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 […]
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.
After a spectacular end to Season 6 of GAME OF THRONES, Chas and Stu were struck by the very different portrayals of Sansa in Episode 9 – Battle of the Bastards and Cersei in Episode 10 – The Winds of Winter. Despite both characters having an enormous impact on the narrative, the audience’s experience of those characters is very different — largely because Sansa is absent from 98% of Battle of the Bastards.
And thus: Stu and Chas embark on an exploration of how a writer’s use of point of view – particularly in relation to how you show characters making decisions – can control how your audience perceives any given character (for good or ill).
Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, we recommend you watch these two episodes for their contrasting but fascinating control of point of view and character. Both episodes were written by showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss.