DZ-16: Masters of Time and Whitespace

Cinema is a time-based art, and one of the primary tools in film editing is manipulation of time. A closer look at sequences in the scripts of PULP FICTION, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, WOMAN IN BLACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, UP, WHIPLASH, and THE UNTOUCHABLES reveals how master screenwriters use the same time-controlling techniques on the page. The closer a writer can recreate cinema’s use of time on the page, the more of an “I’m watching a movie” feeling you can generate for the reader. Or, as Chas puts it, writing like you’d edit. We discuss use of white space, super-present tense, decompression & compression, Soviet Montage Theory, the Kuleshov effect and just a tiny amount of grammar.

DZ-11: Adventure for the MacGuffin!

Is the MacGuffin truly interchangable, and how does it impact on your character writing?

Stu and Chas are joined by a special guest – Scriptmag contributor Brad Johnson – to discuss how the choice of the MacGuffin can impact on the quality of an action/adventure film. To test this thesis, our heroes compare the auspicious originals of two iconic franchise with their, um, less-than-auspicious 4th instalments (in other words we compare RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK with KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL and THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL with ON STRANGER TIDES) as well as look at two recent & original entries into the genre, namely NATIONAL TREASURE and PRINCE OF PERSIA.

Our heroes uncover how key the relationship between the protagonist and the MacGuffin is and how this can impact on writing in any genre, not just action/adventure. Suprisingly, Brad brings up STAR WARS before Stu does…