Let’s look at another great example of how to open a script – both in terms of character and also in terms of location, setting the world. I loved the opening of this script and actually loved the film as well because it paints an immediate, thrilling, chilling, palpable world for us.
In this script, by page 3, we know exactly where we are, what the world is like, and exactly who these guys are. You feel like you could just reach out and touch them. And we like them.
“The Hurt Locker” By Mark Boal; Story by Mark Boal & Kathryn Bigelow
NOTE: This excerpt is intended for educational purposes only.
SEVERAL U.S. INFANTRY SOLDIERS are moving PEDESTRIANS away
from the bag. Another group of SOLDIERS is clearing out all
the shops: bakery, sandwich shop, and a butcher shop.
Next to a parked Humvee, THREE EOD (Explosive Ordinance
Disposal, aka Bomb Squad) SOLDIERS are crouched over a laptop
computer, looking at the screen and the same image of the
metal artillery shell inside the fluttering plastic.
SERGEANT MATT THOMPSON wipes at the sweat on his forehead.
This is summer in the desert and the median temperature on
this bright clear morning is 110 degrees.
It’s to the left.
Thompson tears open a mushy Snicker’s. He is fleshy around
the arms and middle, but there’s real muscle underneath the
flab and truth be told, after so many years in EOD, he’s lost
the need to have a show-off build.
SERGEANT J. T. SANBORN works the joystick on the laptop. He
is a strapping Iowa farm boy, with a thick back from bailing
hay. In contrast to his bulky frame, his face is soft, open,
kind. He has a relaxed demeanor. Which might lead you to
think nothing ever bothers Sanborn. But if you thought that,
you’d be mistaken. Before joining EOD, Sanborn was in
Military Intelligence. He quit. Military Intel was too easy.
Up a little.
Rusty artillery shell now almost full frame.
Closer. I want to see the ojive.
Zoom on the nose cone of the shell.
The third soldier leans in for a better look.
SPECIALIST OWEN ELDRIDGE is a tall, lanky young man, the
youngest of the group. He’s a fighter like the others but
also a reader, and something of a thinker. Eldridge crouches
behind the other two soldiers, sipping a bottle of water,
eyes never leaving the screen.
Push it in.
I can’t get it inside.
Pretend it’s your dick.
I’m pretending it’s your dick.
Eldridge laughs. He clearly likes the two men he’s with.
To download The Hurt Locker script pdf and other Academy Award nominated screenplays, click here.
For more on Character, read Introduce Your Character to the Reader