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-34: Game of Choices – Decision Making and Character Implications

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.

DZ-30: Oscars revisited – Spotlight and Carol

What makes a script so compelling that it ends up with an Oscar nod? This week, Stu and Chas return to their first ever episode by tackling two Oscar-nominated screenplays. But this time – instead of exploring the rigid structures laid down by gurus – they use it as an opportunity to explore what they’ve learned […]