9-Minute Movie [WEEK 1]

Drawing from the work of How to Write Movie in 21 Days by Viki King, we start by outlining on index cards an event for each page below, which will correspond with that page of your 2 hour, 120 page screenplay. Once you get this down, you will have a structure that you can fill in.

1 – Begin your movie with a shot that reveals a distinct place, including tone and mood. The rest of the movie need not stay in that place, but this place should be symbolic of something vital about your story.

3 – Show an event that represents the central question or issue to be explored in your film.

10 – Here your hero must make clear what she wants to accomplish, or the conflict she wishes to solve.

30 – Give us an event that presents an obstacle or problem for your hero. This is the first time we get to see her react to a problem.

45 – Your hero learns something about herself that she did not know before. She experiences conscious personal growth, and what she learns will be vital to her ability to engage in the crisis of page 75, as well as the resolution activity that begins on page 90.

60 – Big Trouble. Stuff starts to really go wrong here, and it will continue to get worse for the next 30 pages.

75 – It’s now or never time. Your hero has realized that she can either give up, change direction, or acknowledge the real stakes of the problem she has been trying to solve all along.

90 – At this point your hero is engaged in resolution that makes use of all that has come before now. Loose ends should be in the process of tying up: side characters get their due, and the hero is engaged in the activity of solving the problem.

120 – This should be the last page. Leave us with a great shot that signals “THE END.”

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