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Screenplay writers are to the big and small screen what butter is to bread. Both have identities of their own but are more useful when conflated. Writers compose the script for movies, TV programs and commercials.
The majority of script writer commences their careers by writing on speculation or simply, spec which is not intended for any particular director or a studio. Rather, it becomes a testimonial of their skill and is used to showcase their mastery over the subject. Today most of the professional screenplay writers in US are attached to organizations such as Writers Guild of America, which represent them and help them win projects. Screenplay writers should gain knowledge of how to handle the different elements of a script such as action and dialogue.
In a way, the initial years of screenplay writers are shrouded in anxiety, perhaps penury and endless hours of hard work. Many such aspirants work for directors or studios as "script doctors" working to amend existing scripts to suit their tastes and needs. This is a good time for them to prove their caliber, gain experience and build a network of associates who will boost their chosen vocation.
This is also a phase in the lifetime of writers to learn the ropes and face the harsh realities of the rigors of writing screenplays. Script doctoring can be quite lucrative too specially when some of the script writers choose to develop their expertise in this field and guide up-coming novices. Experienced script doctors can then say whether a script will be marketable or not and suggest ways to improvise the work of others.
After years of dedicated efforts, sweat and toil, screenplay writers are able to create a niche for themselves. Often these writers wanting to sell their work compile a few pages of their work in the form of synopsis (1-2 pages), even though it may be incomplete. Similarly treatment (10-30 pages) consists of a short summary of their literary creation. It is advisable for wannabe writers to work in close collaboration with people who are already well established in film or TV industry.
This gives them an added advantage, increases their potential for success and is also educational. Newer projects may be awarded to known screenplay writers. Projects which are sold to studios are outsourced to preferred composers whose skill has already been established. Partnership with the right people in the industry is very fruitful for hopeful script writers in the long run.
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