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Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

A TV, Film and Arts podcast
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Episodes of Draft Zero

How can you keep your audience hooked when they know the end of the story? Chas, Stu and Mel take a deep dive into stakes, using then lens of biopics to help us think about them. If an audience already knows the “plot” outcome of a story, then
How can you use setups and payoffs to stitch your film together? In this one-shot, Chas and Stu dive into the awesomeness of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. In particular, we focus on its use of setups, payoffs and reversals; breakdown the d
How does your opening sequence set up your audience? Inspired by her tweet on how subversive an opening OCEAN’S ELEVEN has, Chas and Stu invited amazing writer/director Jessica Ellis onto the show to deep dive into opening sequences. How does a
How can dramas use genre elements to hook their audiences? Stu and Chas reunite with TV writer & director Kodie Bedford to look at how some films start out as genre but gradually become character dramas. Or, as Stu never said on the episode "Ge
How do you deliver on the emotional contract of a genre while surprising the audience? In tackling this enormous topic, Stu and Chads enlist professional TV writer and director for Kodie Bedford, someone who has somehow managed to defy genre pi
How do you determine what is your MVP? In their annual full backwater episode, Stu and Chas let out their pandemic hair, drop the ruse of objectivity, and allow themselves to have even more options about writing and the business of writing. In
What is difference between choice and decision when it comes to audience experience? In our second part of our “series” on Choices and Decisions, we take a deep dive into THE FAREWELL and WRATH OF MAN, with a sidebar on NOMADLAND. In THE FAREWE
What is the difference between choice and decision when it comes to characters? In order to better understand dramatising of character, Chas and Stu take a very draft zero look at very specific tool: choices and decisions. We analyse three film
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 d
How can writers dramatise Given Circumstances? 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 M
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 advertisin
How can interweaving timelines elevate the emotional experience for the audience? In our final part, part 3, of our Interweaving Timelines series, we — Chas, Stu & Mel — take a deep dive into Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation of Little Women. In h
How can interweaving two timelines change how we feel about a character? In this Part 2 of Interweaving Timelines (aka The Stu Monologue Episode), Mel, Chas and Stu tackle Sorkin/Fincher's The Social Network. As you’ll hear, it is clearly Stu’s
How does interweaving two timelines change how the audience feel? Stu and Chas are joined by Mel Killingsworth to dissect interweaving timelines. Not anthology films. Not Cloud Atlas. But films where two plot lines featuring the same characters
How do you choose which project to start next? In their now-annual full backmatter episode, Stu and Chas let their hair down, drop the guise of objectivity, and allow themselves to have an even more subjective opinion about writing and the busi
What can we learn from Sofia Coppola’s on-the-page skills over her career? Following the success of the Tips from Tarantino episode, we have again decided to look at three different scripts from over the course of a long screenwriting career fr
How can you do powerful storytelling... without dialogue? Stu and Chas are joined by filmmaker, podcaster and writer Matthew Brown to deep dive into FURY ROAD and its astounding visual storytelling, both on the page and on screen. We talk about
What can we learn from folk horror? Draft Zero return with their next YouTube livestream! Stu and Chas are joined by previous guest (and successful screenwriter) C.S. McMullen for a deep dive into MIDSOMMAR! We analyse the film through the lens
How do I write selling documents differently to development documents? In developing our stories and scripts, we have probably written some combination of treatments and loglines and outlines. Some of us have probably even sent these developmen
How can I develop my theme without writing script pages? Continuing our look at tools used in development, Chas & Stu are joined by Stephen Cleary to talk about Theme, The Thematic Logline and what Stephen calls The Story Synopsis. All are tool
How can I develop my plot before writing the screenplay? Stu and Chas are joined by fan-favourite, Stephen Cleary, to NOT look at what makes great screenplays work -- but what makes great  "short documents" work.  We draw on Stephen Cleary's we
How does Joker use melodramatic techniques to elevate its storytelling? Draft Zero return with their next YouTube livestream! Stu and Chas take a deep dive into JOKER and analyse the film through the story paradigm of melodrama. Is it a melodra
How can you use audience questions to heighten emotional investment? Draft Zero return with their next YouTube livestream! Stu and Chas take a deep dive into PARASITE and how its mastery of audience questions elevates the film. They then answer
How can shifting narrative point of view drive your sequences? Born out of isolation madness, this episode is an edited version of Draft Zero’s first YouTube livestream. Stu and Chas both watched KNIVES OUT and - together with our listeners - b
How do I tell a powerful story where the protagonist cannot drive the plot? Stu and Chas are joined by Stephen Cleary following his exploration into Melodrama, and together they try to reclaim the word from its pejorative meaning. By examining
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