Stage 32's very own Jason Mirch is breaking down the pilot of the hit Netflix show The Queen's Gambit. What are your key takeaways?
To watch the webcast, click here: https://bit.ly/2OuTsNf
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This is going to be fun!
Cool. Love this.
Yooo!! Queen's Gambit Crew and Stage 32!!
I've been wanting to read this script. What a great gift. Thanks Jason and Amanda!
Hello! Greetings from Vermont, USA
I'm so ready to talk Queen's Gambit! This was hands down one of my favorite shows last year.
Queen's Gambit was amazing!
Hey, all! K. Ross here, Stage 32's Community Manager. Looking forward to this one! Who all is watching LIVE?! Where are you hailing from? And HOW many times have you seen the series/ read the script now?
Hello from Jersey!!
hello from new york
Does anyone know how long this presentation will be?
Hey guys. Joining from London and super excited for tonight - had a rewatch and made some notes this eve!
Hello from Hungary!
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Hi, Everyone, 1st time on Stage 32, from Recife, Brazil
Jason is a PRO at adaptations having worked on The Help, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, etc. So excited to have him break this down.
Looking forward to the insights... networking...
@Cheri - It is usually 1.5 hours, but it may go for 2 hours. It's also being recorded, so feel free to pop in and out as need be. But if you have a question, definitely send it off before you go so Jason can still answer it on the recording!
Hello from Monte Nido, CA :)
Hi from Vancouver, Canada!
Malvern PA here
Peace be with y'all
Watching from Denver, CO. So far, really great.
Hello! Watching from Toronto, Canada :)
Hello, everyone! Greetings from Brazil!
Kerry, also watching from Denver.
Hi everyone, this is Ruta from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. I loved these series so much on so many levels that I probably made everyone I know watch it as well :D even though I am an actor this seminar is supper valuable <3 Thank you for organising this <3
Hi, everyone! Greetings from Rome, Italy!
That clip just makes me want to spend 8 more hours with that character again. Very hard to focus on it from a storytelling perspective :)))
Interesting use of light/dark and full vs. covered views of Beth's face.
Hello from Nigeria.
Woo! Love this worldwide collective watching right now, and across disciplines, too!
LOVE that opening - and what a neat twist of who is under the sheets, too!
The Movie clip of the beginning really animates the script.
There’s power starting in medias res and giving that extreme contrast from start to finish.
(though, honestly, all the glamour we open on kind of creates dissonance with the intention of setting up her number one opponent - herself)
Hi all from Arizona
Hi from Brazil!
Stephen from Scotland here. ( The hill country south of Edinburgh - Hi Ruta). Jason does a breakdown every month in the Writers Room. I stay up late to catch them live, and when I can't I watch on demand. I learn most easily by seeing principles in practice, via clips from well known shows. Jason does it VERY well.
re QG clip one. I really like the way the first interaction between Beth and Borgov is a handshake - just like the last, at the end of episode 7. But so much happens between them.
Anyone else note that the inciting incident is on scene 35? And there's no great move forward, just an interest in the goal, no strategy yet - BRILLIANT!
Stephen - she also apologizes before the handshake, and clearly, she has no need to impress him by the end (just beat him LOL).
okay, that is brilliant to see how the antagonism between Jolene and Beth was edited out. It made this fairly unlikeable Beth way more likeable and human. Fascinating. Also her one friend in life was an enabler to the pill addiction.
Alma is my fave. She's so incredibly unexpected.
Just has to be Beth for me.
I probably watched it at least 3 times! Karen "Kay" Ross This webinar is so great! Thank you Jason :) - Such an international crowd!
Alma and Mr. Shaibel.
Favourite character apart from Beth - Borgov the enigmatic Russian
Hi All. Tuning in from Vancouver, Canada. What an amazing webinar so far! Sparked a bunch of ideas for my own pilot I'm currently rewriting. Thanks so much Jason Mirch and Amanda Toney!
so much about character packed into very few words. Impressive. Jolene and Beth's relationship and the call back in later episodes was quite satisfying.
I'm really enjoying this breakdown. Thought it interesting that the adaptation of the novel was totally rewritten that made it far more compelling open.
Loving this breakdown! So helpful to see if I'm meeting all these character and structure requirements in the pilot I'm writing.
Why, thank you so much, Amanda! We've been talking about the structure of pilots versus the structure of features a lot in the Writer's Room of late, both in the Wednesday Webcasts and in the Coverage Report on Mondays. Seeing that Inciting Incident so late in the pilot really stuck out to me since so many try to squeeze it in too early without building the character or world first.
LOVE Beth's continued interest in getting better - that stubbornness is so compelling!
Whoa - forbidden camera move in script! How'd the writer get away with that?
The actor playing Mr Shaibel ( Bill Camp) has few lines, and little action. But he conveys so much.
LOL! And what a great example of her passion/obsession/wrath - "Cocksucker!" LOL!
Yes -- going to another shot would have broken the tension.
Mmm - PREACH those PLANTS and PAYOFFS! Love it!
That scene mentioning sportsmanship also sets up the need. Her goal as a character is to get complete independence but her need is to let people near her. Accept their help, as she finally does at the end. This mention of sportsmanship is the first hint of the need that drives her arc - be among people, not just against them (in my humble opinion)
Such a good show of her physical approach to acting too - after the 'You resign now' flashback she bows her head and retreats her hands into herself
The chess game with Benny and "the you resign now" hits me every time! What a payoff!
Okay, Stephen - I agree. He's pretty incredible (Bill Camp). ;-)
Bill heals all three of her stories - addiction, not able to interact with people confidently, and chess in a healthy way
Kerry - because he also directed. he was writing for himself.
Beth defeats all 12 boys...
Ooo love the come around of that line "It felt good" relating to winning at chess as an echo of her feelings of taking the pills.
Richard - yep! Vindication! LOL!
Ooo, YES! That victory/loss back-to-back is briliant! When the chess is up, the addiction brings her down.
Hello all! The series is amazing; love the ending episode.
Karen, not just vindication, validation.
Timothy - great clarification. Vindication was really the ending ;-)
OMG, that music cue for her journey to the jar! LOL! So good!
Damn, I forgot how amazingly on point the cutting and music is on this ransacking the pills sequence!
Stephanie - Right?!
Agree! What a powerful ending!
Wow - the music was written in the script and they were able to execute it! That's phenomenal!
I felt like the hallelujiah was a director's or editor's little quirk. Surpised to see it was in the script. I felt it was meant to be funny - juxtaposed with the fear she was going to OD. This scene was poignant because I know First Nations people who had to suffer through residiential school and forced to watch religous movies. I felt like the way Beth ate those pills was so childlike. Children lost into addictions...relevant for today for sure.
I love the song and scene action juxtaposition. Song title in The Robe, "Hallelujah, praise Jah." (Praise God) when Beth hits the pill-popping jackpot.
The missing father is one hint that never had a payoff. Even when the series was over I was still waiting for Beth to meet her real father. But then, in the last scene, she quite happily meets 30 fathers....lol
Good point - there is another potential mentor character that underestimates her and doesn't give her a chance, whereas we see a mentor who underestimates her and has a chance to change his mind.
Huh "A good flashback subverts your expectations" - Jason always has these little nuggets
Sadly, her mother also gave Beth her lie - that people can't be trusted :(
Notice the name of the street where the accident took place. New Circle Road. Perhaps a hint at the fact that Beth is entering the destructive cycle her mother didn't survive?
Very informative ( and very sad) account of Walter Tevis' life and how he came to write the underlying novel.: https://www.theringer.com/tv/2020/11/9/21555790/the-queens-gambit-netfli...
@Krys oh... I love this obselrvation ❤
I too had a question about the father. I am curious why Beth’s father, known in the screenplay only as “Man’s Voice,” is dismissed from her life by finally giving up on Alice (and Beth) and vowing to never return. I’m not sure what he contributes to Beth’s journey at this point.
And a sketchier comparison of some differences between the novel and the script:
@Stephen I was going to search for interviews of Tevis, thanks.
Jason nailed the theme - the blessing and curse of low expectations. I never would have distilled that. He's totally right.
Thanks ever so much, Jason - loved hearing your perspectives on this show!
This was so fantastic. Thank you Jason!
Writers Room is the best investment I made in furthering my skills as a screenplay writer. I've met so many screenwriters and participate in all of the events that Jason has described.
QSTN: Many movies today start with present day then flashback for reveal. Is this format the most advised way of writing now?
Ooo, YES! And that Write Now Challenge is a great way to build up your writing samples!
Loved hearing from Jordan Peele's Development Executive on our last Executive Hour - that was legit one of the best conversations we've had!
This has been beyond helpful! Took lots of notes to directly apply to the pilot I'm writing. Thanks so much Jason!
Thank you so much Jason and Amanda for making this webinar happen. Trully worth staying up till 2am
Yay, Sarah! Congrats on your table read!
THank you Jason!! This has been invaluable. Do you cover novel writing or just screenplays?
Jason - also is that Oscar on your shelf? :)
Nancie - We have a Book to Screen Review service, but the Writer's Room breakdowns tend to be screenplays (I imagine due to length - breaking down a book takes WAY longer LOL!). Here's the link to the Book to Screen Review, though, if you have a book you're considering adapting: https://www.stage32.com/scriptservices/coverage/buy?id=66&affid=mjm
@Zechariah - Definitely post your question in the chat in the webinar as well!
Yeah - me too, Martha. Came at just the right time for the project I am breaking now.
3AM in Paris, France but wide awake & enjoying this fab webinar.
This is an amazing and empowering session and I can’t wait to get more involved in this community all the way from South Africa.
Me too, Martha & Morris - I little had a breakthrough about the theme of my pilot as Jason was talking. SO GOOD!
Lol - yeah. I watch everything with subtitles. Great advice, Amanda.
@Kalista - Wow, that's dedication! I love it! So glad you could join us!
I'm sorry, I didn't catch how we sign up for the event that follows??
Brilliant - thank you!
Sadly, I thought it was only until 730, and must leave now for an 8 pm meeting. I'll look for the recording to see 'how it ends'. Take care.
Is that what you were talking about @Roxanne ? There's the Writer's Room (red button top right) and we get together on Thursday night for pitch practice
Thank you, Stephen, for those links. I also liked Jason's answer about differences between adaptation and the novel.
Can you speak of antagonists / antagonistic forces – so is it herself, her childhood and the man’s world she finds herself in - rather than one specific character?
I got you, Roxanne!
You can sign up for the next FREE "Ask Me Anything" Webinar, this Friday with Stage 32's CEO, RB Botto, right here: https://www.stage32.com/webinars/Ask-Me-Anything-with-Stage-32-CEO-Richa...
Definitely sign up NOW so you get the link and are set up to attend ahead of time!
Great point, Alica! Really love how we've broken down the different antagonistic forces, including a female authority figure for Beth. I feel like it really sets up our expectation of her adoptive mother failing Beth as well, so it's so relieving/empowering when her mother becomes such an ally!
Stage 32 is so generous in offering the 30-day free trial to the Writers Room. That's how I started last April. By the end of 30 days, I understood how much I received from this private membership that is worth it's weight in networking and honing my screenwriting skills.
Great questions - who is the antagonist. I think just like Walter White, the antagonist is her secret - she is an addict and thinks she can't win without it
Scott Frank has said that Beth is both the protagonist and the antagonist. She's her own worst enemy.
The secret as antagonist (man against self) is the antagonistic force in a lot of great characters, and Jason's right, make it visual. Hamlet!!!
He did a great podcast about the show on the WGA's '3rd and Fairfax' show last fall. But this is also very illuminating...thanks so much!!
Thanks so much. Very insightful.
Fantastic. Thank you Jason!
And we love having you, Jill!
Speaking of networking, I HIGHLY recommend clicking those RED PLUS buttons, and then follow up with a little Direct Message introducing yourself!
You can also post in the Introduce Yourself Lounge to see who else you can meet: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/introduce_yourself
Not sure how to navigate the lounges? Here's a little blog post I put together to help you: https://www.stage32.com/blog/5-Ways-to-Explore-and-Network-in-the-Stage-...
And here's a blog introducing me and the tone of our community: https://www.stage32.com/blog/Find-Your-Community-on-Stage-32
Excellent breakdown. Very helpful. Thanks so much!
Yeah - thank youuu, Jason!!! And you too, Amanda! Hopefully see everyone again in the Writers' Room.
Bad things happen to Beth but she’s her own worst enemy. Fortunately for her, she finally throws away those pills. It’s not just the pills, her need to work alone too. And she overcomes that one too otherwise she would have lost in Russia.
Thanks again, Jason!
This breakdown was excellent! Love it! Thank you!
Just joined during this session! Thank you
Hi everyone! I'll process the video and you can watch it on-demand tomorrow. Just log into your Stage 32 account and click settings > purchase history. The Queen's Gambit script will be available as a download underneath the on-demand video.
Thank you.. that was great. So glad i found this group and service! Exciting stuff.
Thanks, Jason and Amanda!! Great breakdown!
Thank you, Jason, for a wonderful breakdown. It's early in the morn in London, I'm dead tired, and yet you managed to hold my attention till the very last second. Ta!
Thank you, Jason & Amanda! Definitely worth staying up for.
will I still have access even though I just became a member?...
Comprehensive... Eye opening... Informative... I could go on... but I need a coffee and a packet of Boland's Fig Rolls... Phew how good was that...
@Nyembezi Wako - yes, absolutely love your insight on Russia, great comment. Yes @christinapitts jazzar - you will have access to the replay once I'm done processing the video. It will be available tomorrow. @steveashton - glad you stayed with us so late in London, we love our global community. I don't know what Boland Fig Rolls are, but they sound amazing.
Thanks everyone for being a part of this webcast! I had a blast with you all and really enjoyed the comments and questions! Everyone who commented here and during the chat had great insights, observations, and questions. I tried to connect with everyone here, but if we haven't yet connected on the platform please reach out! You can also always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
So...when are we doing episode 2?! :D
Jason--A breakdown of Episode 2 can't come too soon!
I enjoyed this webinar a great deal. It hit on so many levels, educational, informative, entertaining, structure, theme, well done. Adding the scenes after the breakdowns was a helpful touch. Those actually showed what you were explaining, Jason. Thank you very much for this experience. It taught me a great deal. Well run by both Amanda and Jason. A cheer for Stage 32!
Really enjoyed this Jason. It was really worth attending it at 04:30 am IST. The details and esp looking at the inciting incidents was really fascinating.
This was phenomenal. Worth staying up in London for some really on-point analysis.
This was great! ❤️
Okay, so the coolest thing happened today! After watching the breakdown of Queens Gambit last night, I ran into a chess player from New Orleans today that was in town for a tournament and as the conversation transpired, he has a nonprofit where he is trying to get chess back in schools from K-12. Very interesting conversation and right after the breakdown. Just had to share. What a coincidence! Thank you guys for the breakdown!
Steve Ashton, As an ex-pat who left England years ago, I''ve never heard of Boland Fig Rolls. Are they like Fig Newton biscuits?
Oh Jill... A 'Boland is a Boland..!' Newton is a biscuit with aspirations of a 'Boland'!
Yes they are fig biscuits and yummy..!
I've lived in America for nearly 49 years, so definitely missed out on a Boland. My favorites when I visit England for afternoon tea are Eccles Cakes and Toasted Teacakes.
Eccles Cakes and Toasted Teacakes. ... Hmm' now your talking.
Just watching RB's Ask Me Anything... Dam he's good!
@steveashton - it's an AWESOME AMA, right?? Great knowledge he's dropping today!
Yeah... I'm in the right place...
Episode 2? Whaaa????
This pilot episode breakdown webinar was amazing. Thank you Jason - it was very insightful and has enabled me to prioritise my Netflix 'list' as I am keen to get underway with The Queen's Gambit now! The intricate characterisation of Beth as well as the visual storytelling has sold it to me. Paris and the juxtaposition of the chaos and calm, but also the small touch of the miniature alcohol bottles on the chess board was extremely effective. Thank you for breaking down the pilot episode - it was fascinating and there were some good tips within the session!