DZ-43: Driving Sequences – Character and Plot Intensity

Chas and Stu are joined for the fourth time by the inestimable Stephen Cleary – this time to take a deep dive into sequences. A real deep dive. A 3+ hour deep dive.

Stephen postulates that sequences can compel the audience in different ways via the type of dramatic questions being posed. Are they plot questions (“Will she defuse the bomb?”) or character questions (“Will she understand what compels her to defuse bombs?”) or a combination of both? What is the impact on the pacing, structure of your story or audience experience of your characters by changing the type of question being asked? What happens to your story when your protagonist decides to literally abandon the plot?

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.