The Story Behind Some of the
Greatest Screenplays Ever Written
The idea that writing a screenplay takes
6-12 months to complete is just preposterous. In fact, some of the most successful screenplays ever written were completed in just a few days.
Sylvester Stallone was living in utter poverty when he saw an
unknown boxer last nearly 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. The idea for Rocky was born. Stallone wrote the script in just three days
and the rest, as they say, is Hollywood history as the movie became one of the most successful of all time and made Stallone an international superstar.
Kevin Williamson and a friend were reminiscing one night about
popular 1980s horror
movies. The conversation
spawned the idea for what would become the opening scene in Scream with a stalker quizzing his victims on horror movies of the past. Williamson wrote
Scream in just four days. The script created a hot bidding war and made Williamson one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood.
And then there’s
Joe Eszterhas. He came up with the idea of a beautiful crime novelist becoming the suspect in the case of her boyfriend’s murder.
Eszterhas sat down, with no clue how the story would end, and wrote Basic Instinct in just 10 days.
When he was finished, he shipped the script to his agent and sold
it three days later for $3 million.
That means Eszterhas went from having a simple idea to
having $3 million in the bank in just 13 days!
one of the most successful screenwriters ever, loved to write
fast. He wrote National Lampoon's Vacation in seven days,
Ferris Bueller's Day Off in four days, Planes, Trains,
and Automobiles in three days, and The Breakfast Club
in just two days.
Hollywood stories may not be the norm, but they do showcase the
tremendous results some screenwriters have had with screenplays
written at a fast pace.
The next question I so often hear is, “Why should I write a movie in just 10 days?"
This is a logical query. After all, just because something can be done faster doesn’t always mean it
should be done faster.
NO. 1: Spending TOO MUCH time on a
script is actually one of the worst mistakes a screenwriter can
make! It leads to boring, dull, and unoriginal
Rosenberg, the hugely successful writer of Con Air, High
Fidelity, Beautiful Girls, Things to Do in Denver
When You're Dead, and many other top-selling screenplays,
has often pointed out the necessity of being able to write
"I have friends who take six to eight months to
write a script, and I think it's stupid," Rosenberg
said. "You're talking about 120 pages with a lot of
white in them. How can it take you six months to write
that? It should be vomited out as fast as you can manage
to get it out."
The danger with
taking too long to write a script is that writers often
second-guess and tweak every little scene, idea, character, and
line until the screenplay loses all spontaneity and heart.
The result is that these screenplays read like 99% of all the
other screenplays out there - which certainly won't get your
script noticed or sold!
The bottom line is
this: not only can it be annoying and demoralizing to hit a dead
end after working on a script for months on end, but allowing
yourself to spend too much time on a script actually makes your
script worse, not better.
Time to Stop Dreaming and Start Writing!
10-Day Screenplay system is like nothing you've seen
before. Unlike the expensive seminars and college courses
taught by people who have never written or sold a script, The
10-Day Screenplay is based on the techniques used by some of
the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood.
In fact, this
course was created by two people who ACTUALLY write for
I've been earning my living as a
writer for the past 13 years. My brother and the
co-creator of this course, Travis Donnelly, is a successful screenwriter
who has written for hit shows on major networks like NBC and
CBS. He's also sold his own original scripts to major
We know what it takes to launch a
writing career and we created this course for those who want to
do it with screenplays.
The 10-Day Screenplay
is designed to
take you from initial idea to completed screenplay
in 10 days flat!
How does it work?
STEP 1: The 10-Day Screenplay
system evaluates your initial idea with the five requirements
of every great movie idea. Is your idea unique? Is it
big enough? Will it make for a compelling two-hour movie? What
can be done to make your idea bigger and better?
STEP 2: The 10-Day Screenplay
system forces you to flesh
out your characters. Contrary to anything you may have
heard, great characters make great movies. You need to
know your characters and let THEM dictate your plot, NOT the
other way around! Amateur screenwriters come up with
a plot and then plug in forced characters to play it out.
This is a huge mistake and you'll never succeed this way!
STEP 3: Once you have your idea
and your characters, it's time to write your script following The
10-Day Screenplay course. Each day of the course
includes an important lesson on what your story objective should
be for that day along with a manageable writing
assignment. If you simply follow this course, at the
end of the 10 days, you will have a finished script!
The daily story objectives
presented in this course will make sure your movie is
exciting for two whole hours. You don't want a situation
where your movie becomes boring or clichéd halfway
through. You've got to keep the conflict rising and the
action spontaneous. After all, the greatest
characters in the world won't be enjoyable to watch if they
aren't doing interesting things and changing in an important
way. To make sure that your script is loaded with
compelling drama throughout, The 10-Day Screenplay
system walks you through the nine dramatic chapters of every great
NO. 2: Every great movie follows THE
NINE ESSENTIAL CHAPTERS OF DRAMA. If you don't know
what these nine sequential chapters are, you are at a tremendous
disadvantage as a screenwriter.