So you Wrote a Screenplay but it’s Missing Something

So you Wrote a Screenplay but it’s Missing Something

You could have it all, but without a strong want, you don’t have anything.

Screenplay Documents

Does your story have a “want?”

A blog written by producer Scott Silvester, Riverview Studios

You’re writing a short screenplay. Great! What’s it about? Well, you have this really cool protagonist who does these insane stunts. We’re on board with that.

And he’s not just likable, but relatable. Even better, or so you think.

But the more important question is, what’s it about?

Well, he’s in Vegas, and he dresses in these really cool suits, and talks to all kinds of beautiful women, and drives this red Porsche, and get this… he’s deaf! So it’ll be totally be interesting, right? Maybe.

We’ve seen this happen far too often. We decide to watch a short film. It’s got it all! There are intriguing characters in a beautiful place, the lighting looks perfect, the score is electric, the camera angles are interesting, everyone is beautiful, it’s quirky, it’s witty, but nothing happens. 

But wait, I’ve got it all on the screen. What could possibly be missing?

What does your protagonist want? All that other stuff is important, but it’s not a story. And  Without a want, your protagonist has nowhere to go, we have nothing to root for, and ultimately, we get bored. Without a want, your film really isn’t about anything.

Luke wanted to blow up the Death Star, Dorothy wanted to get home, Rocky wanted to “go the distance” with Apollo. Could you imagine if Luke never left Tatooine, Rocky only talked about being a respected boxer, or Dorothy just sat and chatted with the munchkins for 90 minutes?


Of course there are other things that go into a screenplay, like obstacles, multi-layered characters, rising action, etc. But before it all, we need a want.

And your production is important too. We all love our films to look and sound great, but remember this…

You could have it all, but without a strong want, you don’t have anything.

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