DZ-53: Antagonists! (Part 5) – vs Audience

What if there is no antagonist? 

It’s time. The Epic Deep Dive(TM) into Antagonists has reached its shuddering conclusion. And for this Part V – by choosing films that have no obvious singular antagonist (and in some cases no obvious narrative either) – Stu and Chas realised there was indeed a final category of antagonists: the films themselves. Where the film (and the filmmaker) are engaging directly with the audience. Where the films are… VERSUS AUDIENCE.

The films that led to this “insight” often lie to the audience; talk directly to the audience; misdirect the audience; take the audience on meandering narrative strolls; or make the central character the antagonist to all other characters. Sometimes these techniques power a single scene. Sometimes they take up the whole film. All this to keep the audience compelled in the absence of singular antagonists. And these films are – drum roll, please – OCEAN’S 8, THE SECOND, F FOR FAKE, SANS SOLEIL and FORREST GUMP.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND!

Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Watch it on on YouTube. Read the transcript on GitHub or in HTML.

Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here!

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DZ-52: Antagonists! (Part 4) – vs Systems

How do systems pressure your characters to change?

This is Part Four (!!) of our Five Part Epic Exploration into antagonists forces and sources of conflict. In this episode we explore “system/world/society” antagonists. While stereotypically associated with science-fiction, these sources of conflict are found across genres.

To that end, we talk MINORITY REPORT, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, MUDBOUND, and THE LOBSTER – with a special mention of high school movies.

We continue refining our tools surrounding antagonists/sources of conflict: obstacles, pressure, enablers, pushers, pullers, education and thwarting. We especially focus on how the pressures of the system/world/society force characters to either submit to the system, overthrow it or escape it; and how framing all of your characters’ journeys in relation to the rules of the world they inhabit can lead to a thematically strong story.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND!

Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Watch it on on YouTube. Read the transcript on GitHub or in HTML.

Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here!

EPISODE LINKS

Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero! We are @chasffisher  and @stuwillis on twitter.

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

Many thanks to Murirb, Sandra, Paul, Rob, Christopher, Joakim and Khrob for being top-level patrons. They’re good humans.

 

DZ-51: Antagonists! (Part 3) – vs Nature

What changes in your story if your antagonistic forces can’t be bargained with?

In this Part Three of our Five Part Epic Exploration™ into antagonistic forces (and sources of conflict), Chas & Stu explore “nature” antagonists, including some supernatural ones. What became clear in doing the homework (and recording this episode twice) was that the antagonistic forces – whether natural or supernatural – presented different narrative challenges to the protagonists if (a) they did not seem to make choices and (b) could not be bargained with or defeated.

And so we embarked upon ALL IS LOST, THE GREY and CONTAGION — with special mentions of THE VVITCH, WORLD WAR Z, ZOMBIELAND, ANNIHILATION, ALIEN, ALIENS and probably some others we’ve forgotten. 

Stu elaborates on his distinction between obstacles and pressure; Chas riffs on how nature antagonists can mirror the protagonist and reinforce theme; and they both explore the effect on protagonists who are pushed to their limits by antagonists that cannot be reasoned with.

As always: SPOILERS ABOUND!

Audio quotations used for educational purposes only. Timestamps indicated below. Chapter markers included in the mp3. Watch it on on YouTube. Transcripts on GitHub and

Special thanks to our Patreon supporters. If you would like more Draft Zero episodes more often, click here!

EPISODES LINKS

Please send feedback to ask at draft-zero.com, via our web form or twitter @draft_zero! We are @chasffisher  and @stuwillis on twitter.

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

Many thanks to Sandra, Paul, Rob, Christopher, Joakim and Khrob for being top-level patrons. They’re good humans.