Getting Started

First Step

There are so many excuses you can make.  The only way to do it, is to stop it and get started.  The key is to take 10 or 15 minutes everday and you will be surprised how much you have done by the end of the month.  The ideal way would be to wake up every morning and spend an hour working on your script with the morning cup of coffee.  Get every day started right making progress.  If you find an hour becomes too hard then focus on a shorter time.  I would recommend especially in the beginning to not spend more than an hour but focus on working on it daily.  Even if you came up with one idea everyday while in the shower you are making progress. The key is to commit to doing it and getting started right now.

Motivation

If you are doing this because you want to quit your day job or become rich and famous then this isn’t going to help motivate you.  Think about how many movies get made by the big studios each year.  Then think about how many of those movies are Super Hero’s, licensed properties like games or toys, and sequels to already established properties.  Now take a look at boxoffice mojo and look at the box office gross of the top 100 writers.  Now google their network.  Most of these top 10 script writers are only worth a few million dollars.  Think about the odds of you becoming on of those top 100.  The good news.  The writer gets about 5% of the film budget.  If it’s your first time and you are an unknown it’s less.  The fact is 5% of a $100 million budget is a lot of money.  So let’s say you get 2% of a small budget film which would be $5 million budget.  That is $100,000.  This is not chump change but you also make residuals if the movie spends a long time on HBO or Netflix.  You get healthcare and retirement benefits from the writers guild.  One successful film can set you up for life. Two successful movies and your doing better than most average Americans.

How To Start

Think about this for a minute.  Most scripts are made up of 40 scenes.  So if you came up with one scene a day in theory you could get the first draft done in less than two months.  If you break the process down into smaller segments you need a beginning middle and end. Start with coming up with a great ending.  Then figure out your log line.  The the three basic points of each act. Come up with the inciting incident and the mid point. Then work on your characters.  What type of lead would make this story interesting. Below is a list of some basic things you need to gain some momentum on getting the script written.

1 – Title

2 – Concept

3 – Ending

4 – Logline

5 – Three Acts

6 – Characters (Pro and Antagonist)

7 – Midpoint and Inciting Incident

That is one week if you did each of those elements each day. If the above sounds confusing then pick up a copy of Save The Cat.  It’s a very easy read.  Even a slow reader could get through it over the weekend.  Take a mini vacation and spend some time reading it.