Before you can even think of writing your first screenplay, you’ll need an idea. And, not just any idea, you’ll need a great idea! A phenomenal idea.
It costs tens of thousands of dollars -
If you want Hollywood to get excited about your screenplay, the basic idea of the film has to be simple. As in Snakes On A Plane simple.
Snakes On A Plane is the perfect Hollywood movie. Hollywood studios would love it if every movie they released was so simple that it could be succinctly described by only four simple words! They have wet-
All you have to do is speak four words, and your friend knows exactly what the movie’s going to be about. They know it will have action and excitement, thrills, chills, spills. They know the genre (there’s no way in hell it’s going to be anything but an action-
So, you have your brilliant movie or script idea -
Well, first of all, we’re going to have to put your idea into the proper format: the three act structure.
What’s your idea about? Screenplays typically involve a story such as: [the protagonist] has to [do something]!
And, he has to do this thing, solve this puzzle, complete this quest -
Is your idea about an asteroid on a collision-
Your first turning-
Is your idea about an invincible man? Well, your first turning-
Is your brilliant script idea about a woman who gets kidnapped by a serial killer? Well, your first turning-
Some of you movie-
You are right, Armageddon is slightly different. As I mentioned, the story isn’t about the asteroid, it’s about the characters. And, in Armageddon, that’s Ben Affleck’s character. Or, if you like, the entire drilling crew.
When the main characters find out about the incoming disasteroid -
In Armageddon, the first turning point is when the drillers find out about the danger and head off to NASA. They go from being drillers on a drill-
In fact, the entire script is extremely strong. Despite all the negativity the film seems to attract like a magnet, it’s exceedingly well-
So… If Armageddon is trash, what does that mean for you and your screenplay?
It means that your script will have to be better! Better than Armageddon. At least, if you want to win the big awards. The golden statuettes.
Don’t worry -
Well, I can show you the correct story-
I can show you what-
Keep reading, and once we’ve covered the basics, we’ll get into the real nitty-
So, it all comes down to this… Before you can even think about writing your script, you’ll need an idea -
Let’s just analyze an idea for a second. The Fugitive (starring Harrison Ford) was on tv last night, so why don’t we start there. How would you describe The Fugitive?
It’s about a doctor, falsely-
Sounds like a simple idea, right?… Well, let’s just look a little closer. An absolute ton of story information is in that very short synopsis: It’s about a doctor (introducing the main character), falsely-
Every beat of the story is contained in that synopsis (except the 2nd turning point). You know everything that’s going to happen, just from one little sentence. You don’t know how it’s going to happen, but you know that it is going to happen. And, that is what Hollywood wants. They want you to be able to go to your friend, say 10 words, and convey absolutely everything about a film to them.
Snakes on a motherf*%ing plane.
So, let’s put that all together… Off the top of your head, come up with an idea. Let’s say it’s about a guy who has to save the Earth from a giant rubber duck. That means that our protagonist is the guy. Our antagonist is the rubber duck (or the insane soldier who hates our guy and tries to stop him -
Once you learn this, you can turn even the simplest idea into a fully-
NEXT UP… STUDIO FORMAT!
Before you start writing, you need to know what format to write in. Screenplays are expected to be in a very strict format. I’m talking so-
|No Writing Yet|
|The First Act|
|The Inciting Incident|
|The Supporting Cast|
|The First Turning-Point|
|The Second Act|
|The Love Story|
|Screenplay Page Counts|
|Everything is Looking Good!...|
|False-Victory or False-Defeat|
|The Pit of Despair|
|The Second Turning Point|
|The Third Act|
|All Is Not Lost|
|Wind It All Up|
|Wrapping Up Your Sub-Plots|
|The Final Battle|
|Actually Writing Your Script|
|Back to the Future|
|Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
|T2 - Terminator 2|