The First Twelve Pages of Your Screenplay VII 12 Part Series On How To Write Screenplays
By Don Vasicek
In this screenplay educational series IN will be covering the following course sections of information graciously provided by Donald L. Vasicek:
So, You Have A Movie Idea - I
More on Your Movie Idea II
Emotion and Your Movie Idea III
The Logline IV
The First Minute V
Write The End To Your Screenplay Foremost VI
The First Twelve Pages of Your Screenplay VII
Page 12 to Page 30 of Your Screenplay VIII
Page 30 to Page 45 of Your Screenplay IX
Page 45 to Page 60 of Your Screenplay X
Page 60 to Page 75 of Your Screenplay XI
Page 90 to the End of Your Screenplay XII
Don't miss out on a single issue of IN and how to get your screenplay from the page to the silver screen.
Even though each word, each sentence, each paragraph and each page is important in the screenplay, pages three and ten after page one are the next key points in your screenplay. On page one, in addition to the metaphor that shows the main theme, you should have also introduced your main character. If you havenít then, from page one to page three, you should begin developing the story and the main character. On page three, with dialogue, have someone mention the main theme for your movie.
For example, if your main theme is love, then on page three, have one of your characters say something like, "She even puts bugs out of the house." Translated, if you knew something about "she" by page three, you would interpret this to mean "she" is so loving that she puts bugs out of the house instead of killing them.
After stating the main theme, develop more of your main character and the setting where the story is evolving. Place a sharp focus on what kind of relationship your main character has with the setting (which can also include another character or other characters).
Show (always show instead of tell) your main characterís personality. What kind of person is this person? Who is this person? Where is this person? When is this person living? Why is this person in your screenplay? Answers these questions from page three to about page ten, give or take a page here or there.
On about page ten, establish the dramatic premise for your screenplay. Here is where the essence of the story should emerge. Something should happen. If it is a love story, the two lovers should collide in some form. If it is a murder mystery, you should show the murder occurring here, or a body should be discovered. If it is a drama, you should show what the main problem in the drama that needs to be solved by the main character should be.
Once you establish the dramatic premise on, or about page ten, then begin showing more of your main characterís world and the cradle of humanity you have them involved in in relation to the dramatic premise.
In my next installment, Iíll show you what should be in pages twelve to about page thirty.
Donald L. Vasicek was a writer/consultant for Warriors of Virtue, screenwriter for The Crown, writer/associate producer for The Lost Heart and Born To Kill. He wrote, directed, and produced Faces, Oh, The Places You Can Go..., Haunted World and the award-winning The Sand Creek Massacre. He writes columns for Hollywood Lit. Sales, Moondance Int'l Film Festival's E-zine, Screenplace, Screenwriters Forum, Screenplayers.Net, Screenwriters Utopia, Ink-OnĖThe-Brain and Spraka & Kinsla (Swedish). Author of How To Write, Sell, And Get Your Screenplays Produced (http://www.selfhelpguides.com/display.php3?guide=1822020729) and The Write Focus. Web site: http://www.donvasicek.com