This is worse than Inception
I have been writing scripts on and off since the late 90s. About a year ago, I handed in a spec script to a well-known and respected producer in town. The script was a sci-fi action thriller, dealing with parallel universes. He read it and completely tore it apart over the phone. Here’s how it began:
Producer: Remember Inception? It took them 40 minutes to explain the rules of the game and set the story up. Which left them with no time to develop characters, that’s why the film was populated by a bunch of cardboard cutouts.
Producer: This is worse than Inception. You spend 35 pages setting it up, and the way you do it, it’s gonna end up being 45 minutes on screen. And it’s gonna feel like an hour.
Me: How do I—
Producer: Do the opposite: set it up in 10 pages or less, then spend more time on character development. You can weave in the other shit throughout the story, but don’t make people read 35 pages just to set the rules of the game.
He went on for an hour, completely destroying the script, destroying my self-confidence, and destroying my pre-conceived notion that Inception was an awesome film. (they do spend a lot of time explaining everything. And the characters are weak).Tweet