Sunday, May 12, 2013


  1.  Story Concept Checklist


1. Hero – main character (human, animal, machine, etc) on screen most
of time, whose visible motivation drives the plot, and with whom the
audience is deeply involved

2. Identification - Reader must identify with hero. Reader must put
self in character’s shoes, experience emotion through character

3. Motivation – An objective which the hero hopes to achieve by the end
of the story by wanting something. Drives the plot forward. Examples:
finding a treasure, getting the girl, stopping the killer

4. Obstacles – Serious challenges, hurdles, and obstacles in pursuing
motivation. Something has to stand in the way of the main character
reaching their motivation, there must be conflict.

5. Courage – to overcome obstacles. The hero must be frightened of the
obstacles or something must be on stake for the hero. The audience will
stick around to find out is your hero finds what they need or it is

6. A high concept – story idea and title sufficient enough to draw in

7. Originality and familiarity – something never seen before. All
successful contemporary films draw on situations that have been
explored before: disaster movies (Armageddon), gangster movies (Boyz in
the Hood). Your elements must be different enough to grab an audience.
Use from a winner and be ready to defend your idea’s familiarity and

8. Second level of sell and subplots. Second level of sell – gives
story concept added originality and depth; a second story line, of
equal importance to your original story concept, which also involves
your hero and a second, equally important visible motivation for your
hero. Ex: E.T. “alien from outer space” and “boy and his dog” (second
sell). Usually the second sell is love: A married woman fights to lose
weight and meets another man and then loses weight as this new man
gives her confidence to do so (A New Beginning), or better, An
alcoholic actress convicted of murder and trying to prove her
innocence, the second sell is her wanting a relationship with the excop
who helps her (The Morning After) .