Movies are all about storytelling, and the script writer, or screenwriter as they’re sometimes called, holds the key to creating compelling tales of adventure, romance and drama that enthrall movie audiences around the world. If you’ve ever considered yourself an aspiring film buff, or want to make money as a writer, becoming a script writer may be the career path for you! Here are seven tips to help you get started on the road to becoming a successful movie script writer.
1) Follow the Industry
If you want to become a movie script writer, the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the industry. The best way to do this is by researching current screenwriters and seeing what they are working on at any given time. Take note of who’s in demand, as well as who has won awards, and do your research on them. See what their process is like, how they get their ideas, how long it takes them to write scripts.
2) Understand the Job
Working as a script writer can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll have the opportunity to tell your story, share knowledge with others and work as part of a team. However, it’s not all fun and games. There are some downsides to being in this industry including low pay, long hours, tight deadlines and high levels of competition.
3) Study and Know the Rules of Screenwriting
In order to become a screenwriter, you need to study the rules of screenwriting and know what is expected of you. Screenwriters are responsible for developing the story, dialogue, characters and plot points that come to life on film. They are typically hired by production companies or studios to work on one project at a time. Writers work closely with directors and other members of the production team in order to ensure their scripts stay true to the director’s vision.
4) Write short films
There are many different ways to get your foot in the door with movie script writing. If you’re interested in writing scripts, there are thousands of books on the craft and plenty of classes that can teach you. The best way to start is by reading scripts, watching movies and analyzing what makes them work well.
5) Write Dialogue That Sells
- Be an Active Viewer
Viewing as many movies as possible is the first step to becoming a movie script writer. You need to know what makes good storytelling and how to create compelling characters and dialogue, so you’ll be able to apply this knowledge when writing your own scripts.
- Read Screenplays
Reading screenplays from popular films will provide insights into how scripts are structured, which will help you with your own writing process.
6) Read Screenplays by Professional Writers
It’s an excellent idea to read screenplays by professional writers as this will help you learn how to write a screenplay, as well as other genres of writing. Read scripts by famous directors, such as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and James Cameron. This will give you plenty of ideas on how to structure your screenplay and what you need to include in order for it to be good enough quality.
7) Practice, practice, practice
- Read scripts. As much as you can get your hands on, from classics to the newest releases.
- Take classes and workshops to learn about screenwriting conventions, formatting, and professional script writing skills.
- Write as much as possible and take notes on what works for you and what doesn’t so that you can refine your own style over time.
- Join screenwriting groups or find an experienced screenwriter who is willing to act as a mentor while you work on refining your craft in private.
If you’re interested in becoming a script writer, start by reading scripts and analyzing them. Then, practice writing original screenplays and submitting them. Finally, make connections with people who work in the industry to get your foot in the door. By following these steps you’ll be well on your way to becoming an established screenwriter!