Why Your Script Is Dead On Arrival

It's Friday morning
I just got word that a TV pilot I wrote is in the quarter finals of a very prestigious screenwriting contest.
I'm so inspired by the news, I decided to give a FREE Screenwriting Seminar
I'm very, very excited.
I've had a good run lately.
Feature script optioned
Going into production on a short film I co-wrote with Roz
Producing another short film in October
It's good.... now
But it's been a journey

Things turned around when I learned the secret that transformed my scripts
I'm good with character and dialogue
But I just wasn't getting past 1st base
I began to do research
Read lots of scripts, good ones, bad ones, great ones
I learned something

My first 5 to 10 pages weren't dynamic.
They weren't popping and jumping and engaging readers.
And I don't mean explosions or sex scenes or shoot outs
I'm talking about dropping readers into my world, with specificity and conflict
My opening pages were too leisurely,
lot's of "nice to meet you" dialogue
and waking up in the morning scenes (sound familiar)
I wanted my story to get warmed up before I got
to the good stuff in the script. BORING!

if you don't grab people in those first 5-10 pages,
You'll lose them

They'll keep reading (maybe) but they won't trust you
They won't trust that you'll take care of them through your story

You've killed your chances of getting them to think, you can handle the job

EVERYTHING has specificity and conflict
Action Movies
even comedies, yes comedies
writers don't think of it that way, but great comedies always start out
with specificity and conflict.



It’s a beautiful spring morning in the Palisades. High atop the cliffs, looking out over the Pacific Ocean, sits the exclusive BEL AIR BAY CLUB. Workers bustle about the lawn, setting up a high-end wedding.

A STRING QUARTET warms up. A team of FLORISTS arrange centerpieces. CATERERS set the white linen tables...


A simple, classic wedding dress hangs on a closet door in this sun-drenched bridal suite. Sitting at the makeup table, surrounded by her bridesmaids, is the beautiful bride, TRACY TURNER, 20’s. She’s busy doing her makeup.

Just then, Tracy’s rich, stern FATHER, 50’s, blows in.

Any word from Doug?

The way he spits out “Doug” tells us all we need to know about how Mr. Turner feels about his future son-in-law.

No, but I’m sure he’s--

Just then, Tracy’s CELLPHONE rings. She quickly answers it.


Heat-waves rise off the Mojave. Standing at a lone, dust- covered payphone in the middle of the desert is VICK LENNON

He’s in his late 20’s, tall, rugged -- and currently a mess. His shirt is ripped open, his aviator sunglasses are bent, his lip is bloodied, and he clearly hasn’t slept in days.

Tracy, it's Vick.

Parked on the dirt road behind Vick is his near-totalled 1967 Cadillac Deville convertible; it’s scratched, dented, filthy - - and missing its passenger side door.

Slouched inside are TWO OTHER GUYS, also looking like hell.

This is just the 1st page

Look how quickly you were dropped into the world.
The locations are specific
The clothing, the cars
Conflict oozes from how the characters are described and the actions they take

Makes you want to turn the page

That's what we writers want, we want the reader to turn the page.

I can show you how to do that
The Writer's I've worked with have
Produced films that have screened in festivals all over the world
Been accepted to prestigious film schools
Made relationships with major networks with their projects

I'll be doing a FREE live Seminar,
Make Your First 5 Alive
Secrets To Jumpstarting Your Screenplay
Wednesday, August 12, 2pm Eastern time

What you'll get from this call
How to create a fire breathing opening page
3 things that will catapult those first pages to the next level
Create dynamic characters that speak even when they're saying nothing
Drop readers into your world
to give your screenplay the start it deserves

Join me on this call, I want to give you the methods to make your scripts better

Write on, Write on!

P.S. Sign up for the FREE call and you'll automatically get my series of free tips
Ninja Moves For Screenwriters