What kind of opening am I talking about? One where you allow your artistic skills to take flight.
The first ten pages of a novel, the first ten minutes of a movie, or the first couple slides of a presentation.
Because we're in a new age of media consumption, it's imperative to grab the audience's attention in your opening gambit. You may have purchased a streaming media service like Netflix. For eight bucks a month your eyeballs are free to swim in an endless supply of images.
When I choose a movie and the opening scenes fails to entice me, I simply sample another movie. Screenwriters have know about the importance of openings for ages. So when business people ask me how to improve a presentation, I suggest they take a trip outside the boundaries of business and see how the pros do it.
Check out Erik Bork's guidance for The first 10 pages of a script.
Want to sharpen your opening skills while watching a movie. Pay attention to the opening and final images. What changed?
In Save the Cat, Blake Snyder writes that good screenwriters check their movie math by comparing the opening and final images. Do the images show a change in the character? After all, stories are about change. Stories are about transformation.
Consider Miss Congeniality, starring Sandra Bullock.
Opening Image: Sandra is dressed in sweats, working out with male FBI agents.
Final Image: Sandra is dressed in a dazzling gown, surrounded by women and awarded the Miss Congeniality prize.
The movie math checks out.