DZ-37: Excelling at Exposition (Part 1)

In Draft Zero’s first two part episode, Stu & Chas take an in-depth look at one of screenwriting’s most common challenges: EXPOSITION. For many stories there are pre-existing facts that need to be communicated to the audience — whether those facts be about the rules of the world, the nature of a location, character motivations, character backstories or just character names. So how have great writers made exposition move the story forward, rather than stopping it to tell the audience stuff they need to know?

To that end, in Part 1 of Excelling At Exposition we break down scenes from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, SHORT TERM 12, INSIDE OUT, THE WORLD’S END, THE BIG SHORT, IT FOLLOWS, JURASSIC PARK and JURASSIC WORLD. Audio quotations are included for educational purposes.

Many thanks to /r/screenwriting for suggesting so many examples.

DZ-06: Key Scenes and Unlocking the Story

Stu and Chas are joined once again by the inestimable Stephen Cleary to explore his idea of ‘key scenes’. Scenes like the diner scene in HEAT. Or the boardroom showdown in MARGIN CALL. These scenes are not only key to a film, they can also be key to developing a story. Why? Stephen’s observation is that if you put your protagonist and antagonist in a scene together for a period of time and they will instinctively play out the beats of your whole story… if you have the characters figured out.

An interesting theory and one we put to the test. In addition to HEAT and MARGIN CALL, we look at scenes and sequences from THE GODFATHER, NOTTING HILL, THE DARK KNIGHT, THE RAID 2: BERANDAL and Stu avoids mentioning STAR WARS by working in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK instead.