As we all know many films are based on books by famous and non-famous authors, but they then have to be adapted so they are suitable for the big screen. This is done by screenwriters who may, or may not be the original authors of the book.
So how do you set about being a screenwriter, and how is it different to ordinary writing? In this blog we try to address the questions and give some pointers on how to be a successful screenwriter.
How to Become a Screenwriter
If you have never written a book or any sort of script then there are certain disciplines that you must adhere to, the same goes for screenwriting, and it has many different nuances than say writing a novel. We continue with the premise that you know how to write, both grammatically and with good punctuation. And we focus on the things you need to develop to write for the screen.
Write a Library of Material
Read research material on screenwriting and then try to build up a library of material, but when you are doing so pick a genre, say Science Fiction, and write three or four scripts on this genre. The reason for this is that if you are successful submitting your work then the agent will want multiple scripts.This means the best time to sell your second piece is immediately after your first, and so on.
Try to develop relationships with any other writers also trying to succeed, find out is there a film festival you could volunteer for, are the classes for writers you could attend? Perhaps there are conferences you could go to that would augment your relationship list.
A high number of first-time screenwriters get hired without having an agent, these opportunities could include writing adverts or marketing material. Working as a writer’s assistant, copywriting or editing work. These menial type jobs are worth doing to get your recognized and to build a portfolio.
If you are not having success by yourself then employ the services of an agent. Agents have contacts and can give you valuable tips and information. You may to show then a portfolio of work that you have already amassed, so your previous menial work has not been in vain.
Having secured an agent, the next step is probably to meet up with producers who might be interested in your work. This is a time consuming and laborious job, but is essential to get your work and name known. You may be asked by these producers to come up with ideas for a project, so be prepared and be ready to take on some script re-writes first.
Develop Your Career
After successfully achieving a project then you need to develop your career, establish yourself as an expert in a particular genre, then when producers have a problem in this genre they will likely turn to you.Going down the route of becoming a screenwriter is hard, you will need perseverance and be prepared to work voluntary and for little pay at first. It is rarely a first script will get accepted by a producer, you will have to be prepared to knock on as many doors as possible, and be patient for your breakthrough.