Cinema is a time-based art, and one of the primary tools in film editing is manipulation of time. A closer look at sequences in the scripts of PULP FICTION, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, WOMAN IN BLACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, UP, WHIPLASH, and THE UNTOUCHABLES reveals how master screenwriters use the same time-controlling techniques on the page. The closer a writer can recreate cinema’s use of time on the page, the more of an “I’m watching a movie” feeling you can generate for the reader. Or, as Chas puts it, writing like you’d edit. We discuss use of white space, super-present tense, decompression & compression, Soviet Montage Theory, the Kuleshov effect and just a tiny amount of grammar.
In our most epic/longest episode yet, Chas and Stu tackle world building in films. Specifically, how the rules make something a world and not just a setting. Starting with world-centric genres like sci-fi and fantasy, we also cover horror, crime drama and – er – “other”. We discuss a variety of techniques for setting up the rules of the world, including cold opens, voiceover, title cards and outsider characters! We’ve limited ourselves to the opening 3-5 pages… mostly… because (so the theory goes) they’re the pages that teach the audience how to read/watch your story/film.
Like with the character introductions episode, we cover a lot of scripts. In no particular order… [deep breath]… THE MATRIX, THE MATRIX RELOADED, MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, INCEPTION, GRAVITY, MINORITY REPORT, MOON, LOOPER, ELYSIUM, JURASSIC PARK, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, MADAGASCAR, FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, PAN’S LABYRINTH, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, NIGHT WATCH, VAN HELSING, THE ONE I LOVE, 28 WEEKS LATER, WORLD WAR Z, DAWN OF THE DEAD, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, ZOMBIELAND, WOMAN IN BLACK, BRICK, ANIMAL KINGDOM, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, THE UNTOUCHABLES, GOODFELLAS, SHORT TERM 12, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, MOONRISE KINGDOM, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.