Why Your First Ten Pages Are Your Most Important

Stage32.com
4 min readMar 6, 2023

As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Although that saying is usually applies to meeting people. It also applies to your script.

That’s why the first ten pages of your script are truly make or break. It can mean the difference between success or pass. The first ten pages not only open your project but also sets the tone, the style, and the promise of what is in store for the reader.

Although film is a visual medium, it is first a written document read by a human. Probably a very busy human with limited time and attention. Most executives, producers, and script readers who will evaluate your project do so quickly. Is this fair? Maybe. Maybe not. But those execs have hundreds of scripts to get through and not enough hours in the day. So, rather than lament the validity of this process, a process that’s not going to change anytime soon, lean into your first ten pages again. Hone them. Streamline them. Every word, every sentence not only introduces your story-it also tells the reader something else. Whether or not to keep reading.

You’ve no doubt worked hard to not only write your story, worked hard to get your script into the right hands. Now you owe yourself and your project to take another look at your first ten pages.

If you read your first ten pages separately as a stand-alone document, do they entice the reader to wonder “what happens next?”

Does the world you’ve built, and the characters you’ve created intrigue the reader? As Stage 32 executive and acquisitions exec turned writer/producer Julie Wentzell Chang explains, the first ten pages must make the reader need to know “what happens next?”

In Julie’s upcoming class How You Can Win Buyers Over In The First 10 Pages Of Your Script, which kicks off Wednesday, September 21, she will share the secret “markers” executives look for in your first ten pages. Since she’s been on the other side of the table and read countless scripts, Julie will share how scripts are evaluated by acquisition executives and what they look for in those first ten pages. As a writer, she…

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