Writing Your First Film Script | On the surface, it seems easy to write a script or screenplay because everyone comprehends the language of cinematic storytelling. Everyone knows the feeling of being able to guess what a character will do next, when the plot will change, or when the monster might be about to crash through the window. This is a natural (and essential) result of watching movies. You know enough about film to be able to write the script, right?
Part of the trick is that screenplays are written as text, and the way they are formatted on the page makes a lot of space. If you’ve ever used a script editor, you know how exciting it is to be typing along and suddenly be ten, twenty, or even 30 pages into the script. Wow, that happened fast.
The dilemma is that scripts are both works of art and technical documents. You could write a heartfelt and original script, but the way you wrote it could make it impossible to make it into a movie. You could have a 150-page script that would only be worth 40 minutes of screen time. Writing a script leaves a lot of room for error because it’s not a story to be read on its own. Instead, it’s a plan for making something much bigger and more complicated. Think about the Frankenstein analogy: it’s one thing to sew the creature together, but it’s another thing to bring it to life.
Things To Know Before Writing Your First Film Script
So how do you put a good creature together? What do you mean? I mean, how do you write a good script? Below you will find a few simple, helpful rules for people just starting in the craft.
Why Is The Plot About The Confrontation Between Good & Evil Not So Bad?
As human beings, we are made up of opposites. Our intentions and desires can be absolutely controversial. At some point, we want good things for ourselves and other people but at another moment, we are driven by destructive desires. What is our true nature? There are different views on this issue. You can pick several good and evil essays to download and read what great minds say about it. Luckily, there are a lot of websites providing free papers with analyses on different topics. Anyway, people have been searching for answers to the questions about good and evil for years, and movies can provide us with some hints.
A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing Your First Script
To make script writing easier, let’s break down this process into methodical steps.
Create A Logline
Logline might be a new word for you. So let’s give it a definition. It’s a one-sentence summary of your story. Basically, it answers a question: what is my plot about? A logline must encompass a major dramatic question of your story. But note, it’s not always posed as a question. If you are not sure about your logline, don’t worry! It can be revised at any time while working towards a final draft of your screenplay.
Make An Outline
Start making an outline by writing down the main events of your screenplay in the right order. There are a few ways to do it: you can just use a traditional outline format on paper or make index cards and place them on a wall. With the second method, it’s easier to manipulate the parts of your outline. Don’t write too much. Each event must be described in a single, short sentence. To avoid numerous rewrites, learn about basic outline structures first.
Build A Treatment
What’s the purpose of treatment? Its main goal is to gauge interest. In short, a script treatment is a beefed-up version of your outline. It is supposed to be read like a short story, so you can also see if it sounds the way you hoped. Writing a treatment is the time when your artistic vision comes into play because at this stage, you are building out your characters and the whole movie world. Be creative!
Work On The Script Content
If you are happy with your treatment, move to the next step. Now you can write your screenplay and here is where the hard work comes in. Remember, your task now is to show, not to tell. It means that you should write in the present tense, adding as many details as possible. Let your wildest ideas flow on the paper and don’t do too much editing while writing. Once you’ve got everything on the page, structure your ideas. It’s also important to adhere to proper formatting for your own convenience.