Screenwriters create ideas and bring stories to life through scripts in feature films, television series, animation videos and video games.
As a screenwriter, you might develop your own original ideas or take extracts from a true story, an existing piece such as a novel, a play or a comic book. Usually you won’t be judged on the basis of your educational qualification, but on your storytelling ability and the breadth of your imagination. However, when starting out it is useful to take up a specialized course that will help you develop your skills and understand the concept of how to structure a story into a script or a screenplay which is a critical acumen for this field.
Like any other profession, screenwriting too has to be driven by passion. And if you make your passion a profession, it will incur you nothing but rewards.
What do they do?
Script and screenplay writers are the creative minds behind the story we see in a movie, television series or a play. They give the story a foundation, a skeletal structure and then develop it.
Majority of stories and screenplays typically start with a cast of characters. These characters form the backbone of a script, and without them a story would not be possible. Extensive research is required and each individual character should be developed meticulously. One way to do this is to write the name of a character on a page, along with a short biography for that character. This biography can include the character’s background information, including that character’s goals, ambitions, emotions, and personality quirks.
Once all the characters have been developed, a screenwriter can then start writing the screenplay. Nearly every writer will approach this step differently. Some writers have a tendency to create a detailed outline before they actually start to write. Others may just start writing and develop the story as they go along. Overall, the process can take anywhere from a month to several years. In some cases, a single screenplay might even be a screenwriter’s life work. After the first draft of a screenplay is complete, a screenwriter must revise it thoroughly and edit it. This is usually done over and over again, until the writer finally decides that the script is perfect in every way. When a screenplay is finally complete, the writer will usually attempt to sell it to producers and start paying his/her bills.
- Vast imagination
- Good listening Skills
- Innovation and Creativity
- Good storytelling ability
- Good researching skills
How do I get there?
To pursue a career in screenwriting, you need to be concrete about your goals and ambitions so that you can do justice to your course.
After deciding, you can opt for various diploma courses across the country with screenwriting as a specialization. Popuar institutes like Film and Television Institute of India, RK Films and Media Academy, Institute of Creative Excellence (ICE) are the best options to pursue a course in screenwriting.
Typical day in the life of a Screenwriter
There is no hour to hour schedule for sreenwriters. As a home-based freelance writer you may arrange your own working hours. If you were part of a studio-based writing team, you will have to work according to standard office hours. In either case you would often have strict deadlines to meet.
Working from your home or office base, you would also need to attend occasional meetings with agents, script editors and producers.