The Screenplay Boink: Part 1, The Pickup Line

March 08, 2012 - by Jeff Freeman

The pickup line is your in. That all important first impression that can make or break you. One line, man... one line.

In the movie, it's the first moment in the story: that first impression that will grab the reader's attention and make them want to hear more. It wants to show the hero in his regular life; the world as it exists before the story changes it. It's not just a fly-through of Anytown USA. It's a specific moment that introduces character, place, time, mood, or any combination of those elements. In it, there's an everyday problem that needs a solution (not to mean that the problem is mundane - in Saving Private Ryan, that everyday problem is a battle).

This pickup line should be fascinating in and of itself. It wants to be a carefully crafted mini-movie that has a beginning, a middle and an end... an end that leads the reader to ask specific questions and read eagerly on for the answers.

Sample Video


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