DZ-60: Unfilmables and Unscriptables (Part 1) – Engaging imagination

How can unfilmables enhance the experience of your script?

AKA Why your screenwriting guru is wrong 

In this episode, Chas and Stu deep dive into the controversial area of “unfilmables” — those alleged screenwriting sins, where a writer writes a line that (apparently) cannot be seen or heard. But many produced spec scripts use unfilmables to great effect. So how and why do they “get away with it”?

In this first part, they look at unfilmables in micro moments: to describe locations, set (or change) the mood/tone, bring performances to life, and communicate certain types of humour. To that end, they breakdown into examples from LETHAL WEAPON, MY BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH, HEREDITARY, FLEABAG, KILLING EVE, A QUIET PLACE, KILLING THEM SOFTLY, SHARP OBJECTS, SPARTAN, THE NICE GUYS, DRIVE, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI, TREE OF LIFE, and MICHAEL CLAYTON. 

Thanks to Chris Walker for editing this episode, and Carissa Lee for performing the big print. 

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


RUNNING ORDER
  • ASIDES (@ 23:08)
    • LETHAL WEAPON by Shane Black
    • YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH by Brian Duffield
    • HEREDITARY by Ari Aster
  • FRAMING THE SCENE ( @ 52:58)
  • OPENINGS (@ 59:27)
    • KILLING THEM SOFTLY screenplay by Andrew Dominik, Based on the novel “Cogan’s Trade by George V. Higgins
    • SHARP OBJECTS. EPISODE 1, VANISH written by Marti Noxon, Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn
    • HEREDITARY by Ari Aster
    • SPARTAN a screenplay by David Mamet
  • PERFORMANCE (@ 1:36:07)
    • FLEABAG PILOT Written by Phoebe Waller Bridge
    • THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Erin Cressida Wilson, Adapted from the novel by Paula Hawkins
    • THE NICE GUYS by Anthony Bagarozzi & Shane Black
    • DRIVE written by Hossein Amini, Based on the novel by James Sallis
  • TONE/THEME (@ 01:54:49)
    • MICHAEL CLAYTON by Tony Gilroy
    • THE TREE OF LIFE by Terrence Mallick
    • THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI by Martin McDonagh
  • WRAP UP / KEY LEARNINGS (@ 02:11:52)
EPISODE LINKS

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.

Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Devin, Jack, Paul, Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Rob, Matteo, Daniel and Carrie. They’re good humans.

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DZ-59: Avengers Endgame & Ending Character Journeys

Do you want your audience feeling with or for your characters?  

One day, Chas saw Avengers: Endgame for the second time and wrote a review on Letterboxd. In particular, he had issues with how little he perceived the characters of Cap and Tony changed within the film, their big finale (spoiler). Then friend and patron of the podcast Julio vehemently disagreed in the comments. He was egged on by Stu. And there in the comments began a debate that looked a lot like an episode of Draft Zero. So we decided to make it one.

And what began as an exploration of how to dramatise character change swiftly became an exploration of how to position audience in relation to your characters. Do you want the audience empathising with the characters? Feeling what they are feeling in the moment? Or do you want your audience sympathising with your characters? Being rocked by surprise after the fact? Reminding your audience of their own personal relationship with the characters.

As always, spoiler-tastic.

RUNNING ORDER

  • CHAS’ LETTERBOXD REVIEW [@ 00:00:00]
  • HOW DOES THE SNAP AFFECT CAP & TONY? [@ 00:04:27]
  • HOW IS TONY’S JOURNEY DRAMATISED? [@ 00:08:31] 
  • WORKSHOPPING A MOMENT WHEN TONY RISKS IT ALL [@ 00:26:56] 
  • PROVING TONY HAS CHANGED SINCE IRON MAN [@ 00:35:13] 
  • HOW IS STEVE’S JOURNEY DRAMATISED? [@ 00:48:03] 
  • WHAT IF CAP CHOSE TO STAY IN THE PAST? [@ 00:54:49] 
  • KEY LEARNINGS [@ 01:02:43] 

EPISODE LINKS

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, @chasfisher and @Ovnio on twitter.

Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Jack, Paul, Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Rob, Matteo, Daniel and Carrie. They’re good humans.

BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic

DZ-58: Game of Thrones – Character Exposition

How can you let your characters tell us how they feel?

In watching Season 7 (and the first three episodes of Season 8) of Game of Thrones, Stu noticed that there were lots of scenes where characters either met for the first time or were reunited after a long time apart. In these scenes, the audience knows (or thinks they know) more than either character. And so the fascination, power and subversion comes from what the characters choose to reveal… or not.

And yet… while we thought this episode would be an extension of our previous musings on exposition, in nearly every great scene we assessed, the characters basically said “screw talking about plot or backstory” and instead exposited about their character. How it feels to be them. How they have, or have not, changed. 

And so this episode unexpectedly but rewardingly pivoted to learnings on how to set up and sell character exposition.

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

RUNNING ORDER

EPISODE LINKS

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

Many thanks to all our patrons but particularly to Chris, Khrob, Sandra, Nick, Rob and new supporters Matteo, Daniel and Carrie. They’re good humans.

BUY DRAFT ZERO MERCH via TeePublic