With easier access to cameras and the ability to share your work on YouTube, more & more kids are making movies. Some movies, though, are told way better than others!
Our Top 2 Screenwriting Mistakes.
In our experience, the top 2 mistakes kids make with scriptwriting are:
Top Mistake 1: Don’t Tell Me, Show Me!
A movie is a story told visually, so the first rule of scriptwriting is “show me, don’t tell me.”
Wrong: Fred to Tom: “I’m so angry with you!”
Correct: Fred storms up to Tom, he looks furious, shouts & waves his arms about: “I can’t believe you did that!”
Your audience knows Fred is angry because you have shown them.
Top Mistake 2: Structure Ensures Your Story Makes Sense to Viewers.
The second mistake is structure or, more precisely, a lack of it.
A film must have a beginning, middle and end, and the end must resolve whatever the problem you’ve set up in the beginning.
There are tried and tested formulas including the 3-Act Structure and the Hero’s Journey (which fits neatly into the 3-Act Structure) as models you can use.
It’s a little more complicated than this, but here is an example:
A bad guy steals your iPhone. It has everything important to you on it so you must get it back.
You chase the guy down the road, you fight with him and lose. You keep going, but you keep losing, and it looks like all hope is lost, you’ll lose your phone forever.
You throw a banana peel, the bad guy slips on it, does the most amazing somersault ever seen and by some miracle you catch your phone, flying through the air into your hands, and good triumphs over evil.
This corny example explains how the end resolves the problem that was set up in the beginning.
Training Videos You Can Watch:
After we shot Creative Kids, we put together this little video, featuring Seph McKenna and Emma Buckley, who are both guns at explaining scriptwriting.
Books You Can Read:
Screenwriting For Teens by Christina Hamlett, suitable for kids & teens.