The Wrong Way To End A Screenplay by Gordy Hoffman

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: What would you say is the most common, over-used way to end a script?

Gordy Hoffman, Founder/Judge of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition:  What would that be? A common way to end a script? I don’t think there’s a real common way. I think the endings that are problematic and maybe a better question…I think it usually is when a character does something against their own motives, the motives that you just defined for them earlier in the movie that go against their character. So they do something like that, a choice at the end that makes it like Wait a minute? Did that just happen? You don’t expect them to do something like that. Or something where there is some sort of fantastic ending that doesn’t do anything, something that is implausible, something that is unlikely. Again a character doing something unreasonable in those circumstances. I mean you can look at GET OUT. GET OUT was a masterpiece and the only thing that was probably problematic for some people and this is a ***massive spoiler alert***.  If you have not seen GET OUT, stop watching this and if you’re watching this video, you should have already watched GET OUT. You want to go and watch GET OUT so you can come back and watch this movie.

So there is your spoiler alert. But at the end of GET OUT when his friend shows up who is the security guard it seems like something that was unreasonable and not logical and I think the filmmaker probably recognized that but he had built up so much goodwill with us that I was willing to accept that a TSA agent (he was a TSA agent) was able to some how find him and I suspended my disbelief. But that is a perfect example of a film that is a masterpiece. But even how to end it and I believe his original ending was something much darker and they decided not to do that and so he came up with something else. He probably didn’t choose that original ending because of a logic issue, because he had so much control over logic in that picture but at the end he did choose something where we had to suspend his disbelief a little bit. But when the goodwill has been built up by the writer so much and the filmmaker/storyteller then we can sort of forgive it and we did sort of forgive it. Some people maybe not, but I did. I said Maybe that’s a little…but it is in the realm of possibility that the TSA guy could some how track him and find him and I could let that go.

So I think the common problems often involve logic and characters doing something (motives and decisions) that are out of character and within the character…Wait? Why’d they do that? Why would they make the decision? And to get out of the movie.


Question For The Viewers: Do you have any tips for writing a great ending?

Watch the video interview on Youtube here





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