This morning, in between making cheese balls (yum) and playing “Cicada Girl” outside with my 2 1/2-year-old (Man, you had to be there for the cicada close-encounter thing we had!), I squeezed in some snippets of yesterday’s Scriptnotes with John August and Craig Mazin. Part of their discussion was timely for me, as I was already re-assessing the start of my screenplay.
John and Craig analyzed the first three pages of three scripts sent in to them. They emphasized just how critical those first three pages are. Okay, I knew the first ten pages were important, but now I am re-thinking my first three. I just don’t think mine are strong enough to establish my characters or the tone of the whole movie. Ai yi yi, I’ve got some new work to do.
I went back to transcribe a very useful quote from Craig Mazin: “The first three pages should be beautifully crafted. They should be just jam-packed with stuff — all sorts of really good stuff about the characters, the tone, the world that the characters live in. I want to get things from their clothes, their environment, their setting. I wanna know… even the pace, even the pacing. Everything gets set in these first three pages, so you can’t be flabby or loose with it.”