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30 pages, Avatar, Ex Machina, First Act, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Screenwriting Groups, Star Wars, Table Reads, The Hunger Games, The Lion King, The Matrix, Titanic -

I run one of the largest writers’ groups in Hollywood, with writers at all different skill levels. Every week the group hears 30 pages of a screenplay acted out by professional actors (like a table read), then the rest of the writers in the group gives notes on the pages. As you can probably imagine, people mostly present the first 30 pages of a feature. At this point I have heard nearly 1000 Act One’s, and in this article, I want to discuss what makes an Act One FLY or DIE. There are multiple things you need to accomplish in...

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