The contest's aim is to seek out and encourage compelling new narratives for the screen, and to introduce the next generation of great screenwriters to today's leading production companies and agencies.
As Wells Root reminds us in one of the original and best books on screenwriting, Writing the Script ; Holt, Rinehart and Winstoneven Romeo and Juliet is a suspense story: And in resolving each crisis, he created another! Which brings me to what I consider to be the first and most important thing to have in a great Thriller screenplay: It has to keep moving and keep revealing new, crucial information and take surprising turns and keep moving some more and never stop until the shocking, yet inevitable end.
Okay, it can stop for a little breather every now and then. This technique is aptly named…Tension and Relief!
We need to stop and take stock of the situation a few times over the course of the story. But then we need to be grabbed, yanked and pulled back into the race. Raymond Chandler understood the need for break-neck pacing and hard-hitting plot points.
Writing serials in detective magazines, there was no time for chit-chat, bub. To this end, he typed on small pieces of paper, forcing himself to reveal a new piece of information on every page. You want to put your Protagonist up a tree and keep throwing stones.
Think of little Clarice Starling in Lambs. Diminutive in size, her male peers tower over her at every turn. But with every setback she keeps fighting. She never gives up. And she cracks the case and takes out the serial killer. Like a strong Protagonist of a Thriller should do, Clarice Starling drives the story with her active decisions.
But this does not mean they can only be reactive; they must be active. Of course, there has to be something unique and dangerous that they are pursuing. Who is Keyser Soze? Who is the one-armed man? Who made the snuff film? You must keep the Reader turning pages, dying to find out the secret behind the big mystery.
Like in The Village when Joaquin Phoenix, our Protagonist, gets stabbed and thus taken out of the action.
This hearkens back to perhaps the most famous Hard Right Turn in cinema — Janet Leigh, also heretofore the Protagonist of the story, being stabbed to death in the shower in Psycho.
The first guy getting sucked into the sky in The Forgotten? Neo getting jacked in to the Matrix for the first time via a port in the back of his skull?
Talk about jaws dropping. But then it became a movie. A big-budget movie starring Jim Carrey released by Paramount Pictures during a particularly gutless period of studio filmmaking in the 90s.
So the horrible decision was made to rewrite the script so that it was apparent right away to the audience that Truman was living in a hour TV show.
This made the film essentially into a Drama, not really a Thriller. Or at least not as much of a Thriller as the writer intended it to be! Still a decent film and a brilliant idea.
But no longer a Thriller with an awe-inspiring Hard Right Turn. It really robbed a lot of the momentum and impact from the story. But the lesson for the screenwriter is to look to the spec script, not the film, for the true, most pure and high-suspense, high-stakes structure of this story.
So go for it. So study up on Thrillers; make sure to watch and analyze a bunch. It helps to stay true to your genre, which means first you need to understand the genre. And a Thriller is its own animal with its own conventions that I believe should be respected and adhered to and the writer needs to have the guts to go to the extremes with their story decisions and suspense-building techniques.
Master Antagonist — a fascinating, brilliant, powerful villain. Compounding Suspense — making it get worse and worse, escalating the conflict, heightening the tension.Script Studio ® was created by a produced writer to take the complexity out of the screenwriting process and is used by many Hollywood professionals.
Its intuitive design is based on the principle of step-outlining which allows you to plan and organize your cinematic structure, develop characters and format your screenplay scene by scene. Joined as an upstart writing in his second language.
A publisher of a literary magazine, a co-editor of literary anthologies, the author of a novel with a major NYC publisher, the author of a hundred plus published stories on 3 continents, and a judge of literary contests.
The PAGE International Screenwriting Awards is a huge competition with a gigantic $25, Grand Prize and a huge number of success stories. Script Pipeline has actually been around for about 15 years and has steadily grown into a family of well regarded screenwriting contests with a number of notable alumni.
The ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship connects emerging screenwriters with award-winning Hollywood mentors and meetings at top studios and companies. T he PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
competition was founded in the fall of Our goal? To discover the most exciting new scripts by up-and-coming writers from across the country and around the world. And due to the success of our winning writers, the PAGE Awards contest has become one of the industry’s top sources for new screenwriting talent, both within the Hollywood.
T he Winners of the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. competition have now been announced.. Our sincere congratulations to each and every one of these extremely talented writers!
Each year, some of Hollywood’s most influential producers, agents, managers, and development executives judge the PAGE Awards contest and read our winning scripts.