By Robin Swicord

Five Essential Elements of a Great Beginning

When I watch a movie, the story hooks me within minutes – roughly the first 10 to 15 pages of the screenplay – or not at all. When I’m not hooked, I may not always walk out (or turn off the TV), but as I continue to watch I remain aware of myself residing outside the movie in a disengaged way, waiting for the movie to end.

Believe me, that’s not the experience a filmmaker wants the viewer to have.

In those first critical minutes of a good movie, the storyteller seduces the viewer with an irresistible invitation: Come inside and play. I think there are five essential elements that contribute to a great start:   Read more