One of the first things I learned about screenwriting was when something had to happen.
Page 3 is statement of theme. Page 10 is your inciting incident, and so on and so on.
I mention this because today was about reinforcing what I already have for the first act. I opted to start with my thrilling opening sequence. All I had written down was ‘rousing action sequence,’ which really doesn’t grab you. So I jotted down some notes about what I wanted to happen and got to work.
After a few false starts, it started to come together. I keep going back to RAIDERS, with Indy and Alfred Molina in the temple, followed by the escaping-the-natives/introducing-Belloq sequence. So much info and detail about each character in a space of minutes. Incredible! Could I pull off the same feat? Maybe.
It’s a little different when your main character is a train engineer. What can they do besides drive a train? One of many things I had to figure out. But then the mental reminder that this is still the first outline, so things will change down the line. But for now, she can drive a train and is pretty good with a gun.
As I worked on ramping up the conflict, I couldn’t help but notice that this was growing well beyond the original 3-page limit I had set up. It was reaching at least 6. Possibly 7. And all of that would really mess up having the inciting incident on page 10. Yikes!
But the more I thought about it, the less it mattered. I was trying to have a thrilling introduction to my main character (plus her sidekick), and if it went beyond 3 pages, then so be it.
I’m also trying to figure out how to end the whole sequence. I have a pretty good idea of what it will be. It’s working out the details that’s the hard part.
-Something somebody at the writing group said last week also struck a nerve, and I’m really glad I wrote it down: What’s at stake if Lucy fails?
This has been bothering me ever since. What WILL happen?
What I have now under the ‘what she wants’ label is: to catch the real thieves. Which is okay, but seems like it should be bigger. Something a lot of people can relate to.
Again, working out the details is pain in the butt.
No Movie of the Moment tonight, but we did watch the original DEATH RACE 2000 the other night. Wow, was that cheesy. Once you suspend disbelief about everything going on, there are some funny moments. Unfortunately those were few and far between.
As K pointed out, it was more interesting during the race and less when they were off the road. Interesting early performance from Stallone.
All things being equal, we may put the Jason Statham-starring one on our Netflix queue. For purely academic curiosity, of course.