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Allen James Roughton is the Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator, a screenwriter, reader and development researcher who has consulted on over 100 projects, scripts, books, comics and films and conducted research on life stories, exposés, professions and locations for development at major production companies. Nick Assunto is part of the Stage 32 script services team and a repped screenwriter himself. He was previously a reader for the Austin Film Festival, a writer for the 2017 CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, co-host of the Sunday show B.Y.O.T. at UCB, and dabbled in acting, having been featured on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, an eHarmony commercial directed by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst (for real), and is infamously known as Tony, the annoying party member from the 'Four Friends' Elder Scrolls spots. Full Bio »
A great story starts with great characters and every great character starts with a great introduction. We challenged you to create or rewrite a scene where a major character is introduced.
This month, we challenged you to rewrite or polish a scene where a major character is introduced in one of your scripts. You had to think carefully about the characters actual description, what they do in the scene, how others react to them and their presence, their first few lines of dialogue, and anything else that impact their introduction.
We discussed character introductions on the last Breakdown webcast, so be sure to watch that if you want to see how produced screenplays achieve great character introductions, and always remember that what makes a character interesting is the subversion of expectations (creating a unique character) and giving them nuance (most great characters contain both good and bad, and have their reasons for both).
We broke down some of the best submissions received from our writers and discussed best practices on how to break through the sticking points associated with the challenge.
The Write Now Challenge
Can you tell your whole story in just six sentences? This month, we're challenging you to use Pixar's dead-simple approach to outlining to breakdown your story or help you come up with something completely new!
Write Now Challenge: Antihero Character Bios, in which we will hear more about the characters you have created! This month you were challenged to write a character bio for an antihero of your creation. This is unlike any other challenge you've tackled here if you need any last minute inspiration, just revisit the Breakdown Webcast on antiheroes here! As part of this challenge, I will be turning the microphone over to you! If you have submitted your pages and would like to read them for the group, you are more than welcome.
In this challenge, members were asked to tell an entire story, in one page of script, using precisely four scenes. Far too many screenwriters waste pages. Good screenwriting is about making every single sentence count. There shouldn’t be any moment of a movie or television series which isn’t important on some level. The scenes can have dialogue - or no dialogue - depending on what you choose. What is important is that it has a beginning, middle, and an end. When you are done watching the webcast, head on over to the Private Lounge and discuss your favorite submissions!
When your characters each have their own voice, you should be able to tell them apart by their dialogue alone. We challenged you to write a scene removing all character names and descriptions so that each character is distinguishable by their dialogue alone.
Flashbacks Make sure your flashback scenes drive the plot forward, are not more dramatic than the present, reveal information about your character or situation, have a specific point of view.
Whether it’s epic battles between giant robots, a street fight, or someone chasing after the love of their life at the airport, the vast majority of movies and television use at least a bit of action writing. So we are challenged you to write an original or polish a scene with action, and really focus on making those moments of movement pop!