DZ-109: Talking DIRECTLY to your audience

What are the different ways a filmmaker can ask something of the audience?

Chas and Stu are joined by recurring guest Mel in this prelude episode to upcoming episodes on Voice Over and Breaking the Fourth Wall. In this episode, we attempt to taxonomise the different ways filmmakers can ask something directly of their audience. To this end, we identify 4 levers that can be pulled:

  • Diagetic to non-diagetic (in story world to outside story world)
  • Who is talking? From story-teller to a character
  • Whom are they talking to? Themselves or directly to the audience?
  • From when in time is the communication coming?

They then take these levers and ask a series of questions, including:

  • What does the communication want from the audience?
  • Does the audience know who’s talking?
  • How reliable is the information?
  • How aware is who is communicating of the audience?

They then apply these questions and levers to… deep breath… STAR WARS, ROBOCOP, STARSHIP TROOPERS, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, MINORITY REPORT, CHILDREN OF MEN, NEVER HAVE I EVER, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, STRANGER THAN FICTION, DUNE, OPPENHEIMER, YELLOWJACKETS, HUSTLERS, THE OFFICE, MASTERCHEF, ZOMBIELAND, FLEABAG, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SPONTANEOUS, BLACKKKLANSMAN, AMERICAN FICTION, AMERICAN SPLENDOR, THE KILLER, VERONICA MARS, FIGHT CLUB, SHUTTER ISLAND, SIXTH SENSE, HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR. FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, GOODFELLAS, EMPERORS NEW GROOVE, THE TRUMAN SHOW, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, DIE HARD, THE BIG SHORT, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, DERRY GIRLS, THE LAST JEDI, THE LAST DUEL, RASHOMON, BONES AND ALL, ARCHIVE 81, SANS SOLEIL, F IS FOR FAKE, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS, JULIUS CAESAR, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Vol. 1

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes.

Thanks to Chris Walker for his excellent editing this episode.

CHAPTERS:

  • 00:00:00 – Cold Open
  • 00:00:49 – Distinguishing communicating directly to the audience
  • 00:04:32 – Different levers in how to communicate to the audience
  • 00:09:20 – Who is communicating? 
  • 00:26:13 – Does the audience know who’s talking? 
  • 00:40:00 – From what time is the communication coming from? 
  • 00:40:50 – How reliable is the communication? 
  • 00:46:08 – How aware are the characters of the communication?
  • 00:58:35 – Analysing edge cases 
  • 01:07:37 – What effects do all these have on the audience? 
  • 01:16:00 – Key Learnings and Wrap Up
  • 01:19:00 – Patreon thanks 

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How can we forget our awesome Patreons, especially Lily,  Alexandre, Malay, Jennifer, Thomas, Randy, Jesse, Sandra, Theis, and Khrob.

Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.

We are @stuwillis, and @chasffisher on twitter. You can find @draft_zero and @_shotzero on Instagram and Twitter.

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DZ-108: The Emotional Event with Judith Weston

How and why should every scene have an emotional event?

For the first episode of our tenth anniversary year, we are joined by Judith Weston to talk about Emotional Events. 

What is an emotional event? Well, it’s a way of thinking about scenes through relationships rather than plot. Instead of asking how a scene moves the plot forward, ask how the scene alters the relationship between characters. While emotional events are ostensibly a tool for directors to interpret scenes, we believe that the emotional event starts with the writer(s).

But it is an idea better illustrated through examples and discussion rather than sound bites. To that end, we breakdown scene from OPPENHEIMER, CASINO ROYALE (the Daniel Craig one), and PAST LIVES and explore how the emotional event is written (and not written) on the page. 

Through a close reading of each scene, we talk about subtext, power dynamics, status transactions, tactics, beats and much much more. Because Chas, Stu and Judith are also reading the scripts there  lot of discussion about table reads and how to get the most out of them.

For those unfamiliar with Judith, she is a famed teacher of writers, directors and actors with a focus on the directing or actors. Her books Directing Actors and The Film Director’s Intuition are basically industry standards. 

You can find Judith Weston (and her books!) at her website: https://judithweston.com/web/

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND.

Thanks to Chris Walker for his excellent editing this episode.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes.


CHAPTERS:

  • 00:00:00 – Cold Open
  • 00:00:30 – What is an emotional event?
  • 00:13:48 – Oppenheimer
  • 00:46:16 – Casino Royale
  • 00:59:35 – Past Lives
  • 01:30:20 – Key Learnings & Wrap Up
  • 01:36:05 – Thanks to our Patreons

RELATED EPISODES:


How can we forget our awesome Patreons, especially Lily,  Alexandre, Malay, Jennifer, Thomas, Randy, Jesse, Sandra, Theis, and Khrob.

Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.

We are @stuwillis, and @chasffisher on twitter. You can find @draft_zero and @_shotzero on Instagram and Twitter.

BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic

SUBSCRIBE TO SHOT ZERO via Substack

DZ-107: Establishing Tone through Character

How can we use dramatisation to create tone?

In this episode, Chas and Stu continue their deep dive into how to write tone by examining films with “light” (we use the phrase loosely) tones: LADY BIRD, EMILY THE CRIMINAL, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS, and SPONTANEOUS. We also talk a surprising amount about DUNE and CRAZY STUPID LOVE.

We focus on the relationship between character & tone and how the writers of these films use dramatisation to create their unique tones. We talk minimalism vs maximalism, dialogue, character actions & reactions, emotional dynamic range, and rules of the world vs given circumstances.

Stu proposes a new triangle to help us understand the dials we as writers have to affect tone: the given circumstances of the story, how that effects character actions & reactions, and how the audience are told about those elements.

Thanks to Chris Walker for his excellent editing this episode.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND and all copyright material used under fair use for educational purposes.


CHAPTERS:

  • 00:00:00 – Cold Open
  • 00:00:23 – Tone & Character
  • 00:15:26 – Ladybird
  • 00:33:20 – Emily The Criminal
  • 00:57:43 – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • 01:17:28 – Spontaneous
  • 01:39:38 – Key Learnings & Wrap Up
  • 01:51:58 – Many thanks to our Patreons

RELATED EPISODES:

RELATED LINKS:


How can we forget our awesome Patreons, especially Lily,  Alexandre, Malay, Jennifer, Thomas, Randy, Jesse, Sandra, Theis, and Khrob.

Please considering rating or subscribing to us on Apple Podcasts or sharing us on the Social Medias! We like finding new listeners.

We are @stuwillis, and @chasffisher on twitter. You can find @draft_zero and @_shotzero on Instagram and Twitter.

BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic

SUBSCRIBE TO SHOT ZEROvia Substack