I’m reading a screenplay by a friend. It’s VERY good. He’s written movies directed by famous directors, as well as movies whose box offices added up to enough money to pay off the national debt of small nations.
And his script is filled with little mistakes that my book tells you you can’t make…
CHARACTER NAMES are capitalized in every paragraph of scene description.
He describes actions and thoughts and feelings in great detail.
He puts parentheticals in the wrong place.
He directs the camera.
And more. Lots of little errors that would make a reader stop reading your script.
But, man oh man, does he keep that reader riveted!!!!
Inciting incident right at page 14. Set up the good guys first. Then introduce the bad guy, and whoa, is he a compelling bad guy! Right away, you feel terrible danger for the good guys. They’re so nice. And the bad guy is SO bad.
Despite the tiny flaws that have nothing to do with storytelling, the script is outta this world excellent. Great dialogue. Great story. And not boring.
So, you don’t HAVE to follow the rules.
You can make mistakes.
So can you.
Just don’t do it until your movies have made hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.