Instant Movie: Just Add Jokes
Try brainstorming a movie on your own. Here's a plot that has become a cliché in movies. Bob inherits a fortune from a distant relative, but there is a catch — he has to be married to collect the inheritance. So he has twenty-four hours to find a bride. Break down the plot to its simplest elements:
Bob is introduced as the main character.
He gets a letter asking him to attend a reading of the will.
He finds out about the money and the catch.
He tries many different ways to find someone who will marry him.
He either succeeds or fails.
This is the skeleton of the script. Now add some meat on the bones by asking questions:
How do we meet Bob? Should you show that he is in need of money? Did he just lose his job? Is he being evicted?
What is Bob like? Does he have trouble meeting women? Has he just been dumped? Is his ex his one true love?
How does Bob get the letter and what is his reaction to it? How much information does it reveal? Does he think he's being sued? Should we meet the lawyer and know about the inheritance before or after Bob does?
How does Bob get to the meeting? Is it across town or across the country? Does he walk, drive, or take the bus?
At the meeting, how does Bob react to the news? Are there any other relatives who might have been left out of the will? What are they like?
If Bob fails to get married, what happens to the money? Does the lawyer get it? Does it go to other relatives?
How does Bob try to meet women? Can he tell them about the inheritance or does that violate the terms of the will? How is his ex involved? Is she engaged to someone else?
Does he finally find a bride? Do other relatives complicate things?
If he does get married, are there still complications in getting the marriage license to the lawyer in time? Does he find true love? Does he get the girl of his dreams and the money or does he have to choose between the two?
Those are just a fraction of the questions you should ask yourself. Each answer should lead to more questions, and remember — good questions lead to great comedy. It's all about making the journey to the ending filled with funny and interesting scenes. Look at it this way: you have many choices to make along the way, and every choice is an opportunity to make the movie even funnier.