Arts & Entertainment

Writing Demo: How to Write a Hook

The Duffer Brothers

Lesson time 27:01 min

Continuing their imaginary Steve and Dustin spin-off concept, Matt and Ross demonstrate how they write an opening hook, and showcase their process for brainstorming, outlining, and scriptwriting under extreme time constraints.

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Topics include: Assignment Write Your Opening Hook


[MUSIC PLAYING] MATT DUFFER (VOICEOVER): We're going to attempt to demo for you in a short period of time how we blue-sky ideas for a scene, how we outline a scene, and then how we take that outline and turn it into a script. - So what we're going to do is we're going to take that made up, unofficial Dustin and Steve spinoff. And we're gonna write what we think would be a cool opening hook for that scene. And this is gonna be real-time and messy, because we really have no idea what we're gonna write. We'll see how this goes, but I think it'll show you guys sort of the process of how we actually write this and also how messy it is and how much time it's gonna take. So, I guess, yeah, without further ado, let's get going. - I'm gonna quickly remind myself of what the story idea is. So "After the events of season three, Dustin intercepts a cryptic message on Cerebro, a message he believes is in fact a communication from his estranged father. A concerned Dustin decides to check in on his dad who lives in Arizona. He recruits his good friend Steve-- and Steve's car, of course-- to assist him in his journey. "However, when Dustin and Steve arrive in Arizona, they find that Dustin's dad is missing and has been, in fact, missing for many months. Turns out that Dustin's dad, very much like his son, loves a good adventure and has set off to find the legendary Lost Dutchman's Mine, the rumored home of a great treasure. "Steve and Dustin now set off to find Dustin's dad as well as the treasure. However, they aren't the only ones looking for this and they soon find themselves embroiled in an adventure involving thieves, treasure hunters, and something else, something lurking in the dark of the mines, something not quite human." [MUSIC PLAYING] The first scene of your script should probably be an opening hook. Right? We want to grab those readers, so we need to do something exciting. So the scene-- you know, it should not be Dustin approaching Steve about his dad. It could be Dustin receiving the cryptic message on his Cerebro. - That's not-- - That's not super exciting. - That's not exciting. If you think about-- think about our pilot script for "Montauk" or "Stranger Things," we didn't actually start with our kids in D&D. What we started with was something in the lab. There's was a fire. There's a dead scientist. There's alarms blaring. We asked a lot of questions. We didn't give a lot of answers. So I think we should do something similar now in a short hook like that-- - Yeah. - --given time constraints. So we're gonna try to come up with something very simple and fast that hopefully gets you hooked into this story. [MUSIC PLAYING] - Normally we would have blue-skied this for weeks. So we're at a slight disadvantage, so don't judge us too much. - Yeah. - But it should be something exciting. So it should probably-- - Yes. ...

About the Instructor

Before they turned our world upside down with "Stranger Things," Matt and Ross Duffer honed their scare tactics on Wayward Pines and their debut thriller, Hidden. Now, the acclaimed showrunners reveal the dark science of creating a monster hit. Craft gripping story arcs, conjure unforgettable characters—like Eleven or Jim Hopper—and turn your raw idea into a pitch for the next big thing to cross over from the other side.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

The Duffer Brothers

Matt and Ross Duffer—the "Stranger Things" masterminds—teach you how they plotted the series from beginning to end, and how you can bring your own idea to life.

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