DZ-44: Marvel, First Acts and Establishing Characters

Array 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 […]

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-33: Protagonist vs Hero – Dawn of Character Function

Array How does splitting ‘character functions’ enhance theme? We are often told that our ‘protagonist’ needs to be a active. That they need to be compelling. That they need to change. And – old faithful – that they need to be likeable. But after looking at MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, STAR TREK (2009), THE FIGHTER, and SICARIO, Chas […]