Run your movie in your mind. Like you’re in the theater. Watch it.
Start in the middle. Skip right past all the bullshit to the middle of most interesting, cinematic action. The bank robbery.
Write down the beginning, middle, and end in less than 8 minutes. Write big, say little. “Night. Storm. Desert.”
Main character. Who is your story about? What sort of things do they do? Where from? Born in what year? Ask your character these questions.
What’s your story about thematically?
Coming of age. What’s your identity? Unfinished business with your mother and father. Proving yourself. Midlife crisis. Does life begin at forty? Getting older. Big changes. A life test. Cash in your retirement account and travel. Perspective. Memories. What was it all about?
Your hero. Face it; your main character is you.
What do you want in life? That’s what your story is about. Talk to your main character. Write down the conversation.
What kind of audience wants to see your film? Who are you talking to?
Watch a movie. Write the time in minutes when major events happen.
THE FIRST MINUTE – PAGE 1
One page is one minute on the screen. Time, place, mood. What happens? Point of view. Who are the characters? Begin your story like this in the first minute.
PAGE 3. Find the line of dialogue that introduces the theme. “You have to be rich to get away with murder.”
PAGES 3-10. How does the movie hook the audience?
PAGE 10. What happens that presents the hero with a challenge or opportunity? Psycho – Marion must take $40,000 to the bank for her boss. She goes home. The money’s in her purse. She wants that money. What will she do?
PAGE 30. The Act I turning point. The hero decides between pages 10 and 30 whether or not to commit to the challenge. She makes a decision that brings on Act II. Seeing his home in flames, Luke decides to join the rebellion.
PAGE 45. The Act II metaphor. A small, quiet scene that foreshadows the ending.
Continued in next post…