The opening pages of your screenplay are by far the most important pages of your entire screenplay. If you have a great opening few pages and you set up your story and characters properly, it can get things on track and keep the reader reading until the end.

But writing a great opening isn’t easy. A ton of information needs to be in your opening pages… and it has to be entertaining, too. Writers, both new and experienced, often squander these precious opening pages with poor choices and an overall lack of craft. Don’t let that be you.

So for the next Selling Your Screenplay class, I am going to be digging in deeply to the openings of five great screenplays (see list below). I will be examining, at great length, what makes them great and how you can apply these lessons to your own screenplays.

This class will be taught by me, Ashley Scott Meyers. I’m an actual screenwriter with real screenwriting credits, not a “guru” or “screenwriting teacher.” You can see my credits on IMDb here:

In addition to the basics of how to write a great opening, you will learn…

  1. You will learn what makes a great opening by seeing and discussing several great openings from popular, highly successful produced screenplays (see list below).
  2. You will learn how to develop unique, interesting characters with only a short description and a few lines of dialogue.
  3. You will learn what you should include in the opening and what you should not include.
  4. You will learn how to entertain the reader and make her feel real emotion – fear, sorrow, joy, empathy – while reading your screenplay.

In this class…

  1. I will be examining the great opening pages from five fantastic screenplays (see list below).
  2. I will be sharing my own checklist for making sure my opening is as good as it can be.
  3. I will be giving you several exercises to help you craft the perfect opening for your screenplay.

You should take this class if…

  1. You should take this class if you are struggling to write your opening pages.
  2. You should take this class if you are preparing to send your screenplay out and want to make sure the opening pages are as good as they can be.
  3. You should take this class if you are about to start writing a screenplay and need help getting started.
  4. You should take this class if you want your opening pages to be awesome!

The screenplays that we will be discussing during this class are listed below.

Natural Born Killers by Quentin Tarantino (first 5.1 pages)

Legally Blonde by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (10.1 pages)

The Shawshank Redemption by Frank Darabont (first 2 pages)

Unforgiven by David Webb Peoples (first 4.5 pages)

Jerry Maguire by Cameron Crowe (first 10 pages)

Class Details

The class took place on Saturday November 15th at 10am PST. The class was recorded so you can take the class anytime by joining Selling Your Screenplay Select.

You can see all the SYS classes that are in the library by going here: SYS Online Classes.