DZ-50: Antagonists! (Part 2) – vs Self

In Part Two of our Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonists, Chas & Stu take a look at “vs self” stories. Stories where the protagonist (or main character) serves as their own antagonist as well as the antagonist for those around them.

It took us a long time to settle on our homework, but we ended up exploring LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, SHAME, and MONSTER. Our discussion continues in backmatter with MINDHUNTER and STEVE JOBS.

DZ-46: Structure & Point of View

Waaaaaaaaaay back in DZ-5, Stu and Chas examined how shifting narrative point of view (i.e. what the audience knows in relation to the characters on screen) heightens emotions in any given scene. We’ve now taken that micro idea and applied it to the macro: how can deciding what the audience knows and when in relation to the characters organise your story? Are whole sequences or even acts driven by the audience following a character, feeling concerned about a character, empathising with a character or being absorbed in the irony of knowing more than all the characters interacting on screen.

To tackle this topic, Stu and Chas dive in to films that make very conscious structural choices in relation to narrative POV, namely: GET OUT, DUNKIRK and the underrated German film THE LIVES OF OTHERS (with honourable mentions to LA CONFIDENTIAL and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA).

DZ-44: Marvel, First Acts and Establishing Characters

How can your first act effectively establish your character journey? First Acts are hard. They have to set so much in motion, especially setting up characters. To help them understand how to write effective first acts better, Stu and Chas turn their analytical gaze to a franchise that has been refining and reiterating its first […]