Screenwriting : The Perfect Act 1 for Independance Day-like Movie by Habou Adi Said

Habou Adi Said

The Perfect Act 1 for Independance Day-like Movie

Hello Dear Screenwriters,

I am writing an Independance Day-like sci-fi but I have some confusions with the first Act. I am looking for suggestions of the best outline for Act 1 because I have several Ideas.

Act 1 has an introducton, a middle and a conclusion.

For the first ten pages, I will introduce the world, the characters and the context in which the story is happening. I will then end with something intriguing. As e.g, Alien space fighters heading towards a human base(10th page)

I will then introduce a new characters and location and come back to the main character after that. From the 13th page, I will show the alien space fighters attacking the human base and human replying till the 15 th pages which will mark the the inciting incident, the base is destroyed and the main characters receive the information.

The main character study the image of the attack and make a decision.....

On the 20th page; I will show him preparing for war till the 30th page; which will mark the end of the first act with a plot point indicating life will never be the same. Then, starts the confrontationt(Act 2)

Please tell me if this outline is very good and correspond to screenwriting standards.


Pierre Langenegger

It's really hard to comment on an outline, particularly the outline of the first act. It can appear to hit the beats and look good but it really comes down to execution. If you want decent feedback, write the first act and post that.

Habou Adi Said

Thank you for your reply Pierre. I have enough fund to sell my high concept sci-fi screenplay that's why I don't want to take a risk by posting it here. But would you tell me if I am on the good path based on my outline?


Pierre Langenegger

As I said, it's really hard to comment on a rough outline of your first act. In theory, it looks okay but even for clients I don't give feedback on outlines. Anyone can come up with an outline, whether it works in a script or not is another story.

But what do you mean, you have enough fund to sell your screenplay? Are you saying you're going to pay to sell your screenplay? because you know you don't do that, don't you?

Also... there is no risk in posting it here or anywhere else. If you want to sell it, you have to garner attention for it and to do that you have to get it out there for people to see it. It's your choice but don't be afraid to post your work for feedback. Here's one way to look at it, you've just posted the outline for your first act but you seem hesitant to post the first act of your script because I assume you're concerned someone might steal it but in reality, someone can take your rough outline, bang out a script that's executed better than yours and there is nothing you can do about it. Your best defense is to not post an outline but instead write the best script you can, then get feedback to improve it then get that script out there for everyone to see.

Habou Adi Said

Thank you for your reply Pierre. Even though if someone is inspired by my outline, we will not get the same screenplay and my characters are very different. The outline seems okay acording to you.

Dawn Prato

I agree with Pierre Langenegger - the outline seems fine but it comes down to the writing of it. Best of luck with it though :)

Roy Lionheart

good luck, it does come off of I.D but also other film's and TV series that I've seen in the past two years. Question is what make's your's stand out from the crowd?

Christopher Phillips

It’s not really an outline, just a loose sketch of events. It’s not about character nor story. So, everyone is having a hard time giving you feedback.

Habou Adi Said

Thank you all for taking a look. Roy Lionheart, what makes mine stands from the crowd is the respect of three act structure and ID resurgence lacks that. Furethermore, the ending will be like a Rambo movie. It will not be only space fighters and my characters are the reason why viewers would like to watch the movie several times.

Christopher Phillips you're right. I did not want to write something that will give information about my characters and the story. Action tells the story and dialogue reveal characters.


Roy Lionheart

In a story any story there's the introduction of two or three characters, just finishing a murder mystery. 5 page's, they get home have a few day's off and another mystery falls into their lap. Thus mystery is another murder, someone or something is still murdering certain people.

In regards to this one, an idea is one thing but a concept is another. It outlines each character, who's the alien race, what are their motives.

Think of Star Gate, sorry trying not to be rude. Each film and TV has to be carefully thought out.

A while back a fellow actor asked me to write 140 page's. He had no clue just one idea, no story. Only got up to 90 minutes worth, 100 characters and yet he loved it. I have looked it over 10 time's and I'm now rewiring it 10th draft.

All we ask is the first 10 minutes of a story. Try not over populate it. (Single it out with a small group)

(As of the alian fighters, put that at the very beginning. Have them crash land, near a military base. )

I hope that helps.

Habou Adi Said

Thank you for your feedback Roy, I am very good at writing sequence of actions, by reading my screenplay called galactica conflict, you will notice it. The movie simillar to ID was one of my movie that Amazon studio read during 10 days, I know that they were interested but my problem was not respecting the three act structure. Now, I am trying to fix that and make this screenplay as perfect as possible.

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