Why start with the premise? Because MOST MOVIE FAILURES occur right here! I'm not kidding - getting this step wrong will cost you months, possibly years of work.
So what is it? The Premise is basically that thing you see in TV GUIDE when you see a movie is on. It's the unique identifier for your movie, the "combination of plot and character conveyed in one sentence" (John Truby), and answers 3 questions:
- Who is your main character? (HINT: your most interesting character IS your main character)
- What does he want? (What's the SPECIFIC problem your character needs to solve)
- Why should we care? (Who is effected? What are the stakes? Is it important?)
Learn it, love it, live it.