
– 00:40:00 – From what time is the communication coming from?
– 00:40:50 – How reliable is the communication?
– 00:46:08 – How aware are the characters of the communication?
– 00:58:35 – Analysing edge cases
– 01:07:37 – What effects do all these have on the audience?
– 01:16:00 – Key Learnings and Wrap Up
– 01:19:00 – Patreon thanks

RELATED EPISODES:
– DZ-108: The Emotional Event with Judith Weston
– DZ-15: World-building Rules
– DZ-54: Thematic Sequences

How can we forget our awesome Patreons, especially Lily,  Alexandre, Malay, Jennifer, Thomas, Randy, Jesse, Sandra, Theis, and Khrob.
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DZ-108: The Emotional Event with Judith Weston

For the first episode of our tenth anniversary year, we are joined by Judith Weston talk about Emotional Events.

What is an emotional event? Well, it’s a way of thinking about scenes through relationships rather than plot. Instead of asking how a scene moves the plot forward, ask how the scene alters the relationship between characters. While emotional events are ostensibly a tool for directors to interpret scenes, we believe that the emotional event starts with the writer(s).

But it is an idea better illustrated through examples and discussion rather than sound bites. To that end, we breakdown scene from OPPENHEIMER, CASINO ROYALE (the Daniel Craig one), and PAST LIVES and explore how the emotional event is written (and not written) on the page.