How to begin a ScreenplayGetting a script started
Getting started: There are 5 ways to begin the story of your script
The decision where to start with the script is one of the most important things a writer has to do. Each script's first sequence is critical - both in the introduction of the viewers to your character and in their involvement in the overall film. You will want to select a beginning that accurately mirrors your history.
There are five ways to get started if you don't know where to begin. You' d like to begin your script at the beginning of the storyline you're trying to tell, which may or may not be the same as the beginning of your characters' storylines. Sometimes that means beginning with a sequence that takes your character on the movie's voyage.
For example, in Three billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh begins with his protagonist Mildred Hayes, who goes to the city to ask about the prize for the posters of the same name near her home. As Mildred' s tale - the real motive for her asking for the posters - happens before the movie starts, McDonagh decides not to show these at first.
Three posters triggering the whole film. The two movies begin right at the beginning of the operation - with the advent of a mystical critter in a classified cabinet laboratory or the abduction of John Paul Getty's grandchild. Use this kind of beginning when: your history is included that it begins and ends with the incitement event when the incidents after that event have been solved or come to a close of some kind.
Sometimes the essence of your script requires a different beginning - one that brings the public into something discerning about the film or the narrative itself. This screenplay is mockumental in design and often cracks the 4th face too often to number. Afterwards, since the film' s styling is integrated part of the storyline, scriptwriter Steven Rogers selected to start with sit-down styling interviewing the character, each inconveniently getting themselves prepared and with their name and title on the screen like a genuine broadcasting conversation.
As with all the theatricals in the film' s storyline, it is necessary to get the actors into the vocal styles right from the start so that the viewers are able to comprehend that part of the storyline is narrated through vocal and musical. This voice-over makes it clear to the public that Kumail's voyage through these standing procedures will be disclosed during the film, that they will be decisive for the comprehension of the whole film.
Use this kind of beginning when: there is something extraordinary or singular about the script or the storyline itself that would make it necessary to introduce this ultimate fact to the public immediately. At the same time, many people are of the opinion that one should begin with histories and resources of media: right in the midst.
Rather than presenting the protagonists and premises, the scriptwriter just lets the viewers fall into the centre of the plot and expects them to find out what's going on. During the Second World War crises on the French coast, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk begins by giving the public a little of the text slide contexts and the assumption that they will understand the headline narration.
The Glass Castle and Garardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 both do the same - the first begins with the protagonist's grown-up life in New York City and recalls her early years; the second begins with a brief look back before she returns to Peter Quill and his band of interacting guards in the midst of a missions.
Use this kind of start when: a kind of act dominating your screenplay, or your storyline requiring a significant amount of backlight. A few tales show personalities that are so special, impudent or one-of-a-kind that they need to be introduced immediately. The best part of these character-based scripts is to let the protagonists sparkle and start with a sequence that capsules your lead figure to perfection.
Agatha Christie's long-time investigative hero and lead figure of Poirot has, to say the least, an off-center person. During the first 15 mins of the movie, Poirot's characters are explored rather than the overall story. Audiences see him sending a little kid back and forth in his quest for the "perfect" ball, turning a secret upside down in Jerusalem and making fun of the exact corner of a policeman's necktie - all an inquiry conducted by the excentric Poirot himself.
Same goes for Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, who begins with a sequence that presents the title figure, her mom and her complicated relation, and I, Tonya, who begins with sitting interview with Tonya and the most important persons in her being. Use this kind of beginning when: you are looking at the kind of people that you have to introduce above all else, the kind of personalities that are the storyline in itself.
Films that begin at the end and then go back to the beginning do so for a good cause - to show how far the character has come and how much they have evolved. Writers who use this technology do so not because they make a good beginning per se, but because they make a better educated and more informative ending.
Both The Greatest Showman and Wonder Woman begin at the end - with brief exposition sequences that result in significant flashback (in these particular cases back to childhood). It'?s the same one. When the movies are finished and the cycle closes, the audience will be able to see and appreciate the full scope of each character's transformational voyage.
Use this kind of beginning if: your characters experience significant changes or expansion throughout their history.