Mockler Tips: One-Minute Script Exercise

One-Minute Script Exercise

This writing exercise works well for screenwriters of all levels because it challenges the writer in many areas important to screenwriting such as word economy, image, premise, and storytelling. So much of screenwriting relies on the writer being able to say as much as he or she can in as few words as possible while at the same time developing story, character, and theme.


Go for a walk and take note of all things and people you see. Who do you see in the park or at the hospital or in the school or the doctor’s office or wherever you happen to be? Watch the interactions of the people around you. Make detailed notes. What does their body language say? What do their facial expressions convey? How does the way they dress or the actions they perform provide you with insight into their personalities and relationships?

Next, look for comparisons in these scenes. What does their behaviour remind you of? Are there larger social, economic, religious, or political implications in their actions? Think about the ways you can mine theme from the images you see in the world around you.

One-Minute Script Exercise

1. Write a one-minute film with one location, no dialogue, and no more than three characters.
2. Sound effects may be used, but the story must be told through visuals and action.
3. Ensure that your story is self-contained (avoid writing a scene) and that it has a theme. In other words, your story should mean something outside of itself—it should have a point.
4. The length of your script should not exceed two pages in proper screenwriting format.

Written by Kathryn Mockler

* For more from Kathryn Mockler please go to

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