Screenwriting - Page 1 - How to Hook the Hollywood Reader
- A passion for writing and screenwriting
Conventional screenwriting wisdom tells us that we have 10 pages to hook the Hollywood reader.
The truth is that we only have 1.
For the well-trained eye of a film industry reader, the first page – sometimes the first line – is where your script or pilot sinks or swims. Even if the reader continues to page 10, they do so with a preexisting opinion of your screenplay, concept, and - unfortunately - your writing ability.
Screenwriters spend years perfecting their craft, but often neglect the most critical page - the page on which a writer hooks – or loses - the Hollywood reader. Ironically, this is the page on which just a minor amount of rewriting can result in an astronomical impact.
Taught by professional screenwriter and script analyst Amanda Gusack, who directed her film THE BETRAYED, starring Melissa George and Oded Fehr, from a spec script she sold to MGM, this course demonstrates how to scrutinize your first page from the viewpoint of the industry reader. Writers of all levels will learn how to sculpt their screenplay's opening for a spellbinding first impression.
Included are the following:
- Video lectures on the critical elements of page 1
- Video analyses of several page 1 examples, with real-time annotations on ways to elevate the content
- A detailed PDF handout/checklist of the critical page 1 elements for students to use with their own screenplays
- Bonus video of instructor's comprehensive screenwriting course, "Hollywood Screenwriting - From Concept to Draft - How to Write a Killer Script.”
This course is vital for anyone interested in writing or elevating a script, or submitting a screenplay to a manager, agency, or production company. It offers a rare inside look at what the industry reader craves – and how to hook the reader the instant they open your material.
Praise for instructor's comprehensive course, "Hollywood Screenwriting - From Concept to Draft - How to Write a Killer Script", which will be available on Udemy soon:
"This course is absolutely invaluable for newcomers as well as seasoned writers. I wasted my first seven years in Hollywood, too-cool-for-school to learn the basics of screenwriting under the arrogant delusion that my cinematic creativity would magically reinvent the wheel of a tried and true craft. Amanda Gusack’s insightful instruction could have focused my creative energy to complete a well structured screenplay that was industry-friendly enough to land me an agent.”
Eric Bress, Co-writer/director - The Butterfly Effect, Co-writer - Final Destination 2, Kyle XY
- Screenwriters of all levels
- Course Agenda
- Page 1 - Your Most Important Page
- Know Your Audience - The industry Reader
- Types of Industry Readers
- Page 1 - Six Critical Elements
- Your Genre - What Kind of Story?
- Your Opening Image
- Your Event - Part One
- Your Event - Part Two
- Your Hero's Intro
- Your Theme
- Nuts and Bolts - An Eye-Friendly First Page
- Page 1 - What to Avoid
- The Industry Reader - Final Thoughts
- Page 1 - Checklist
- Page 1 Example - "Wilkes County"
- "Red Riding Hood" - 1st Example
- "Red Riding Hood" - 2nd Example
- "Red Riding Hood" - 3rd Example
- Page 1 Example - Pilot - "Everyone, This is Travis"
- Closing Thoughts
- Scene Structure
A self taught pro and decade-long WGAw member, Amanda directed her film THE BETRAYED, starring Melissa George and Oded Fehr, from a spec script she sold to MGM, following her independently-directed feature debut In Memorium.
She's optioned, rewritten, and adapted material for studios, collaborating in countless notes sessions with agents, managers, producers and studio execs.
Over the years, she's been repped by Benderspink, Endeavor, Paradigm, and currently Zero Gravity.
When she's not writing her own material, she offers script-coaching and feature screenplay analysis on her website, Act Breakdown.