I asked multi-produced screenwriter Mark Sanderson aka @scriptcat this question:
What’s the most important thing you show in the opening ten pages?
This was his reply:
First ten eh? Get right into the action! Definitely something with the character, who he or she is just from one thing they do or how they act — we know instantly… and their dilemma — and the important characters on the journey. Maybe open with a memorable image – definitely all set up stuff — fewer words the better and more images. Cut into the story in progress – definitely.
I always remember the opening scenes (first minute & a half) of COOL HAND LUKE – says it all about his character for sure.
Hell, I’m just trying to please my producer! But he loved my opening scene in my first draft. The location, atmosphere, character in action doing something specific and “in character” that tells us some of her back story, the antagonist comes into scene and stops her, and we’re off to the races!