The 4 Keys to a Viable Screenplay

The 4 Keys to a Viable Screenplay


As the President in THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, Michael Douglas states rather emphatically that “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, because it’s gonna put up a fight.”

He might as well have been talking about screenwriting. Nothing about screenwriting is easy. You have to want it bad, and you have to come prepared for a fight. When you’re in the trenches and can’t see the forest from the trees…and every writer is there at one time or another…here are some essentials to keep in mind. All good scripts have these, and all scripts that don’t suffer accordingly in the market.

1. Cinematic Premise

Regardless of genre, film is above all things a visual medium. Some premises are cinematic; they instantly paint a picture. Some premises are not and do not: “An invisible turtle paints his toenails and does arithmetic while lounging in a bathtub for two hours.” Well maybe that one does paint a picture, but it’s not a good one.

Whether it’s an intimate human drama or a big budget extravaganza, take every possible opportunity to make your premise as bold and cinematic as possible, and tell a story that implores an audience to watch.

Read the full article on Screencraft.org

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