The writer is a key role in film. Without them there would be no story. Without a story there would be no producer getting excited about it; pouring his life and soul into it, begging doctors and dentists to give their hard earned money in order to eventually (if not years later) cast, and crew the production that would eventually become the film you see in a theater.
The Writer is the creator and initial visionary of the greatest story that will become the greatest popcorn clutching masterpiece you’ll ever see. Hopefully, if the writer took enough care in his craft; you’ll eventually buy a tshirt to represent the film and maybe even quote it annoyingly around the water cooler at work.
Unfortunately, the way Hollywood works in 2018; writing a feature script and making a zillion dollars is seriously difficult if not impossible unless you have Tarintino on speed dial.
The way screenwriting used to work in the past is you would learn the craft of writing for film (there’s a special way to do it, we’ll post more later). Once you’d know how to write a film, you’d spend months crafting a first draft, then you’d redraft it several times; go through readings where you get people to read it in character; make more changes, then go to a professional script doctor and get any major reworkings out of the way; then after you sell your house, mobile home or van and give up your life. You’d take your script to hollywood. There you’d get a job as a waiter and tell everyone your an aspiring screen writer. Don’t forget to go to Starbucks in the morning and type all hard on your laptop because that’s where you’d meet co-writers.
Okay we’re over exaggerating, it wasn’t exactly like that, but the whole trying to sell your screenplay as a waiter sort of is. First of all it’s all about who you know. It’s all about connections. Then, it’s your story. Is is really good? Like make people read it all the way through good? If it’s not, no one cares.
I heard a story once that an aspiring writer took his script to a big name producers house to get it looked at in hopes of securing an option (a set amount of money paid out temporarily to buy the rights to a story so a producer can turn it into a movie). This writer visits the producers house; hands him the script and the producer says, “thanks, i’ll look at it after I finish these.” He opens a door and there’s literally a room filled to the ceiling with scripts. He just tosses the screenplay on the pile.
Is this a true story? I’m not entirely sure, but it is a fact that there are hundreds of thousands of un-licensed screenplays floating around Hollywood. Unfortunately the big studios are a business and film is a risky business at that. They want to make a film that’s proven to make money. Something like a sequel. A second part of a movie that already made money; like Airbud, that movie about the dog that plays basketball. It made money initially so Hollywood was like: “let’s make a bunch of Airbud movies all about the same dog. It can be the same story with small changes and tweaks. We’ll make them forever until eventually Airbud becomes Lord of The Rings.
They did, and it worked.
Hollywood made reliable money from sequels. They did so well from it that they turned a blind eye to original films. That’s why you’re seeing all these reboots in the cinema. Hollywood is scared of new because new can’t be charted on a spread sheet. Scriptwriting for us aspiring individuals has been left to film and script festivals.
The best advice we can give to the screenwriter is NEVER GIVE UP!
Below you will find some valuable resources for writing your first film; as well as some software that’ll help get the job done:
A lot of scripts. Read as much as you can. The more you read the craft; the more you learn the craft. The better you’ll write as a result. Dive in and start with your favorites. Follow up with a script read by watching the film.
2. ScriptShadow http://scriptshadow.net/
This writer breaks down major films and analyzes how they work or don’t work. Definitely something to look into if you’re serious about this. You’ll want to know want to avoid and get more of what works.
3. Sventh Sanctum Writing Generators https://www.seventhsanctum.com/index-writ.php
If you’re totally at a loss for a topic, it may be a good idea to generate the seed of an idea using something like this. Seventh Sanctum gives you serveral generators. From Legend and Tales to Fantasy name generators. This site has it all.
4. Go into the Story https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/
This was named number one scriptwriting blog by readers digest. A great resource and a must read.
5. Writer Duet https://writerduet.com/
Script Writing Software with industry standard formatting built in. You’re going to need this if you want to write. There’s a bunch of others available out there. Also try CELTX or if you want to buy something. Check out industry standard FinalDraft.
Here’s a list of free script writing software.