Bad Guys

Alden Olmsted
8 min readMar 1, 2024

Chapter Eight of my Indie-Film Journal A Virus Ate My Movie!


If you haven’t heard of it and if you can get past the title, you really should purchase the amazingly helpful book, “Your Screenplay Sucks!” by William Akers.

It’s basically 100 questions to ask yourself about your screenplay — oh, and it’s great.

Step 16 is one of my favorites:

“You don’t give your bad guy a bad guy speech.”

In other words, does your bad guy have a moment to share their worldview? A moment to justify why, at least in their own eyes, they’re so bad.

William’s premise is that when the bad guy shares their worldview they become a real person, and not just a threat to the hero. And the more bad they are, the better the hero needs to be to overcome.

It’s such a great and valuable truth.

When opinions of favorite movies come up, after a few standards are tossed into the conversation, there’s always a pause. Then someone says —

“you know Die Hard wouldn’t have been as good without Hans



Alden Olmsted

I was born in a small town in Northern California just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films and travel and write when I can.