Memorable characters have unique personas and attributes; they are riveting, multi-dimensional, and erratic. A strong hero and villain have distinct and progressive goals.
- Do your characters engage your audience's attention?
- Can they relate to your characters?
- Are the characters' ambitions and goals credible?
- Do their behaviors match their identity?
How vast is the demand of your movie? The fads and demands of the industry evolve fast. How difficult is your screenplay to sell based on recent trends?
Conflict provides dramatic tension. Conflict is the motivating tension of any story and typically entails physical (man vs. man) and psychological (man vs. himself) conflict. If your hero fails, what will he lose?
Engaging dialogue provides original, blunt, and special voices to each character. The style and use of language successfully gives individuality to a character and pushes the story forward.
How simple is your story concept to promote? Can you communicate the concept simply on a movie poster? What is the retailing or sequel potential?
Pacing is how you time the action, how you unravel plot elements, and how quickly or slowly you develop the characters.
The plot must force movement into actions, events, and conflicts to thrust the story onward.
- Does your story unfold naturally or unexpectedly?
- Does your pitch plainly outline the main plot points?
- Do the plot points weave the story in unforeseen ways?
- Do the plot points contribute to the dramatic unease, rendering barriers for the hero?
Is your premise coherent enough so audiences can identify and connect to it. Is it a significant concept premise, or down-to-earth concept? Is your story genre-driven, or is it character-driven?
Format your screenplay according to movie industry standards, such as using 12 pt. Courier font, precise margins, spacing, etc., as well as correct spelling, punctuation, syntax, and style usage.
Clearly identify the story or premise of your screenplay. What is your screenplay about? This is known as "the hook." Is your story captivating enough to uphold the audience's interest for a full hour-and-a-half?
The structure is the blueprint and foundation of your script. What type of structure are you using? Common structures include the 3-Act Structure (most popular), the Odyssey Structure, the Linear Structure, and the Non-Linear Story Structure.
- Does your story have a clear-cut beginning, middle and end?
- Does the end of Act One test your hero or force him/her to decide on a turning point in your story?
The total quality of your writing must stay strong. Judges want narrative that is unique, dramatic, and properly reveals the personality or "feel" of the movie.
The theme is the inherent moral of the story as gradually exposed via plot, dialogue, and visible devices.
I welcome your comments.
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