DZ-33: Protagonist vs Hero – Dawn of Character Function

How does splitting ‘character functions’ enhance theme? We are often told that our ‘protagonist’ needs to be a active. That they need to be compelling. That they need to change. And – old faithful – that they need to be likeable. But after looking at MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, STAR TREK (2009), THE FIGHTER, and SICARIO, Chas and […]

DZ-15: World Building Rules, Okay?

In our most epic/longest episode yet, Chas and Stu tackle world building in films. Specifically, how the rules make something a world and not just a setting. Starting with world-centric genres like sci-fi and fantasy, we also cover horror, crime drama and – er – “other”. We discuss a variety of techniques for setting up the rules of the world, including cold opens, voiceover, title cards and outsider characters! We’ve limited ourselves to the opening 3-5 pages… mostly… because (so the theory goes) they’re the pages that teach the audience how to read/watch your story/film.

Like with the character introductions episode, we cover a lot of scripts. In no particular order… [deep breath]… THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED, MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, INCEPTION, GRAVITY, MINORITY REPORT, MOON, LOOPER, ELYSIUM, JURASSIC PARK, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, MADAGASCAR, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, PAN’S LABYRINTH, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, NIGHT WATCH, VAN HELSING, THE ONE I LOVE, 28 WEEKS LATER, WORLD WAR Z, DAWN OF THE DEAD, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, ZOMBIELAND, WOMAN IN BLACK, BRICK, ANIMAL KINGDOM, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, GOODFELLAS, SHORT TERM 12, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, MOONRISE KINGDOM, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

DZ-07: On Rewriting – How much Bull is left in the Hustle?

What can be gleamed from the substantial rewrite of a famed spec? Stu and Chas look at AMERICAN BULLSHIT (the 2010 Black List spec script by Eric Warren Singer) and the film it became… AMERICAN HUSTLE (co-written and directed by David O’Russell), which garnered 10 Oscar nominations in 2014. With both Singer and O’Russell credited on HUSTLE, […]