What makes a good inciting incident?

The Inciting Incident: Sinema Screenplay Challenge

The Inciting Incident is Sinema Media’s inaugural screenplay competition. Together in partnership with casting agency Hello Group, acting school Method Acting Asia, publishing house Epigram Books and online interactive and fundraising platform Premise, the competition gathered 73 screenplay submissions revolving around the main theme “comedy“.


The judges for The Inciting Incident are:

Kamil Haque, Founder, Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity
Philothea Liau, Managing Director, Hello Group
Ray Pang, Founder, Premise
Chng Ying Tong, Producer, The Flying Kick Asia


According to Ray Pang, an award winning director, founder of Premise, as well as one of the judges for The Inciting Incident, most of the screenplay entries for the competition have exceeded his expectations, with a good mixture of both local and universal appeal.


The Premise Award

(Credits: Macrovector)

In conjunction with The Inciting Incident competition, Premise is offering an exclusive first ever The Premise Award to a talented scriptwriter. The Premise Award provides the winner with three valuable products – a production of one minute project pitch video (worth S$417), creation of digital marketing assets (worth S$278) and 100 Gold Coins Package for use on (worth S$139).

The Premise Award aims to help kickstart the scriptwriter’s story from paper to screen reality. With the help of The Premise Award, the filmmaker is equipped with a quality project pitch video, marketing assets such as digital artworks on the crowdfunding page, thereby allowing them to tap on the platform to raise funds, pitch to potential investors and grow their fan base for their concept.


What makes a good screenplay?

(Credits: Stories)

“If an engaging page turner screenplay is enjoyable to read, I would never mind the length at all.”
– Ray Pang, founder of Premise TV

A good screenplay is rather subjective. As a writer, one may choose to emphasise on minute details of the story, as compared to developing the story over a typical 3 act story arc.

As a writer-director with experience in a variety of works ranging from short film narratives to feature length tele-movies, Ray strongly believes in the importance of creating details in any script – these details take the form of insights into the world and life the writer is trying to create. He quips that the length of a screenplay is never his concern, as the screenplay forms the basis of any film, he emphasises that the details will draw the audience into the world, and essentially cause them to develop feelings for the characters.


Tips on writing a good screenplay

(Credits: Macrovector)

One of the common mistakes made in writing scripts occur when the writer complicates the plot and introduces multiple small characters with no direction and motivation, causing the readers to be confused and subsequently lose interest in the story.

Tapping on his past experience, Ray shares some quick tips on writing a good screenplay. Firstly, always develop your characters before diving into the screenplay. Many times, writers dash into writing without sufficient planning and character development. Next, do ensure the inciting incident is obvious and provide high stakes in the story which cannot be resolved easily. With high stakes, this poses a challenge to the characters in the story and piques the audience’s interest to follow the story.

With well developed characters and an interesting premise, this is the first step towards developing your screenplay for the screen. Struggling with kickstarting your pet project or building a fan base for your films? Do check out how Premise can help you achieve your goals while allowing you to retain full creative control!


For budding writers who are keen to improve your screenplay, please check out Ray’s proven tips on 5 common mistakes and ways to instantly improve your screenplay.


With 10 finalists shortlisted for the first quarter competition of The Inciting Incident, be sure to stay tuned to a special Facebook live streamed show on Wednesday 18 March, 7:30pm, along with an interesting jury panel discussion on the importance of good scriptwriting.

Till then, always keep writing!


Author: Nikki Ho


Read Next: How can Premise TV helps filmmakers?

Premise TV is an interactive online platform that streams edgy films to genre-driven audiences and allows filmmakers to raise funds and builds a fanbase from it.

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