Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_8_Beginnings__ - UCLA...

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UCLA Extension - Screenwriting 1 L. Saber BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS (Week 8 Lecture) Now that you’ve written your first scene you should have a pretty good idea where your story begins. The scene you wrote doesn’t necessarily have to be the first image we see on screen, but it should be revealed shortly after the opening credits. So the question becomes – what is a great beginning? What can you do to make your beginning most memorable? Again, I wish there was a clear cut answer, but there are as many answers out there as there are ideas. One way to test your beginning is to ask questions. Does your story open with the world in peril? Two lovers breaking up? Cross-star-lovers meeting? Is it the birth of a savior or the death of a hero? The question becomes, what would intrigue you? What opening would make you want to watch that movie and then get you passionate enough about the story to tough it out over the next three months and get to the ending. The truth is that you only have a few pages to get the reader’s interest – 10 pages to be more precise (give or take one or two), hence this class. So the challenge is to have a great opening scene that will get us hooked. So what is your hook? Is your story based on true events? Is your story so fantastical that it takes us to different worlds and explores different galaxies? Is your story so dramatic that it explores the most basic of human needs and desires?
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UCLA Extension - Screenwriting 1 L. Saber That’s what Robert Rodat did in writing “Saving Private Ryan.” Sure the film is labeled as a story about World War II, but being the sensitive screenwriters we are, we understand that Mr. Rodat narrowed the scope of his story to one subject matter, to basic human emotions – loss and grief, something we can all identify with, asking the question – what happens when three of four brothers die in battle? What will the mother of those boys feel? What can we do as a great and grateful nation to alleviate some of her pain? And the answer was, let’s return her last surviving son in one piece no matter how many other mothers’ sons might die to accomplish
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This note was uploaded on 12/23/2011 for the course EXTEN SCNWRT at UCLA.

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Online_Lecture_Screenwriting_1_Week_8_Beginnings__ - UCLA...

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