Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

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  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Yeah, but I typed that for free.

    Leave a comment:


  • LMPurves
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    KILL BILL volume 1

    The BEST OPENING EVER, imo.

    Black and white ECU of UMA, with a TRICKLE OF RED BLOOD dabbing the corner of her mouth...

    "Bill, it's your ba -

    BLAM!


    Intriguing, shocking, and drew me RIGHT IN.

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    I like to start off with the protag waking up in the morning. That way the audience is in bed with them from the start.

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  • Laura Reyna
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    In most of the professional scripts that I've read over the yrs I've had to struggle to get thru the first 10 pages. A lot of these scripts aren't especially exciting or riveting. And we're talking about good, professional scripts-- some of them "great"-- written by very talented people.

    Maybe it's me, but even that Die Hard example isn't especially riveting. It's a guy getting off a plane with a teddy bear. It's interesting, but not "life changing" for the reader.

    My point is, sometimes we tend to exaggerate what "grabbing the reader" means, and maybe we intimidate some newbies with this. I know i was intimidated for a few yrs until i read some so-called great scripts and found out they weren't that great.

    The bar is semi-high-- you have to write something interesting in a professional manner-- but it doesn't have to "blow people away" necessarily. Some stories start out quieter & slower than others and then build from there.

    When I think about this "grabbing the reader" business, I try very hard to start with a scene where SOMETHING is happening. WHAT you're writing about goes a long way in keeping the reader reading. You don't want to start with the protag getting out of bed & making coffee.

    And I make sure I write this opening scene in an competent, interesting way. But I'm not gonna throw in a James Bond-type opening just to keep with the idea that this is what readers want to see if it doesn't fit my story. I'm exagerating of course, but like I said, some stories start out a little quieter than others.

    So yeah, you wanna grab the reader, but what this is exactly depends on the story & style of the piece. Whatever you're writing about you want to make it as interesting as possible.

    I like the opening of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, & I recently read Children of Men which I thought was understated but well-done. In both these scripts something is happening.
    Last edited by Laura Reyna; 10-08-2007, 07:29 PM.

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  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    It's not just the grammar (although the hyphon between sentences is seriously distracting), it's the folksy narrative voice... I think that it's out of place in setting the tone of the full piece.

    Now, I liked Identity. For the most part (I think that the ending was a betrayal of the audience's faith).

    But there's a lot on this first page that is just flab and clich├ęs.

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  • Kevan
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Originally posted by argo View Post
    and delivers a whammy -- all on one page.
    Think you mean a "WHAMMO".. Thought a Whammy was a Whammy Bar on a Fender Stratocaster guitar? I have one and that's what I pull (he says ashamedly)..

    But I know what you mean, dude..

    Bill Martell mentions in his Secrets Of Outlines blue book that when sequencing an outline to have a WHAMMO occur every ten pages. This is stated because if you examine a movie, more often than not, a WHAMMO seems to occur every ten minutes during the course of the movie. A WHAMMO is a big event as advocated by Joel Silver when you have a car crash, explosion, somebody is shot, in an action film then this would be the case but in a comedy it would be a big visual gag designed to illicit a wobbly tummy syndrome in the audience. In a puzzle style thriller is could be a large piece of information to help the character and audience piece the puzzle together a little more until the next WHAMMO. In A Romantic Comedy it could be the passionate embrace of realizing the two leads love each other or they break up, for example.

    A "WHAMMO", a big event that happens every ten pages. It doesn't have to happen every ten pages, this is mentioned in this case purely as an example..

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  • argo
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Originally posted by Signal30 View Post
    That's pretty weak... a fifth grade English teacher would leave a lot of red on the page.
    Totally agree with you on the grammatical efforts. But put that aside and I think it's pretty effective. It sets the tone of the movie, brings out characterization (both in the setting and the manager), and delivers a whammy -- all on one page.

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    That's pretty weak... a fifth grade English teacher would leave a lot of red on the page.

    Leave a comment:


  • argo
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    And here's the first page of Identity. A bit overboard on the punctuation, but grabs you at the bottom and damn if you don't want to turn the page and find out "what happened".

    FADE IN:

    EXT. GOLDEN PALM MOTEL - NIGHT
    A motel in the middle of nowhere - RAIN slashes down though the dark desert sky - Making it difficult to see the front of this fifties eyesore...

    A CRACKLE of thunder in the distance. A neon palm tree flashes invitingly, seemingly unaware of the thunder storm...

    INT. RECEPTION, GOLDEN PALM MOTEL - SAME TIME
    The place is clean, but needs a coat of paint - At least the roof ain't leaking...

    Anyway, it's home to LARRY, the motel manager - A thin-faced weasel of a man - He's passing the time with a "Wheel of Fortune" drinking game - Hell, there's nothing else to do tonight, the place is empty.

    LARRY
    Come on...buy a vowel.

    T.V.
    I think I'd like to buy a vowel.

    LARRY
    Yeees!!

    He slams down another shot of something dark and syrup...

    LARRY
    Alright, let's go for a spin...

    Without warning, the doors burst open and a man crashes in carrying a woman in his arms - there's BLOOD EVERYWHERE -

    The man is GEORGE YORK, loving husband and father of one -

    And the woman in his arms is his wife, ALICE - She's bleeding to death -

    GEORGE
    She won't stop bleeding.

    LARRY
    Jesus. What happened?

    George goes to answer, but the PICTURE FREEZES FRAME -

    Leave a comment:


  • argo
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Will have to find my copy of Identity and type it in as the only script I can find online is a revise. In the meantime, here's roughly the first page (and then some) of Ocean's 11. Brilliant dialog and get a great sense of character.


    FADE IN:
    EMPTY ROOM WITH SINGLE CHAIR
    We hear a DOOR OPEN and CLOSE, followed by APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS. DANNY OCEAN, dressed in prison fatigues, ENTERS FRAME and sits.

    VOICE (O.S.)
    Good morning.

    DANNY
    Good morning.

    VOICE (O.S.)
    Please state your name for the record.

    DANNY
    Daniel Ocean.

    VOICE (O.S.)
    Thank you. Mr. Ocean, the purpose of this meeting is to determine whether, if released, you are likely to break the law again. While this was your first conviction, you have been implicated, though never charged, in over a dozen other confidence schemes and frauds. What can you tell us about this?

    DANNY
    As you say, ma'am, I was never charged.

    INT. PAROLE BOARD HEARING ROOM - WIDER VIEW - MORNING
    Three PAROLE BOARD MEMBERS sit opposite Danny, behind a
    table.

    BOARD MEMBER #2
    Mr. Ocean, what we're trying to find out is: was there a reason you chose to commit this crime, or was there a reason why you simply got caught this time?

    DANNY
    My wife left me. I was upset. I got into a self-destructive pattern.

    BOARD MEMBER #3
    If released, is it likely you would fall back into a similar pattern?

    DANNY
    She already left me once. I don't think she'll do it again just for kicks.

    Glances dart between the Board Members.

    BOARD MEMBER #1
    Mr. Ocean, what do you think you would do if released?

    Danny considers.

    DANNY
    (deadpan)
    I don't know. How much do you guys make a year?

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  • argo
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Die Hard. Classic.

    Also love the first few pages of Ocean's 11 -- the prison review dialog rocks.

    And, yes make fun of me, but the first page of Michael Cooney's Identity screams at you to turn the page. He works hard to put a shock at the very bottom of page 1 to hook you and make you flip to page 2.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevan
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Good call, Writerly. Fantastic screenplay..

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    If done right...

    FROM BARE TO MATERNITY

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  • yeehi
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Originally posted by Signal30 View Post
    FADE IN:


    EXT. RIVIERA - BEACH - DAY

    Where the ocean ends, an ocean of bare breasts begins.

    Leave a comment:


  • Signal30
    replied
    Re: Best 1st Page you read - Best 5 pages you've read..

    Originally posted by wcmartell View Post
    Poe said you have to grab the reader with your first *sentence*... and that was over 150 years ago.

    - Bill
    FADE IN:


    EXT. RIVIERA - BEACH - DAY

    Where the ocean ends, an ocean of bare breasts begins.

    Leave a comment:

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