How To Hook Your Reader In The First 5 Pages

Taught by Regina Lee

$124.50 $249

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

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This Next Level Education class has a 91% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Regina Lee

Producer - HBO, Fox, Starz, CBS

Regina Lee is a film and TV series producer and former studio executive who has worked with writers and talent of all levels to get their projects sold to studios and networks like HBO, FOX, BET, Lifetime, Starz, Universal Pictures, The CW, CBS and more.  he began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she was the primary executive in charge of movies like THE FAST & THE FURIOUS 3, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AMERICAN WEDDING, SEABISCUIT and more. Regina has a deep and accomplished history of elevating projects and helping them find success and understands what it takes for scripts to break through. Full Bio »


Learn what executives look for in the first five pages of your script from a producer with projects at HBO, Universal, Fox, CBS and more.


"I just re-wrote my first five pages based on this class and Regina's incredibly insightful feedback, and wow! What a difference it made. This class is a "must take" Stage 32'ers!"

- Shari F.


The first five pages of your script are perhaps the most important of your entire story. Those initial pages must hook your reader from the very first word and entice them to follow you into the world your story has created. No matter the genre, those first five pages are key.  Whether you’re submitting your script to a screenwriting contest, a manager, an agent, a producer, or director, your job as a writer it to craft those pages in such a way that the reader is compelled to keep reading.  Whether you are writing your first script or your fiftieth, learning to make those first five pages sing is a critical skill.


Your instructor on this journey is Regina Lee. Regina is a film and TV series producer and former studio executive who has worked with writers and talent of all levels to get their projects sold to studios and networks like HBO, FOX, BET, Lifetime, Starz, Universal Pictures, The CW, CBS and more. She recently teamed up with showrunner Rob Thomas (creator of iZOMBIE, VERONICA MARS, PARTY DOWN), Owen Wilson, and Emmy winners of This American Life to sell a pilot to HBO. She began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she was the primary executive in charge of movies like THE FAST & THE FURIOUS 3, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AMERICAN WEDDING, SEABISCUIT and more. Regina has a deep and accomplished history of elevating projects and helping them find success and because she's been both a producer and a studio executive she understands what it takes for scripts to break through.

Over the course of three jam-packed sessions, Regina goes in depth on what NEEDS to happen in your script’s first five pages, what executives are looking for, the typical paradigms for a script’s opening, and how you can give executives what they want to see. You will leave this class with a solid understanding of how to get your reader hooked in only 5 pages or less!


Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Regina is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate.



More Praise for Regina’s Stage 32 Class


"Regina offers great insight. This class instantly made me a better writer.”

- David L.


"Thanks for a wonderful class! Your efforts have been amazing."

-Heather F.


"Great class, very helpful and useful information."

-John R.

What You'll Learn

Part 1 - Introduction: Who is Your Reader & What Are They Thinking

Regina will cover what readers are looking for when they read your material and what their considerations/criteria are as they evaluate the market viability of your project.

  • Regina will introduce herself to the class and talk about her experience in Film and TV.
  • She will go over who will be reading your script as you make your way into the major LA/NY studio and indie film systems and the Hollywood TV system.
  • The discussion will range from screenwriting contest readers, to managers and agents, to producers to financiers, to the actors and directors who bring value to a project.
  • You will learn what it’s like to sit on the other side of the table, which will help your own presentation and strategy.

Part 2 - Effective Paradigms of a Script’s Opening

Regina will go over effective paradigms typically used to open scripts, including teaser openings, openings which set up the protagonist, openings which convey the backstory and mythology of a new world, and openings which are set-pieces unto themselves.

  • Regina will explain these paradigms by referencing popular movies and TV shows for clarity.
  • She will discuss genre expectations, using the opening to fully set-up the protagonist, and using the opening to establish tone.
  • She will also cover how to use the opening to set up protagonists that audiences can relate to and root for.
  • Then she will offer tips on how to better execute the elements that have been discussed.
  • Regina will also go over the previous week’s homework in class and analyze some projects that volunteers put forward for discussion.

Part 3 - Analyzing Well-Executed Openings

Regina will lead the class in analyzing several well-executed openings in both Film and TV, ranging in genre and tone.

  • Students will be given sample scripts of the first 5 pages of successful movies such as The 40 Year-Old Virgin, American Pie, American Beauty, and hit TV show pilots such as The Strain and Grey’s Anatomy.
  • The class will discuss the first 5-10 minutes of movies/shows like Jaws, Jerry Maguire, and Friends.
  • Students will also be given the first 5 pages of a few well-written scripts that have sold to studios, but have not yet been produced.
  • Regina will go over the previous week’s homework in class, which will involve class members writing their own 5-page openings. Volunteers can put forward their own script openings for analysis and discussion.

About Your Instructor

Regina Lee is a film and TV series producer and former studio executive who has worked with writers and talent of all levels to get their projects sold to studios and networks like HBO, FOX, BET, Lifetime, Starz, Universal Pictures, The CW, CBS and more.  he began her executive career at Universal Pictures, where she was the primary executive in charge of movies like THE FAST & THE FURIOUS 3, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AMERICAN WEDDING, SEABISCUIT and more. Regina has a deep and accomplished history of elevating projects and helping them find success and understands what it takes for scripts to break through.


Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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