How Tarantino Writes A Scene

  • Published on Jun 10, 2018
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    Quentin Tarantino is a master at writing dialogue, in this essay I break down his technique to help you understand how he does it...
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Comments • 1 712

  • Some Guy
    Some Guy 3 hours ago

    I kinda thought pitts character was going to go ham right there when he ask him his name twice pitt just had the look like ya thats my name errrggg now who am i going to have to shoot first.

  • Robert H
    Robert H 7 hours ago

    What I haven’t seen mentioned here (unless I missed it ) is that Tarantino has definitely been influenced in his phrasing of dialogue by the Great Elmore Leonard. Elmore was a master at it as well as Tarantino..looking forward to his new movie.

  • call911URshit
    call911URshit Day ago

    good video, but the narrator please blown your nose next time your voice is so flippin nasal

  • Bowtoyoursensi!!238

    bottom line: Taratino is a national treasure and the best movie maker to walk the planet

  • Nx Doyle
    Nx Doyle 2 days ago

    I made it in about two minutes but the urge to make you blow your nose was too much.

  • ratastewie91
    ratastewie91 2 days ago

    This video was brought to you by Captain Obvious. I wonder if he sits next to you at a comedy show and explains all the punchlines you just laughed at.

  • Derp
    Derp 3 days ago +1

    I would have called it an "Intro-cliffhanger", but I like your explanation as to why you have dubbed it "The Pledge".

    Very noice

  • overmax992
    overmax992 4 days ago

    It's easy to see in Landa's laugh and look that he knew they were US spies from the start.

  • diegoso polar
    diegoso polar 5 days ago

    How do you write a scene?
    You want to know how I write a scene? I’ll tell you how I write a scene

  • SD
    SD 5 days ago +7

    I also like Tarantino's incorporation of food into his conversations. Milk. Streudel. Sandwiches.
    Makes me hungry....

    • 12345DJay
      12345DJay 12 hours ago

      burgers. don't forget the burgers.
      and the milk shakes

  • Br Greg
    Br Greg 5 days ago +1

    Vincent’s death in Pulp Fiction took 5 seconds and seemed to last 10 minutes

  • Slick Willy
    Slick Willy 6 days ago

    umm, foreshadowing

  • Yazoo
    Yazoo 7 days ago +1

    The brilliance of the Lander scene is his maniacal intellect . His power is in reading people. Even the flat face of the Frenchmen tells the officer all that he wants to know.

  • Ma1992Wi
    Ma1992Wi 7 days ago

    How does Tarantino write a scene? He watches all movies about the topic he wants to show and copies the best scenes and dialogs.

  • James Bong
    James Bong 9 days ago

    Great vid but ur ad sucks. Wanted to add a cool comment about Tarantino dialogue but "TwO mOntHS pRemIUm MEmBerSHIP" oh wow!

  • Harry BuddhaPalm
    Harry BuddhaPalm 9 days ago

    How Tarantino writes a scene: he watches an old foreign movie from the 70's that most American's haven't seen and then copies it.

  • Anthony Suazo
    Anthony Suazo 9 days ago

    nice subtext shade on channing

  • Media Buster
    Media Buster 9 days ago +1

    Tarantino writes what should be a 2-page scene, but instead a 7-page scene, then he adds another 3 pages, and then another 7 pages until a normal 2-min scene is 17 minutes long with drawn-out superfluous self-indulgent dialogue and the easily impressed audience tells the emperor without clothes that his outfit looks great...

  • Phil McCracken
    Phil McCracken 9 days ago

    2:22 narrator thinks he’s a mind reader

  • Hanz Flackshnack
    Hanz Flackshnack 9 days ago

    Very well put. I especially like the part about subtext. In real life situations not everything is said; it's understood given the context of the situation. Great insight into why most screen writers fail. Big like and subscribed

  • TheRantingBoy
    TheRantingBoy 9 days ago +2

    "You can't have conflict throughout a movie or it would be endless arguing" 1 min later "the best thing about Tarantino is every scene contains conflict. Conflict is key to making great drama".

    • Mark Wright
      Mark Wright 6 days ago +1

      That was a poor choice of words. Ideally, every scene is driven by conflict (of varying intensities). I think he meant you cannot just fill every moment, every beat, with conflict because that would become an unending argument. It would also be dull and artificial. Pacing would certainly suffer. Not every conflict need be resolved or dealt with through dialogue either--especially in a screenplay. But the conflict must be there, else there is no reason to have the scene in the first place. Something must be at stake.

  • Jan Verheyen
    Jan Verheyen 10 days ago

    Tarantino is the master of plot suspense. And the whole movie or scène always comes together at the end with a super showdown / climax eg the 3 Fingers in Inglorious Basterds

  • Chartayia Crear
    Chartayia Crear 10 days ago

    In Greek theatre, starting in the middle of the action is called en media res.

  • Vic Lee
    Vic Lee 10 days ago

    Subtext .

  • Vic Lee
    Vic Lee 10 days ago


  • Vic Lee
    Vic Lee 10 days ago

    I'm a natural .

  • winstoneism
    winstoneism 10 days ago

    by watching a load of old and obscure ones until he finds one he wants to steal? lol

  • Media Maniac!
    Media Maniac! 11 days ago

    I just watched Pulp Fiction; brilliant, and the way the nonlinear storytelling somehow works so well reminds me of a Nolan film.

  • Huw Penson
    Huw Penson 11 days ago

    dont need skill share, i learnt everything from the video you made already cheers

  • Michael Woodworth
    Michael Woodworth 12 days ago +3

    I don't know where I found you, but this video was one of the greatest I have had the pleasure of coming across. Your perspective into film and writing are inspiring. I will be saving this video for future reference, and inspiration, to my own work. Thank you. Bravo

  • Mr Clean
    Mr Clean 12 days ago +5

    In my opinion the last line of Inglorious Basterds reflects perfectly what Quentin Tarantino achieved with it.
    "This might just be my masterpiece."

    THEDON FONZ 12 days ago +1

    That opening scene in Inglorious Basterds is my ALL TIME FAVOURITE OPENING SCENE!
    My general knowledge and fascination of WW2 and Nazi Germany w a Tarantino touch - Ultimate Dream film. Was magic mate.
    One thing I felt was a nugget that I feel Tarantino added in the film was when he asks one of his daughters to fetch some water - he uses it not only to freshen up, but he vigorously splashes water on to him which would help w different things.
    1. Cool down and slow the heart rate down from a morning of chopping wood
    2. To hide any sweat from signs of nervousness as you see, his whole torso is wet from the water scene.
    Or it could've been nothing - but if any director could/would do it - who better than Tarantino.
    That's it.. I can talk this shit while flying kites - not type it hahaha

  • Albus Huskey
    Albus Huskey 13 days ago

    Ummmm, the pledge? Foreshadowing bud, foreshadowing.

    • Austin
      Austin 13 days ago

      Not really, I'd say. Foreshadowing can take the form of a hint to a plot point later on and can be skimmed over without the audience noticing. The pledge this guy coins is that it's more short term and will pay off in the same scene. Tension builds up and up until finally something happens that leaves you relieved.

  • King Porus
    King Porus 13 days ago


  • Miguel Carvajal
    Miguel Carvajal 13 days ago +1

    Before the video there was an ad about hot to make good dialogue...imagine that

    SPACE-MAN 13 days ago +1

    This is my 3rd time TRYIN TO WATCH this....your voice is jarring amdu talk too much jesus! Is this about u or the imfo youre trying to convey? Make up your mind

    • Angel Oneill
      Angel Oneill 7 days ago

      Lol what? He is just explaining his ideas? What did you expect from the video?

    SPACE-MAN 13 days ago

    Too talky. Try to get to the point and do much less blah blah blah ...your voice is kinda annoying

  • Bryan Tsao
    Bryan Tsao 14 days ago

    What about The Turn and The Prestige?

  • Joe Whitfield
    Joe Whitfield 15 days ago

    Crap video.

  • Bruceolini and his big weenie

    D&D should have taken notes

  • Chef Dean
    Chef Dean 15 days ago +1

    The subtextual irony of this cinepholic breakdown is the lack of acknowledgement in absentia for CGI'd third act or erstwhile super heroic propetire.

  • Tim Lance
    Tim Lance 15 days ago +3

    I dont think you talked enough about the payoff of the suspense. You cant keep an audience in suspense forever, it wears them out. Tarantino does big payoffs, for instance in the French farmhouse when the Germans shoot the floorboards, there's a comical amount of dust and woodchips that go flying. It relieves the viewer of all that built up stress and tension. Same as the big shoot out in the bar when the officer works out he is a spy.

  • Plectro
    Plectro 15 days ago

    Another amazingly suspenseful scene from Inglourious Basterds which you didn't even talk about and that made me kinda sad, was the scene where Landa meets Shoshanna (The one and only jew who was hiding underneath the floorboards and survived the shooting, and ran away). They meet up in a restaurant and he orders a glass of milk for her. Which is precisely what Landa asked for when he was in the farmer's house in the initial scene.

  • BlazeStriker
    BlazeStriker 15 days ago +2

    how tarantino writes a scene;
    bare feet

  • Jthrillz 728
    Jthrillz 728 16 days ago

    You just have to love films, study them, appreciate them, adore them as much he and when you finally get the courage to make your own. All those films that you love by sequences, plots, montages, characters, essences, directors, styles, themes, and all will succumb to your advantage in crafting I promise. Most of what you see from him has been done already by major to none films that the average person hasnt ever seen, nor more than likely won't. He uses them, but does then his own way. Tricky; yes, difficult; no.

  • stuart houselander
    stuart houselander 16 days ago

    It's the "hook" no pledge , dumb ass.

  • brice cate
    brice cate 17 days ago

    The only better writer of dialogue is M night shyamalan...


  • hardpack187
    hardpack187 17 days ago

    @6:13, I always loved how he was "third best" at Italian, yet was the only one to say his name properly. Landa, that asshole, even had to give his respect in that moment.

  • Miguel Bartolomeo
    Miguel Bartolomeo 17 days ago

    Im brazilian and I was married to a German. The first thing my best friend asked her when we went to brazil was "how do you do the number 3" :)

  • Edward McArthur
    Edward McArthur 17 days ago

    Nora Ephron was pretty good, too. RIP

  • Diego Merlan
    Diego Merlan 18 days ago

    It’s called a hook, it’s what gets the viewers attention

  • Gunnyboy
    Gunnyboy 18 days ago +1

    A spoiler warning for Inglorious Basterds would have been nice...

    • Jacob Foreman
      Jacob Foreman 17 days ago

      Yeah I watched a video about titanic earlier and they spoiled that shit for me too

    • M Loftin
      M Loftin 17 days ago +1

      Yeah, but the movie was released years ago.

  • Gus Martinez
    Gus Martinez 19 days ago

    I would Love to be in one of his films

  • george lopez
    george lopez 19 days ago +1

    I like how he uses the same actors over and over. If it's not broke why fix it. I could hardly recognize the woman from the diner scene in the hateful 8.

  • Chris Hopkins
    Chris Hopkins 20 days ago

    Wouldn’t the “pledge” be foreshadowing?

  • V2
    V2 21 day ago

    Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

  • Jakob Kaminski
    Jakob Kaminski 21 day ago

    Isnt the pledge just media res

  • Fred Slocombe
    Fred Slocombe 22 days ago

    10:00 inspired by Sergio Leone's work on The Good The Bad and The Ugly, obviously.

  • trequor
    trequor 22 days ago

    The only thing wrong with this video is that you didn't use any examples from Django Unchained

  • Acoma Slip
    Acoma Slip 23 days ago

    Lord just get over yourself already...I get it...

  • TheFnames
    TheFnames 23 days ago +1

    Gorlomi 😂😂😂

  • Mayank Arora
    Mayank Arora 23 days ago

    the "pledge" has a word, it's called suspense

  • tumppuman
    tumppuman 23 days ago

    Hateful Eight is the first Tarantino movie where I checked my watch and the dialogue was a big part why. In Hateful Eight Tarantino uses repetition to mostly for a comedic effect and partly to create suspense. For the most part it didnt work and was only annoying as hell!

  • AnalogAssassin1
    AnalogAssassin1 24 days ago

    907 people have NO idea about holding the audience by their souls through dialogue.

  • αмвeя ωeekley
    αмвeя ωeekley 24 days ago


  • Destiel Swizzle
    Destiel Swizzle 25 days ago

    you can’t spell subtext without buttsex

  • TheGrittyNitty
    TheGrittyNitty 25 days ago +1

    Sorry, but the "fake Italians" scene wasn't intended to be remotely subtle. He's literally there coaching them how to pronounce their own names--I mean, come on. That is not subtle. It was one of the most laugh-out-loud funny scenes in the movie specifically BECAUSE of the ridiculousness of their whole ploy and their stupid get-ups and botched pronunciations and stereotyped caricatures of someone's idea of "Italian" with the white gloves and the exaggerated hand gesture every time they say their names, or how some stupid story of a broken leg from a ski trip (?) literally has Hans Landa laughing in their faces because he can't hold it back, how dumb the whole thing is. And when the rich music of his own perfectly fluent Italian comes pouring from his face it brings out to the fore these juxtapositions and the absurdities. (There are other little layers playing out too with how the one who was supposed to speak the "third most Italian" actually ends up doing the best and gets a little pat on the back. Layers.) But they don't know what to do other than go along with it looking awkward and uncomfortable because he's going along with it, even though they know that he knows and he knows that they know but what exactly is going through his mind they don't know and we don't know but he's laughing and we're laughing with him but he's the villain and it's funny in a way that means their mission is doomed so it's also kind of tense--and all of this is a strange place for the audience to be in, emotion-wise, this zone of humor and tension and the thrilling not-knowing of what's going to happen next. Which is what makes Tarantino so fun. But yea, the whole theater was in tears during this scene, dying from laughter, so I'm not sure where the "subtle" is coming from.

  • Žiga Šeruga
    Žiga Šeruga 25 days ago

    I also think tahat tarantino creates suspense like in inglorious basterds by reaviling information at a stedy pace so every few minutes we get new info that makes the scene more intense

  • James Steadman
    James Steadman 25 days ago

    In advertising, we call ‘The Pledge’ an ‘open loop’. The prospect needs to close the loop to get satisfaction, and will stick around-to a point-to figure out what the end of this ‘loop’ is. However, clever marketers will link these open loops like a chain so you watch or read the full ad.

  • MaxwellD13
    MaxwellD13 26 days ago

    So basically, he writes scenes by Doug the opposite of what George Lucas does. Lol

  • BeeSaucey
    BeeSaucey 26 days ago

    I did not see that plug coming. Boom! Loved the video though it had me on the edge of my seat honestly.

  • Solomon O.B
    Solomon O.B 26 days ago

    "Tarantino is a Master at Storytelling...." followed by a drawn out 30 second build up to mentioning the Skillshare sponsorship. Bravo

    Also...the edit to the Hitchcock quote. Bravo once more

  • jon Q
    jon Q 26 days ago

    I think David Milch could give him a run for his money based on Deadwood alone.

  • DarthYuYevon
    DarthYuYevon 27 days ago

    I agree with this video 110%! Maybe this is why Feminists hate him.

  • Eric Renquist
    Eric Renquist 27 days ago +11

    The Hateful Eight is an amazing example of Tarantinos dialogue. The movie hardly has anything happening except dialogue, and I didnt get bored once. Most movies are filled with action to draw attention away from shit writing.

  • rezkalla
    rezkalla 27 days ago

    When Hans Landa describes the nature of Jews as being like rats he is describing himself. He "rats" out his fellow Germans. He can think like a rat because he is one. Likewise, when the Big Lebowski lectures the Dude about getting a job he's describing himself. The Big Lebowski has no job. He's a bum. Condolences.

  • RemU
    RemU 27 days ago

    Something that's great about Inglorious Basterds is how Hans Landa he toys with people, he's not a generic "no funny business hail Hitler Nazi". He specifically chooses milk for Shoshanna to upset her shows he knows who she is but likes the feeling of tormenting her. The way he makes the Basterds repeat their fake names to get a laugh out of it shows he's a human having fun, not a character playing their role.

  • JoeyBalubah
    JoeyBalubah 27 days ago +1

    How QT writes a scene... Watch a scene from any gritty movie from the 1970s then rewrite that scene giving every character 8 times more dialogue.

  • Oz Lang
    Oz Lang 27 days ago

    “Au Revoir, Shoshanna.” Colonel Hans Landa

  • Joseph Cuna
    Joseph Cuna 28 days ago

    I can't stand the whistling in the background. I'm out.

  • julien henry-bezy
    julien henry-bezy 28 days ago

    What's the name of the song in the background of when he's explaining the definition of "the pledge"

  • garblehose
    garblehose 28 days ago

    "the pledge" sounds a lot like "chekhov's gun"

  • Alan Hancock
    Alan Hancock 28 days ago

    I love the little sequence in Inglorious Basterds inside the restaurant where Landa orders Mimieux a glass of milk. The eyebrow raise from her, the nonchalance from him and the fact that we know he knows who (and what) she is but we don’t know why he’s keeping up the pretence. That scene was just as tense as the bar scene for me.

  • Demoremda Rigel
    Demoremda Rigel 28 days ago

    that s why tarantino is one of my favourites, the moment i first saw that conversation between jules and vincent in the car about vincents time in amsterdam i knew this was special, his dialogues are great to watch

  • Myself
    Myself 29 days ago +1

    )ew lover tarantino.

  • ADC Vlogs
    ADC Vlogs 29 days ago

    That technique is actually called a narrative hook

  • Nedag
    Nedag 29 days ago

    why is the table even lit? there were no light bulb lol

  • Ryan Kelly
    Ryan Kelly Month ago

    clickbait/page turner

  • R. Ciezki
    R. Ciezki Month ago

    I know I know the song in the background but I can’t think of the name.. anyone help?

  • Random Tangent
    Random Tangent Month ago

    Knowing about the bomb, as Hitchcock says, is good for building tension in the moment. I just set up a similar scenario but much earlier, so face the conundrum of reminding everyone about it, or testing their memory... in a callback "Oh yeah I remember that was set up awhile back but didn't think anything more of it until now!" scenario.

  • aloha chavez
    aloha chavez Month ago +1

    i fucking love that beginning farmer scene in Inglorious Basterds, left me even farther on the edge of my seat than during the end of Silence of the Lambs. it was so well done and beautifully written, with just the right amount of English to French ratio, just the right amount at stake for the opening of a movie with tension builds every second, just fucking beautiful.

  • Nick Gomez
    Nick Gomez Month ago

    15:32 "Milking that big release of tension" 😏

  • Claytopia W
    Claytopia W Month ago +5

    You: Quentin is the best at dialogue
    Me: Sí- er, correcto

    HOMEBOY Month ago

    you,ve said real shit i think about it also everytime i watched tarantino

  • Eyes on Mirages
    Eyes on Mirages Month ago

    This made me really want to watch all Tarantino's movies

    HOMEBOY Month ago

    i bet a lot of film student here in the comment section

    HOMEBOY Month ago

    whos gettin annoyed with game of thrones ads?

  • Jack & Ray
    Jack & Ray Month ago +1

    As an Italian guy, I got quite a few chuckles from this.

  • jim dawe
    jim dawe Month ago +1

    Great vid. Has anybody ever told you sound like Michael Gove? No offence.

  • Gianluigi Biagini
    Gianluigi Biagini Month ago

    The feature of Tarantino is the "crossover" that breaks every convention passing through it...