A hook is the element you add to your script to make what would otherwise be a routine story fresh and original. The hook must be known to the writer and included in the structure before the script is ever written. It is nearly impossible to make it an add-on after the screenplay is done.
The hook is also the device that creates a High Concept story since it adds a twist that movie goers haven't seen before.
In the thriller, “Insomnia,” Al Pacino and his partner fly to Alaska to hunt down a serial killer. Pacino shoots and kills his partner under suspicious circumstances which is witnessed by the serial killer. The serial killer then tries to blackmail Pacino into leaving him alone in exchange for him keeping quiet about what he saw. If that hook wasn't there, this film would just be another generic serial killer flick.
Before you write your first draft, you should brainstorm about creating several hooks for your story. Then pick the one that makes your script compelling, intriguing, and fresh.
- More articles by Steve Kaire
- WHY SPEC SCRIPTS FAIL: No Hooks
- Notes from the Margins: The Difference Between A Hook and A Gimmick
The "Concept" Script:
How to Hook Your Reader in the First-Five Pages How to Write an Intoxicating, Thoroughly Engrossing Opening Scene
Present Your Script’s Concept and Central Conflict in the All-Important First 5 Pages