Notes from Kate Leys workshop about working on a script:

Have perspective – investigate the story and ask the difficult questions.

Be clear and honest – Look for the things that don’t work.

Read a lot of screenplays – it’s totally different from watching the film.

Causality – everything that happens builds from all that came before.

Unity – everything is unified by the central theme.

Theme – helps build the story.

Use structure – to focus on your theme and story.

Who’s story is it?

What do they want?

Why can’t they just get it?

What do they need to learn / understand / get over?

Go in close, be specific. If you can still ask why? you haven’t gone in close enough.

What happens is less important than why it happens.

It’s the pull between want and need that creates drama. – You can’t always get what you want but you get what you need!

Dramatize the problem, don’t telegraph it.

What does the character have at the end of the story that he doesn’t have at the beginning?



The single most useful thing you can do is tell your story to yourself out loud. Record it and listen back to it. This will help you see the problems.

Tell the story to other people and get them to tell it back to you – see if they’ve picked it up, is it clear, or are they forgetting bits, getting confused, changing things -for the better?


Keep it short – microbudget – 80-85 pages. Studios – 90-100 max