DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue

How does dialogue serve to reveal character?

Chas & Stu are joined once again by the renowned script developer and producer, Stephen Cleary. In the first part of our series on writing better dialogue (there will be more!), we take a close look at how dialogue serves character: individuating characters, revealing characterisation, shifting status, and much more.

Together, they (well, mostly Stephen) break down scenes from ANALYSE THIS, NOTTING HILL, REMAINS OF THE DAY and THE AVENGERS. In a first for Draft Zero, we include audio excerpts to make everything even clearer / stop Chas & Stu (mostly Stu) from butchering lines. That, and not everything is on YouTube.

And, in back matter, we continue the discussion into more academic areas of the difference between theatrical, cinematic and television dialogue.

DZ-25: Coincidences, Contrivances & Giant Eagles

How do screenwriters get away with using coincidences in their stories? Remember that time in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS when Bruce suddenly – magically – returned to Gotham, and you were like “WTF?!”  Well, it turns out that many of the best films have moments that are just as coincidental or contrived (or a flock of […]

DZ-21: Scene Transitions and the Hook

Stu and Chas look at one of the basic building blocks of a script: scene transitions. Transitions don’t just move you from one scene to another in a slick way, they can help you compress time, enhance thematic connections, unify different story threads, orient (or disorient) your reader… and just make your script feel more like a movie.

To help us see how scenes connect & collide in interesting ways, we take a close look at scripts of films with great transitions to see how much of the work was done by the writer (as opposed to the director or editor): SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD, HIGHLANDER, AMERICAN SPLENDOR and BOYHOOD.

And then, in backmatter we take a self-reflective look at TIME MANAGEMENT (and naps).