Last week news hit that the sequel to the Disney/Pixar film THE INCREDIBLES is in the works (which means it’s quite a ways out) so to hold us over, why not take a look at the 1st 10 pages of a fantastic opening chock full of incredible set ups?
But first some not so super news for screenwriters. Sadly, last week brought some more news (or something like it). An out of work producer with a massive database of aspiring screenwriters sent out some spam, offering to read your 1st 10 pages for the ridiculous fee of $297. But that’s not all, you and 9 other schmucks get to chat about each others pages with him in a troll meets troll under the bridge sort of way. The offer has since been watered down with a payment plan and a discount deal without the other 9 schmucks and just one for only $97. I hope with all of my heart that none of my readers were taken by the snake oil, but because the 1st 10 pages is near and dear to me, I put out an offer to some of my followers and on Stage 32 — to read the 1st 10 responders 1st 10 pages for free and provide notes that I promise will make your script open better. So here my dear readers I offer the same, shoot me a comment or hit the contact button and we’ll go from there.
Onward… speaking of Stage 32, there are some fantastic opportunities over there for screenwriters, for work, pitching, webinars and networking — yes the dreaded networking a writer must do in this day and age. But how? I’m in BFE you say? Check out a Stage 32 webinar on sale through Sunday that is specifically geared to helping screenwriters network (and it’s not a scam, for less than a tank of gas you can be on your way to having the goods)
Now for the INCREDIBLE stuff:
I realized something as I was compiling this list. In all of the PIXAR fundamentals that have floating across the interwebs this one thing has gone unmentioned but it is probably the one thing that makes PIXAR characters so endearing that we want to follow them over and over forevermore; all of their characters are self-deprecating but they don’t know they are especially in the way that most comedians do. It’s hard to do, make a character speak in a way that is humorously critical about yourself, and not know you’re doing it. But they all do — it’s especially apparent in these opening pages of THE INCREDIBLES.
It’s worth noting that this script is around 130 pages (a pittance to NEMO’s over 140 pages) but nonetheless it gets the job done that all scripts need to in the 1st 10 pages. Here’s the breakdown:
- Pg 1 Mr. Incredible tough but technically challenged so he’s not perfect – and who wants the pressure of being a super all the time. Elastigirl may be a super but she’s a girl at heart ( likes to shop)
- Into page 2 Frozone doesn’t need the baggage of a girl’s alter ego. Then we get another layer of these super players
- Pg 2 Mr. Incredible wants a break, can’t things just stay fixed for a little while? Elastigirl, isn’t about to step aside while the men save the world. And then half way into the second page, the action starts; Mr. Incredible saving Municiberg, he’s pressed for time but we don’t know why.
- Pg 3 he transforms from Bob into Mr. Incredible
- Pg 4 he’s so reliable and loved an old lady thinks nothing of interrupting his pursuit to have him save a cat, he does so and stops the bad guy.
- Pg 5 he’s still pressed for time, but can stop one more robbery. Buddy introduces him self as Incrediboy and gets ejected.
- Pg 6 He makes it to the robbery and Elastigirl is there too, her abilities are showcased.
- Pg 7 the banter, he works alone, but asks her what she’s doing later, she has a previous engagement. The subtext is obvious but it is smart for these characters. Then Frozone displays his abilities.
- Pg 8 Frozone asks, shouldn’t he be getting ready? I’ve go time to save this jumper 1st
- Pg 9 a beeping — a bomb. Bomb voyage! Another beep, Incrediboy has a bomb on his cape unbeknownst to him! He’s to busy boasting his invented rocket boots to make up for his lack of super powers.
- Pg 10 Incredible saves Incrediboy, stops a train wreck, and on pg 12 makes to his wedding.
This is in fact, Super hero efficiency of the first 10 pages
Every page effortlessly progresses to the next, sets up the key characters, and many layers of the plot to come (as well as these players’ inner turmoils)
May all of your openings be so INCREDIBLE .