Script Doctor

No, no, no. That’s not the way. You gotta get the elements straight first before you’re in any position to start talking about the goddamn structure. Yeah elements – what’s it made of? Number one – backstory: Who are these people, what is this thing, how did they get to be what we’re seeing? Two – time and place: Where the fuck is all this supposed to be? When is it if it’s not now? Three – genre: Don’t piss on other movies, every picture is going to end up using them even a truly fucking brilliant movie that’s the start of a new genre. Four – form: It’s all you’ve got between you and the exit signs; don’t ever forget that. Five – characters: you gotta have some human grit or it don’t mean shit, its just moving puppets on the screen. Six – theme: Gotta be focused, if you can’t tell me in one sentence plus a title, then forget it. Seven – audience: who’s going to want to get out there and drive in their cars to pay to see this irresistible dream of yours? Now, when that’s all there, you think structure: What is the Inciting Incident\ how does this give rise to Progressive Complications\ what is the Crisis\ how is it brought to a Climax\ what is the Resolution of all this? Eighty years of movies in that sequence so don’t fuck with the five-part classic until you’re a real pro – huh? Now go do all this, go take apart fifty movies, go do the work and then come back to me. Give me a script with everything singing, a script that I can’t put down, a script that puts a movie in my head. Plus a check for two thousand dollars and you can have two hours of my time in person or by phone. Anytime.

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