Draft Zero: a screenwriting podcast

Two emerging screenwriters – Chas Fisher and Stuart Willis – try to work out what makes great screenplays work. Discovering what it takes by analysing what successful writers put on the page.



episode 56: DZ-56: Character Motivations (Part 2)

Workshopping ways to fix character motivations.

In this second part of their exploration of character motivations, Chas and Stu dive into what makes “BAD” screenplays NOT work.  They examine at moments where they (and maybe you, dear listeners) did not believe a key decision being made by a character and so were taken out of the movie. In a departure from the Draft Zero format, they apply the tools they developed in Part 1 to workshop potential fixes to these beats.

Character decisions that come under the microscope are AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (again), SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, DIE HARD (which is a good example for contrast, not a bad one!), PREDATOR 2, SICARIO 2: DÍA DEL SOLDADO and PROMETHEUS (with an honourable mention to A PRINCESS BRIDE).

Let us know if you like the variation on our format or not!


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!


    • DZ-55: Character Motivations (Part I) http://draft-zero.com/2019/dz-55/
    • DZ-33: Protagonist vs Main Character http://draft-zero.com/2016/dz-33/
  • AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR screenplay by Markus & McFeely [@ 10m 41s]
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/avengers-infinity-war
  • SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY screenplay by Jonathan & Lawrence Kasdan [@ 16m 58s]
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/solo-a-star-wars-story
  • DIE HARD screenplay by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza [@ 34m 04s]
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/die-hard-1
  • PREDATOR 2 written by Jim Thomas & John Thomas [@ 38m 04s]
    • Youtube: Child vs Predator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsDci3A76N0
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/le-predateur-2
  • SICARIO 2: DÍA DEL SOLDADO written by Taylor Sheridan [@ 53m 30s]
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/sicario-day-of-the-soldado
  • PROMETHEUS written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof [@ 1h 35m 15s]
    • TV Tropes: Idiot Ball https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdiotBall
    • Engineering Prometheus – From Jon Spaihts to Damon Lindelof:https://www.avpgalaxy.net/alien-movies/prometheus/engineering-prometheus/
    • JustWatch: https://www.justwatch.com/au/movie/prometheus
  • WRAP UP & KEY LEARNINGS [@ 2h 04m 06s]
    • Scriptnotes - Plot Holes: https://johnaugust.com/2019/plot-holes
    • Scriptnotes - A Princess Bride: https://johnaugust.com/2019/the-princess-bride

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 2019-03-30  2h16m