Updated: Jul 15, 2020
“To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.”
~ Alfred Hitchcock.
You wouldn't skip over Park Place to blow your fake money on St. Charles Place, so why would you save your best material for page 60?
Things you should do in the first ten pages of your screenplay:
Set the tone
Introduce the principle characters
Set up the stakes for your main character
Establish the world we're in
Things you should not do in the first ten pages of your screenplay:
If a VIP is reading your script and the first ten pages plod along, not really going anywhere, they're not gonna be like, "I have a ton of time on my hands so I think I'll keep reading this boring script."
Here are examples of first pages from two successful screenplays:
Outside Ebbing, Missouri
There's Something About Mary
This is how you start a movie! #Jawbreaker