Great Opening Hook


That opening hook is everything…

It’s the contract you make with the audience to deliver a movie that entertains and excites.  

So, what are the elements of an opening hook that gives the writer the best advantage for a great script?

GENRE:  Get your viewer into the genre.  The hook should reflect the genre of your story.  

TENSION:  Create the first moment of tension.  It can be overt and in your face, or subtle.  But tension needs to be in the opening scene.

CONFLICT:  Can your opening hook give indication of the central conflict of the story?  Give the audience a sense of what the movie is about.

HERO:  Can the hero be in the opening hook?  The sooner you introduce your Protagonist in conflict, the better for your story.  

ANTAGONIST:  I’m in the camp that I’d rather see the Antagonist in the opening hook, than the Protagonist.  I think it gives a solid line of tension. So consider your hook with the Antagonist being active and setting in motion the line of conflict that your hero must overcome.

FILM WORLD:  Along with genre, you should create the film world in which the Protagonist will operate.

ALPHA-OMEGA:  When the script is complete, will the beginning of the movie bookend with the ending?  There is an elegance in unity of theme and story.  

EXAMPLE:  My favorite opening hook is still the original TERMINATOR.  The world is established. The stakes become evident. It’s visual.  Active, Terrifying. Dangerous. Does it get any better for a script or a movie?  Write on.