01 June, 2011

Movie Checklist

Here's a quick Movie Checklist - make sure you know the answers to these questions before you write your treatment.

  • Title:
  • Genre:
  • Goal:
  • Arc:
  • What’s the wound/flaw which has prevented my character from achieving this arc before the beginning of this story?
  • How does my characters appearance/speech/environment change to reflect this character arc?
  • Character’s name:
  • Rough age:
  • Poor/middle/rich:
  • Expertise of the movie:
  • Intriguing relationship in the film:
  • How does this relationship change as my character moves through his/her character arc?
  • What is the hook? Describe the front titles sequence.
  • What am I going to set up in the first ten pages?
  • What’s the inciting incident and how is this going to be shown in a dramatic way on screen?
  • What’s my character’s problem at the end of Act I?
  • What’s my character’s goal at the end the beginning of Act 2?
  • What’s my character’s plan to achieve this goal at the beginning of Act 2?
  • Make a list of things which are going to go wrong.
  • How does my character’s plan change as he/she’s confronted with each obstacle?
  • At the mid-point on page 60, what happens in the scene during which my character realises ‘there’s no turning back’ on his/her character arc.
  • By page 75, what’s the list of things that have gone wrong so that my character is feeling as hopeless, miserable as I can possible make him/her? The death scene, do I need one?
  • At the beginning of Act 3, what final, incredible plan does my character make not only to save himself or herself, but, now, to save the community, the world, in fact the entire universe?
  • What’s the amazing climactic sequence at the end of the film?
  • What’s my character’s reward for achieving his/her character arc?
  • What happens in the ‘breathing space’ end credits sequence?
  • What the point of my film? What’s it say about the world in which we live? What’s the premise?
  • My film described in three short sentences.