Saturday, February 20, 2010

First 30 or bust?!?!?! The most important pages in any screenplay...

The first 30 pages of any (normal length) screenplay are completely, totally most the important. Hands down. If you get your first 30 right, you’re going to get your end right, and you’ll probably have a pretty easy time with the vast, disgusting wasteland that Act 2 often presents itself as.


Because by creating a screenplay you are creating an entire world. You need to set up the world. Can animals talk? Is bowling the most popular sport? What are the rules in your world.

Same goes for characters. Your hero and villain have to be set up in the first 10, but by the break into two, you have to show us not only what they want but also how they are going to get it. What is going to stand in their way? What are their flaws?

The first 30 pages of a screenplay provide a roadmap for the rest of your journey, and if you nail them, you’ll have a way easier time finishing a first draft you can be (kinda) proud of.

We usually rewrite the first act 2 or 3 or 4 times before moving forward, making sure we’ve planned enough, that we’ve done significant set up and that we have someplace to go.

We recommend the same for most people.

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