Author Topic: Short opening scene  (Read 448 times)

Offline schuylar

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Short opening scene
« on: July 31, 2017, 08:54:31 PM »
Hi All! This is my first script ever. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

FADE IN on an office door in a University with a sticker reading ďThe Labor Movement: From the folks who brought you the weekendĒ. Two UNDERGRADS eagerly approach the sticker from either side.

UNDERGRAD 1:
Hey.

UNDERGRAD 2:
(breathlessly) Hi.

UNDERGRAD 1:
Itís nice to see you.

UNDERGRAD 2:
Yeah, you too.

OPEN ON the office inside. SCOTT, a doctoral candidate, can hear their conversation through the door. He waits a moment, staring at the clock, then rises with a heavy sigh and opens the door.

SCOTT:
(Frustrated, implacable) Listen, guys, I get it. You like each other, you donít have your own space, he hasnít committed to dinner yet and she hasnít committed to drinks. Itís a lovely, if cowardly, time in a budding relationship. And Iím not here to ruin that. I know that you still think you can live a nice life. But even if you could, this is not the way to do it. Now, please stop flirting outside my office. Some of us are actually trying to work.

SCOTT steps towards them, the door slamming behind him. The UNDERGRADS scatter in opposite directions.

PETE, SCOTTíS brother, waves at him from across the hallway.

PETE:
Hey! Howís it going?

SCOTT:
Productive! Iím looking forward to the new year. How about yourself? Your new adviser was all right?

PETE:
Yeah, yeah. Are those two going to be okay?

SCOTT:
Presumably.

PETE:
What did you say to them?

SCOTT:
I was just tired of it. Itís gone on all summer -- (trailing off). Letís talk about something else.

PETE:
(nervously) Are you still going to help me move in tonight?

SCOTT:
Of course!

PETE:
(skeptical) Youíre sure. Because if you canít --

SCOTT:
The first night with my little brother in town? Iíll be there.

PETE:
Are you going to bring anyone?

SCOTT:
(Surprised) Of course not. Why do you ask?

Lin

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Re: Short opening scene
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 07:42:04 AM »
All in all not a lot is happening here.

It sounds a bit like - hello, how are you, fine thanks, wanna cuppa tea, (if you see what I mean).  I would start with more action as in further down the page. Start with this

PETE:
(nervously) Are you still going to help me move in tonight?

SCOTT:
Of course!

PETE:
(sceptical) Youíre sure. Because if you canít --

SCOTT:
The first night with my little brother in town? Iíll be there.

PETE:
Are you going to bring anyone?

SCOTT:
(Surprised) Of course not. Why do you ask?

Offline hillwalker3000

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Re: Short opening scene
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 10:35:21 AM »
I agree. The opening scene is a bore. You need something to grab the attention, and 4 lines of dialogue where two characters greet each other (and nothing much else) won't cut it. The same goes for the rest of your extract. Big bro is going to help little bro move in. I'm asking myself, would this make me keep watching?

No. Without some kind of conflict, implied or otherwise, there's nothing here to make me care what happens next.

H3K

Offline schuylar

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Re: Short opening scene
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 09:49:37 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, that's really helpful

Lin

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Re: Short opening scene
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 04:06:32 AM »
My mum was an actress on TV and I have lots of famous scripts in my house from years ago.  I'm no scriptwriter, but I know that most start with some very moreish and interesting action.  Unfortunately, I am not allowed to copy any of them here, but all I can say is to get in with the action immediately.

If I were you, and I write novels which are not too far removed from script writing, I would begin with something a bit dark. Here is an example of what I mean

PETE:
(Gives his brother a sideways glance) Are you still going to help me move in tonight?

SCOTT:
If you still want me to. (Scott is threading a shoe lace into his trainers)

PETE:
(sceptical) Youíre sure. I mean it's difficult... Because if you canít...

SCOTT:
He ties his laces 'What is it with you, bro? Hey, what is your problem?

PETE:
Nothing, I'm just, well it's Jay, she's ...

SCOTT:
Always Jay, isn't it? Why can't you do something without her interfering. Can't you an' me do something together for a change?


So here you have conflict, we need to know about Jay and the mystery of why Pete is being reluctant.

When you write a script I feel it needs to be 'straight in there' no messing.  Being nicey-nicey doesn't work.  Good luck.  Hope this change of story is helpful. I'm not saying this is a wonderful beginning, I am only attempting to show you what can be achieved.  

Lin
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 04:09:39 AM by Lin Treadgold - Author »

Offline schuylar

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Re: Short opening scene
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 09:47:59 PM »
Thanks for making the time to read this. I really do appreciate the feedback. I'm so out of my element here.