John and Craig celebrate the holidays by releasing a special premium episode on the 1988 Christmas classic: DIE HARD.
Die Hard created a new template for action movies, heroes, and villains, establishing tropes still seen in theaters. They discuss both structure and story to examine what screenwriters can take away from this film and why many have failed to replicate its success.
In our super-size bonus segment for premium members, John interviews DIE HARD screenwriter Steven E. de Souza, who shares credit with Jeb Stuart. Steven reveals how he choreographed action scenes using the building’s blueprints, why the story switches POV, and how improv added realism to the film’s marriage dynamics. It’s a great lesson in why a screenwriter’s job doesn’t stop when turning in the draft.
- Read the DIE HARD script on Weekend Read or online here.
- Feminist Analysis of Die Hard
- Movies That Made Us on Netflix, check out the Die Hard episode on S1!
- Sign up for premium here.
- Steven E. de Souza on Twitter
- John August on Twitter
- Craig Mazin on Twitter
- John on Instagram
- Outro by Andy Roninson (send us yours!)
- Scriptnotes is produced by Megana Rao and edited by Matthew Chilelli.
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You can download the episode here.
UPDATE 12-1-21 The transcript for this episode can be found here.