DRAFT ZERO

DRAFT ZERO

working out what makes screenplays work

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Website
http://draft-zero.com
Description
working out what makes screenplays work
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2018-10-19 20:51
last episode published
2018-01-11 07:49
publication frequency
39.23 days
Contributors
DRAFT ZERO author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
37
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Detail page
Categories
Unsorted

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Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
11.01.2018

DZ-47: Backmatter – A Lost Jedi, White Knighting, and Writers-On-Set

Will Director Stu allow Writer Chas on his set? Following our annual wrap up in 2017, we’ve decided to once again explore what craft issues/lessons we can garner from the latest Stars, namely Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, focusing on how consequences of...
DRAFT ZERO author
19.12.2017

DZ-46: Organising your story around Point of View

What questions do you want your audience asking at any given time? Waaaaaaaaaay back in DZ-5, Stu and Chas examined how shifting narrative point of view (i.e. what the audience knows in relation to the characters on screen) heightens emotions in any gi...
DRAFT ZERO author
27.10.2017

DZ-45: Arguments of the Scene

How can you dramatise your theme on a scene level? As part of their ongoing exploration of scene-work, Stu and Chas apply their earlier thinking on theme and character worldview to individual scenes. Can examining a scene from a thematic perspective im...
DRAFT ZERO author
17.09.2017

DZ-44: First Acts and Establishing Characters

How can your first act effectively establish your character journey? First Acts are hard. They have to set so much in motion, especially setting up characters. To help them understand how to write effective first acts better, Stu and Chas turn their an...
DRAFT ZERO author
4.02.2017

DZ-40: Tactics and Scenes

How do tactics make your characters and scenes more dynamic? In this episode, Stu and Chas turn their gaze to the “tactics” that characters use in scenes to get what they want. Tactics are how the characters try to achieve their goals and (we reckon) c...
DRAFT ZERO author
30.10.2016

DZ-36: Backmatter– Time Risk and Fixing Movies

How can writers wisely invest their time in projects? In this “special”, backmatter-only episode, Stu & Chas take inspiration from Terry Rossio’s excellent article on TIME RISK and ice skate over a range of topics. We talk about time investment in ...
DRAFT ZERO author
6.10.2016

DZ-35: Driving Characters or Character Driven?

How can films maintain audience interest without stakes or plot questions? Continuing their focus on “character”, Stuart and Chas take a close look at films that may be considered character-driven… or rather character studies… or just plot-lite films? ...
DRAFT ZERO author
14.08.2016

DZ-34: Game of Choices– Decision Making and Character Implications

How does the experience of a character’s decision impact our feelings towards that character? After a spectacular end to Season 6 of GAME OF THRONES, Chas and Stu were struck by the very different portrayals of Sansa in Episode 9 – Battle of the Bastar...
DRAFT ZERO author
15.07.2016

DZ-33: Protagonist vs Hero– Dawn of Character Function

How does splitting ‘character functions’ enhance theme? We are often told that our ‘protagonist’ needs to be a active. That they need to be compelling. That they need to change. And – old faithful – that they need to be likeable. But after looking at M...
12.06.2016

DZ-32: High-Tension Sequences

How can you recreate the feeling of cinematic high-tension on the page? Chas & Stu take a close look at sequences of high-tension – the ones that make you lean forward in fear, or jump backwards in terror. Without camera angles, lighting, music or ...
10.04.2016

DZ-31: Tools for Better Dialogue

How does dialogue serve to reveal character? Chas & Stu are joined once again by the renowned script developer and producer, Stephen Cleary. In the first part of our series on writing better dialogue (there will be more!), we take a close look at h...
28.02.2016

DZ-30: Oscars revisited– Spotlight and Carol

What makes a script so compelling that it ends up with an Oscar nod? This week, Stu and Chas return to their first ever episode by tackling two Oscar-nominated screenplays. But this time – instead of exploring the rigid structures laid down by gurus – ...
25.01.2016

DZ-29: Showdowns& Scene Structure

What can fight scenes – whether physical or verbal – teach us about structuring any scene? In exploring how to write good fight scenes, Stu and Chas compare how writers structure memorable showdowns – both verbal and physical. Fights vs arguments. Swor...
21.12.2015

DZ-28: Containing Your Script

How do you keep contained movies engaging? Contained Thrillers seem to be a genre that never goes out of fashion. But being contained is not just limited to thrillers. It’s a way of telling stories on a lower budget, regardless of genre. So – while all...
15.11.2015

DZ-27: Competing views on Screenplay Competitions

Can screenplay competitions be worth it? After being repeatedly asked by listeners for thoughts on screenplay competitions, Stu and Chas go full back matter for this special episode. They tackle the question – do comps just feeding the hope machine or ...
31.10.2015

DZ-26: Horror and Collaboration- Wolf Creek 2

How does a screenwriter collaborate with a director on an existing property? In this halloween special, Chas (sans Stu) is joined by a very special guest… Aaron Sterns the co-writer of WOLF CREEK 2 — the big budget sequel to the infamous WOLF CREEK, al...
DRAFT ZERO author
15.09.2015

DZ-25: Coincidences, Contrivances& Giant Eagles

How do screenwriters get away with using coincidences in their stories? Remember that time in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS when Bruce suddenly – magically – returned to Gotham, and you were like “WTF?!”  Well, it turns out that many of the best films have m...
DRAFT ZERO author
4.08.2015

DZ-24: Forging story rules in TV pilots

Are your story rules in your pilot strong enough to play out over the life of your show? Stu and Chas move away from the world of features and dive into the Pilot Episodes of some (New) Golden Age Television: THE SHIELD, THE WIRE, BREAKING BAD, and MAD...
6.07.2015

DZ-23: LIVE– Starting A Career In Film And Television

Are you a filmmaker but not sure how to start your career? Draft Zero was invited to moderate a panel as part of the 2015 St Kilda Film Festival. In our very first live episode, we are joined by TV Writer Mithila Gupta (Winners and Losers), Director Co...
11.06.2015

DZ-22: Romantic Comedy, Actually

How can studying RomCom clichés teach us to subvert them? With Stu busy working on Hollywood blockbusters, Chas is joined by Alli Parker (script department on Aussie TV series and former co-ordinator of European #scriptchat) to unpick successful romcom...
DRAFT ZERO author
7.05.2015

DZ-21: Scene Transitions and the Hook

How can scene transitions do more than just move from one location to another? Stu and Chas look at one of the basic building blocks of a script: scene transitions. Transitions don’t just move you from one scene to another in a slick way, they can help...
2.04.2015

DZ-20: Writing Strong Secondary Characters– Trinity, Bechdel and a Bamboo Killer

How can the Trinity Syndrome help you write better secondary characters? Chas & Stu are joined by Bamboo Killer (aka Emily Blake) – one of the co-hosts of the Chicks Who Script podcast. They take a critical look at secondary female characters in ma...
DRAFT ZERO author
1.03.2015

DZ-19: Car-Crash Characters

How do you make unlikeable characters compelling to watch… in drama? Stu and Chas revisit a topic from a year ago: how do screenwriters make unlikeable characters compelling? This time, we turn our focus to dramas and analyse how AMERICAN HISTORY X, YO...
22.01.2015

DZ-18: Michael Bay– F*ing the Frame and P*ing the Page

Are there screenwriting lessons to be taken from analysing the work of Michael f-ing Bay? Of course there are. How could there not be? After all, Michael Bay is the 3rd highest grossing director at the worldwide box office… of all time. Behind, y’know,...
6.01.2015

DZ-17: Where’s my gold-plated ensuite?

When you’re an emerging filmmaker, what are different ways to tackle a “career”? It’s our Holiday Special! In this episode (recorded December 2014), Chas and Stu break all the rules. No homework. No pages. No empirical analysis. They reluctantly but bo...
DRAFT ZERO author
16.12.2014

DZ-16: Masters of Time and Whitespace

Does manipulating time on the page make your script feel more cinematic? Chas and Stu are joined by Khrob Edmonds – an award-winning filmmaker and founder of TangoEDIT – to discuss manipulation of time… … on the page! Cinema is a time-based art, and on...
DRAFT ZERO author
5.10.2014

DZ-13: True That – Tips from Tarantino

What is it about Tarantino’s writing that elevates his work? Chapter 1: Of Milk and Men Tarantino is widely heralded as one of the great writer/directors. Yet new writers are advised to avoid emulating Tarantino because his voice is so strong. Only Tar...
DRAFT ZERO author
16.09.2014

DZ-12: Craft, Career and Coffins

It’s the The Podcast You Used To Know…. After a short hiatus, DRAFT ZERO is back! Well, half of us is… Chas (sans Stu) is joined by a very special guest – Natasha Pincus. As a screenwriter, Tash’s feature CLIVE was on the 2012 Black List. As a director...
DRAFT ZERO author
30.07.2014

DZ-11: Clash of the MacGuffins!

Is the MacGuffin truly interchangable, and how does it impact on your character writing? Stu and Chas are joined by a special guest – Scriptmag contributor Brad Johnson – to discuss how the choice of the MacGuffin can impact on the quality of an action...
DRAFT ZERO author
23.06.2014

DZ-09: Characterising Introductions

Can the introduction of a character be so good that the character doesn’t need describing? Stu and Chas argue about different techniques for introducing characters and whether character descriptions are even necessary. This is important for writers, as...
DRAFT ZERO author
25.05.2014

DZ-07: On Rewriting – How much Bull is left in the Hustle?

What can be gleamed from the substantial rewrite of a famed spec? Stu and Chas look at AMERICAN BULLSHIT (the 2010 Black List spec script by Eric Warren Singer) and the film it became… AMERICAN HUSTLE (co-written and directed by David O’Russell), which...
DRAFT ZERO author
11.05.2014

DZ-06: Key Scenes and Unlocking the Story

INT. EPISODE 6 – NIGHT Can one scene be the key to unlocking the whole story? Stu and Chas are joined once again by the inestimable Stephen Cleary to explore his idea of ‘key scenes’. Scenes like the diner scene in HEAT. Or the boardroom showdown in MA...
DRAFT ZERO author
27.04.2014

DZ-05: Shifting audience point of view and heightened emotions

INT. EPISODE 5 – MIDDAY Can forcing your audience to ask questions – and then answering them – trigger an emotional response? Stu and Chas delve into audience point of view – not character point of view! Does your audience know more, less or the same a...
DRAFT ZERO author
14.04.2014

DZ-04: Catharsis and the Post-Coital Cigarette

INT. EPISODE 4 – AFTERNOON How does the end of certain films make your soul shudder? Stu and Chas are joined by their first guest – illustrious script developer and producer Stephen Cleary – to explore how certain films can trigger an outpouring of emo...
DRAFT ZERO author
30.03.2014

DZ-03: Making unlikeable protagonists compelling

INT. EPISODE 3 – MIDDAY How do you make obnoxious a-holes compelling? Stu and Chas delve into unlikable protagonists in comedy. How do filmmakers keep us watching characters who should alienate us? To answer this question, Stu and Chas look at the firs...
DRAFT ZERO author
17.03.2014

DZ-02: Do the Screenplay Gurus score big at the Box Office?

INT. EPISODE 2 – MORNING Do the biggest original films of 2013 follow more archetypal – or formulaic – structures? After analysing awards-nominated screenplays, Stu and Chas turn to the original screenplays that struck it biggest at the box office in 2...
DRAFT ZERO author
1.03.2014

DZ-01: Do Screenplay Gurus win you Oscars?

INT. EPISODE 1 – NIGHT Do Oscar-Nominated screenwriters follow the structural formulas prescribed by the ‘gurus’ and books? Stu and Chas analyse two screenplays nominated for Academy Awards in 2014 – PHILOMENA and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB – to see whether th...
DRAFT ZERO author