DZ-83: A Very Thematic Stand-up Special!

What can screenwriters learn from the storytelling techniques used by stand-up comedians?

Standup comedians can keep audiences gripped to their every word for over an hour, and often bring them to emotional climaxes by the end. So how do they do it and what tools can apply to scripted narratives? 

For this deep dive into standup, Stu and Chas are joined by the super-talented comic and podcaster Alice Fraser. Which is rather fortuitous. Because not only are we schooled on comedy techniques, but because Alice also has a Masters in Narrative Rhetoric. 

So as we dive in to NANETTE by Hannah Gadsby, BABY COBRA by Ali Wong and IT’S THE FIREWORKS TALKING by Daniel Kitson (with more than a passing reference to Alice’s own show SAVAGE and INSIDE by Bo Burnham), we analyse narrative structure, transitions, set-ups and pay-offs used by stand-ups…

But we end up focusing on exploring thematic tools – particularly the Aristotelean concepts of the rhetorical triangle: logos (how the story is told), ethos (who the storyteller is), and pathos (how the audience emotionally engages). With these powers combined, storytellers of all kinds can produce work of thematic power and resonance. Or just funny. 

And in backmatter, we discuss adapting Savage for the recorded stage with Alice!

Enjoy!

Spoilers abound. Audio excerpts used for educational purposes.


CHAPTERS

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:25 – Alice Fraser on comedy
  • 00:22:33 – Comedy tools to be explored
  • 00:26:21 – Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
  • 00:48:47 – Transitions in and out of theme
  • 01:08:32 – Baby Cobra by Ali Wong
  • 01:37:57 – It’s the Fireworks Talking by Daniel Kitson
  • 02:04:45 – Key Learnings 
  • 02:14:39 – Backmatter – Adapting SAVAGE from stage to screen and screen again

LINKS

Alice Fraser – http://www.alicecomedyfraser.com  

Hannah Gadsby – Nanette:

Alice Wong – Baby Cobra:

Daniel Kitson – It’s The Fireworks Talking:

Bo Burnham – Inside:


Thanks to all our patrons, especially Thomas, Garrett, Bjorn, Randy, Jesse, Theis, Sandra, 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. And you can find @draft_zero on Instagram and Twitter.

DZ-82: Dramatising Given Circumstances in Watchmen

In this final podcast release of last year’s run of LiveSoLation episodes, Chas and Stu are joined by Uber-geek Mel Killingsworth (who else?) in an epic exploration of how Dave Gibbons’ and Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel WATCHMEN is adapted differently in Zack Snyder’s 2009 film and Damon Lindelof’s 2019 HBO television show.

For this podcast release, we focus on a single craft tool: GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES. Traditionally an acting tool, we look at how it is also a useful writing tool: how is your story world different to your audience’s lived world and how best to communicate that?

 In terms of WATCHMEN (as you will hear), there is so much given circumstances to convey — in terms of alternate history, superhero rules, political rules, character backstory, character worldview — that is done excellently in both the movie and the TV show that this becomes a masterclass in exposition.

We also touch on narrative structure and tone: how presenting the exact same information in a different order or through a different tonal lens can change how it lands for an audience. ie this diagram —

But this is explored much more fully in the very-visual companion YouTube videos. Subscribe to our YouTube to be notified when they’re released! http://www.draft-zero.com/youtube:

While this episode may not be for the feint of heart, we feel it is one of our best. Hope you do too. Quantity has a quality of its very own.

Spoilers abound. Audio excerpts used for educational purposes. Thanks to Chris for wrangling this into shape!


CHAPTERS

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:02 – Watching the Watchmen
  • 00:06:13 – Summaries
  • 00:17:07 – Given Circumstances
  • 00:38:39 – The Characters
  • 00:51:07 – Theme & Characters
  • 01:02:13 – Narrative Structure & Theme
  • 01:27:07 – Worldview
  • 01:33:47 – Dr Manhattan
  • 01:51:50 – Wrap Up

LINKS

RELATED EPISODES


Thanks to all our patrons, especially Thomas, Garrett, Bjorn, Randy, Jesse, Theis, Sandra, 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. And you can find @draft_zero on Instagram and Twitter.

DZ-81: Pitch Decks & Look Books – Development Tools 4

How do you make effective pitch decks and look books for your projects?

Chas and Stu are joined by writer/director/producer/multi-hyphenate Marc Furmie of Rezistor Studios to talk all things pitch decks and look books. Coming from an advertising and music video background, Marc shares his experience in putting together visual materials to pitch a project. We discuss the difference between pitch decks and lookbooks,  how they help you sell your projects, what buyers are looking for, television vs features, and how do we make yours better?

This is a podcast cutdown of the live stream that was done with Marc. So if you’d like to *see* what we are discussing, including a critique of a listener’s pitch deck, then check out our YouTube recording.

Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode.


LINKS:

RELATED EPISODES:


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. And you can find @draft_zero on Instagram and Twitter.