google08a788e2b6a5fe7f.html HOW TO WRITE A GOOD OPENING SCENE
  • DC Brandon


One of the most important jobs of a screenwriter is to craft an opening scene that immediately hooks the audience and draws them into the story.

In this day and age of online short films it's even more important than ever. So how does one create a powerful opening?

Build empathy for the protagonist through careful presentation of their character in context of their world. in other words, strong characterization.

It's that simple.

We don't need a huge chunk of exposition to build empathy, either. We can simply write a scene that clearly shows who the character is in the world in relation to other characters, their past, and their apparent outlook on the future (hint: he/she should be the underdog).

He could be the nervous-looking rookie cop on his first day on the job who gets a call to a robbery in progress. The bullied little brother walking home from school to get a baseball bat. The wife of the dead soldier with bills to pay and a gun on the passenger seat of her old Volvo. Whoever the protagonist is, we should know their struggle before the first page is over.

Do this and the audience will follow to the next page of the script. Bonus points if you can do it in under 3 lines of dialogue.


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