Writing screenplays and/or developing screenplays costs varying amounts for different productions. For the emerging film maker, it usually costs the producer zero. For the Hollywood studios they will sometimes pay millions for a screenplay from a top writer. Yes, you can get rich just writing screenplays.
When you are starting out, most times you will write your own screenplay or you work in with a fellow student scriptwriter. The Scriptwriter always writes for free at the start. By doing so, the emerging screenwriter creates creditability and improvement.
I was recently at a scriptwriting conference in Los Angeles where there were many experienced scriptwriters presenting. It amazed me that most of the top successful screenwriters had to write 10 full length or more scripts before they got their first big break. Yes that is ten full length screenplays before they made it in Hollywood and most of these screenwriters lived in Hollywood.
So you need to make a decision early on. Do I want to write the screenplays or Do I want to delegate scriptwriting?
I personally think that you should only delegate if you really feel that you are the worlds worst writer and writing is just not one of those things you want to do. You should also delegate if you know an exceptionally talented emerging screenwriter who you are married to or joined at the hip.
I think even if your only intention is to become a full time movie producer and/or film director, you should still start out learning the writing process. Yes you should write your own short film screenplay.
This is so important for this one reason alone. A good producer or director needs to identify a really good screenplay when they read them. There are too many producers picking terrible screenplays that end up manifesting into really bad movies. An original well thought out Story is paramount to a great movie.
Story and Screenplay are two different entities.
- The story is the beat by beat narrative that brings the audience on the journey in the movie.
- The screenplay is a 90 page to 120 page document that only the studio executives , cast and the crew and Production management personal read.
This includes all of the and film students years after the film is released. It is the blueprint for a successful film. So it is paramount as film maker that you learn the process of scriptwriting.
The number one best way to learn how to write scripts is to read original screenplay.
Original screenplays are screenplays that have been written and formatted by the original screenwriter.By Googling Screenplays, you may find many sites that have original screenplays for free.
On the online Film School we will recommend the best sites for original screenplays.
It is so important to learn how to format scripts. Final Draft is a great software package that helps the writer format their script. However it costs about US$200.
If you enroll on our Online Film School you will receive a link to a free scriptwriting software that formats your scripts. Not only that this software will help you storyboard and prepare your film. By enrolling on the online film school, you will save $200 right here. This is the first of many savings for the aspiring film maker.
Thirdly, one needs to know how to brainstorm their story and create three dimensional characters. I often take a long drive with my partner and we will drive to rural areas stop and have a walk and then when the feeling is right brainstorm the story using all the exercises I share with you in the Online Film School.
This is our creative process. Other people I know go to the local bar and over a few beers, they brainstorm the story. Another writer, I know writes all his screenplays in coffee shops. Yet again other writers I know hibernate in a cottage in a rural area and write non stop for a week.
Everyone has a different creative environment or what I call creative microsm Discover yours.
If you want to develop this further, please look at the Online Film School
When it comes to screenwriting, the Online Film School will give you
- Link to a free Scriptwriting formatting software that saves you $200
- Video Tutorial in how to format your screenplay professionally . If you do not do this , your screenplay will never be read by anyone in the professional end of town.
- Seven brainstorming exercises in devloping your story.
- Action plans to write your screeplay effectively.
This section of the Online Film School will improve your writing dramatically and show you how to keep your scriptwriting costs at Zero
Next email in two days on The Casting Process
Colm O’Murchu Director