Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

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  • #46
    Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

    Originally posted by La Femme Joyeuse View Post

    The sequence method has been around forever but it seems that it fell out of favor in many screenwriting books and classes in the past few years because many have not heard of it. Chris Soth is big into sequence writing, Paul Gulino has his book about it and I learned about it at The Writer's Boot Camp. I have heard tell that it is a fundamental part of the teachings at USC.
    I work with a coupls USC guys. Right or wrong, they are slaves to the eight sequence method.
    "Take the thing you love, and make it your life"--Californication. [email protected]

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    • #47
      Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

      Originally posted by Ravenhouse1 View Post
      Roger,
      If you have a scene that really should be later on in the script, then that's where it goes. You're a writer, so write something stronger in your opening. You're creating a compelling story here, not a collection of cool scenes.
      Thanks! I'm slowly working through the issue and I think I can make everything work eventually. I think I can place it on page one and make what follows make more sense.

      If I were writing it in novel form, I would put this particular reveal farther back in the story, but in a screenplay format, it can be moved right up front (it would also be part of the marketing strategy, so it would no longer be much of a surprise in a world where ET and EW tell the plot to millions of people in advance). I was originally thinking about writing this particular idea as a novel, so plot structure/pacing, etc items need to be moved around and re-thought.

      It's situations (and threads) like this that hopefully help make better final products.


      R.O.T.

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      • #48
        Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

        Just had to reheat the meat for one more post.

        Every exceptional script I've been reading opens with a charged first page. By charged I mean you know something is going to happen -- subtle or not so subtle -- regardless of whatr genre the script is in. I say this because I'm finally discovering that virtually all writing is rhythmic. it's easy to get in a bad rhythm of having something interesting happen every ten pages or saving your "best" stuff for the plot point pages and all that.

        The best scripts slyly "lock" you into a certain groove from go and then takes you wherever it wants to take you. Even with all the twists and turns that follow, it makes sense when you look back to the beginning. It may seem minor but the difference between accomplishing this on the first page and waiting until even the second page can change the entire chemistry and throw you into an uneven rhythm that you might not be aware of until the screenplay is complete.
        "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
        -Maya Angelou

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        • #49
          Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

          Originally posted by WriteByNight View Post
          Just had to reheat the meat for one more post.

          Every exceptional script I've been reading opens with a charged first page. By charged I mean you know something is going to happen -- subtle or not so subtle -- regardless of whatr genre the script is in. I say this because I'm finally discovering that virtually all writing is rhythmic. it's easy to get in a bad rhythm of having something interesting happen every ten pages or saving your "best" stuff for the plot point pages and all that.

          The best scripts slyly "lock" you into a certain groove from go and then takes you wherever it wants to take you. Even with all the twists and turns that follow, it makes sense when you look back to the beginning. It may seem minor but the difference between accomplishing this on the first page and waiting until even the second page can change the entire chemistry and throw you into an uneven rhythm that you might not be aware of until the screenplay is complete.
          Nice post.
          @TerranceMulloy

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          • #50
            Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

            WriteByNight's post reminded me of two scripts that have the best openings I have ever read. Some Like it Hot, and Y: The Last Man. If you haven't read these, get your hands on them. They should be the textbook examples of how to write a first page.
            For more of my thoughts on screenwriting, check out my blog.
            Jonny Atlas Writes!

            - Sic Semper Tyrannis.

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            • #51
              Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

              I'll also add that it's the hardest page to attempt and the hardest to rewrite. Once you jump off and find yourself in the secon act it can be very difficult to kill a first page that you know is no longer working.
              "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
              - Screenwriting Friend

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              • #52
                Re: Duh, The First Page Is The Most Important

                It'll work, it's about fine-tuning it. Gettin' it just right.

                Corona
                I love you, Reyna . . .

                Brown-Balled by the Hollywood Clika

                Latino Heart Project's MEXICAN HEART...ATTACK!
                I ain't no punk b1tch...

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