The First 10 Pages
When I was teaching at NYU, I noticed my students were starting their scripts with leisurely opening scenes. I told them: “The people who will be reading your work see a lot of scripts. If they like one and they champion it and the movie gets made and is a commercial failure, they can lose their jobs. It’s safer to turn scripts down. If yours starts slowly, they can safely turn it down without finishing it. So… you have 10 pages.” My students protested:. “The people reading our scripts used to go to film shool. They love movies. They’ll keep reading.” I asked my friend and rabbi David Brown to come to class. He once ran Fox. He also produced “Jaws,” “The Sting,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and many more hits. “You have 5 pages,” David Brown said.
In this introductory level session, we’ll look at some obviously compelling opening paragraphs/pages of scripts/non-fiction/novels. Then participants will announce the intent of their openings and read them, and we’ll discuss their effectiveness and ways they might be stronger.