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.
Stu and Chas look at one of the basic building blocks of a script: scene transitions. Transitions don’t just move you from one scene to another in a slick way, they can help you compress time, enhance thematic connections, unify different story threads, orient (or disorient) your reader… and just make your script feel more like a movie.
To help us see how scenes connect & collide in interesting ways, we take a close look at scripts of films with great transitions to see how much of the work was done by the writer (as opposed to the director or editor): SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD, HIGHLANDER, AMERICAN SPLENDOR and BOYHOOD.
And then, in backmatter we take a self-reflective look at TIME MANAGEMENT (and naps).
Stu and Chas delve into unlikable protagonists in comedy. How do filmmakers keep us watching characters who should alienate us? To answer this question, Stu and Chas look at the first 20 pages of HOT FUZZ, AS GOOD AS IT GETS and – of course – GROUNDHOG DAY.