Page 1 Checklist

 
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I love those two words, FADE IN…

It indicates the beginning of a wonderful script.  It is the promise of a full-ride for the reader and ultimately for the movie audience.  So when you look at the first page of your script, what are the elements you need to have in place?

Here’s a helpful checklist.

FORMAT:  Are you true to format?  Are you using accurate format?  Or are you winging it and using every element on your keyboard?  Making the page look cluttered and amateurish?

IMAGE:  As you establish your first scene, are you starting with a powerful and cinematic image?

TONE:  Set the tone through action and dialogue of characters you put into play.  They should reflect the genre, pace, tension line of the story.

CHARACTER:  Introduce characters in conflict, not conversation.  

STYLE AND CRAFT:  Is the narrative delivered in a manner it reads like a movie?  Does it focus on action and enhance the conflict? Does the narrative help define genre and tone?  Is the narrative too inside? Overly cute writing that can’t be filmed. Don’t get so inside that you’re outside.  

BREVITY AND CLARITY:  Is the first page easy read and understand?  Does it read like a script?

ENTHUSIASM AND PROFESSIONALISM:  Does the passion of the writer come through on the first page?  Is this a script delivered by a professional writer?