123ArticleOnline Logo
Welcome to 123ArticleOnline.com!

ALL Education >> View Article

How To Break In And Succeed As A Screenwriter

By Expert Author: Jesse Ross

Screenwriting is a competitive trade. To distinguish yourself as a prize-winning writer you need to master organizational skills, take creative risks, and learn how best to present your final product. For the aspiring screenwriter, Tom Lazarus' book, "Secrets of Film Writing" is one of the best. An exceptional screenwriter with five produced screenplays, Lazarus developed this book for beginning writers enrolled in his classes at UCLA.
This article examines a few of the many techniques outlined in "Secrets of Film Writing" and provides examples of screenwriters who succeeded with Tom Lazarus' guidelines.
Master organization and you're closer to producing a stellar screenplay, not a mediocre one. Ask yourself these questions:
1) Does the screenplay have a clear beginning, middle and end?
2) Does the story drift aimlessly or does it make its point successfully?
These may seem like basic questions, yet many screenwriters grapple with organizational problems.
Lazarus addresses this issue in his book; he recommends writers use one of four organizational methods to ensure their screenplays flow smoothly: outlines, treatments, index cards, and scene lists. All four of these tools are equally effective. Writers need to be discreet to decide which organizational crutch best suits their needs.
In writing the screenplay for the Hollywood feature film "Stigmata," Lazarus chose to use a scene list for organizational support since he already had specific ideas about the chronology and action details of his story. To writers who have difficult organizing and prefer a different method, Lazarus says, "Go for it, because no one is going to see it. It's a process. There is no wrong way."
Writing is a process. Great screenwriters take creative risks. Without an interesting story, even the most organized screenplay will be unmarketable. The goal should never be to copy another writer's style; instead exercise your own imagination and experiment with different ways to spark your story.
When Warner Brothers hired Tim McCanlies to adapt Ted Hughes' famous English novel "The Iron Man" for the screen, he struggled with whether he should remain true to Hughes' vision or develop a new story based loosely on the original book's events. McCanlies chose to do something risky and wildly creative; he Americanized "The Iron Man" by setting the story in the 1950s during the Cold War terror and renamed it "The Iron Giant." His calculated risk proved worthwhile. American audiences related to the film and appreciated its examination of an unusual time in their nation's history. Also, English audiences embraced "The Iron Giant" despite its variation from the original English text and awarded it the 2000 BAFTA Award for best feature film.
McCanlies' success lends a valuable lesson: when you risk nothing, you gain nothing. McCanlies, Lazarus, and other successful screenwriters embroil themselves in chances, write creatively, experiment with different ideas, and raise their characters' stakes.
Once you have written an interesting, well-organized screenplay you need to submit your script neatly and according to studio standards. Lazarus warns his UCLA students about several technical errors in script presentation that annoy studio readers. Follow these guidelines:
1) A feature length screenplay should be longer than 95 pages and shorter than 125 pages when you submit it for studio consideration.
2) Don't include a synopsis or character biographies with your script as it gives studio readers an excuse not to review the whole screenplay.
3) Don't put scene numbers on your script until it is sold. This is a rule of the game; readers find scene numbers distracting and use them as an excuse to dub a screenplay "amateur" and unworthy of further consideration.
4) Studio readers prefer to receive scripts bound with circular metal brads. Using folders and binders hog office space and interns may discard scripts unintentionally during spring cleaning.
5) Finally, use one of the many screenwriting programs to help format your script, such as Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft or Script Wizard.

Justice essay uk

Total Views : 48Word Count Appx. : 641See All articles From Author

Education Articles

1. How The Iron Program In Australia Helps Nurses
Author: Arvin Alindogan

2. Sibm Hyderabad: The Springboard To Success
Author: sukanta singha

3. Top Ways To Start A Nursing Career In Australia
Author: Catherine Roberts

4. Specialized Mba Programs: Spearheading The Phase Shift Among Conventional Management Degrees!
Author: Laxman Dadar

5. Learn More On The Best Nursery Petersfield Has!
Author: sylver

6. How To Select A Language Course In Delhi
Author: Discounts Gyan

7. Mba Syllabus, Top Mba Colleges
Author: coursesmba

8. How To Gain The Ibm C2070-981 Certification
Author: Alexa Bliss

9. Studying About C_epmbpc_10 Latest Certification Material
Author: Alexa Bliss

10. Why It Is Said That To Learn Seo And Smo From An Expert And What Benefits Do It Have?
Author: anil kumar

11. How Adobe Cq5 Will Be Helpful In Accelerating Your Career
Author: claireed

12. Introduction To Prince2 Foundation Certification
Author: Graspskills

13. Not Allowed In Lsat
Author: rokyfernandis12

14. What Is Lsat?
Author: rokyfernandis12

15. Avantika University: Spearheading The Shift In Design Centered Education!
Author: Gaurav Peshkar

Login To Account
Login Email:
Forgot Password?
New User?
Sign Up Newsletter
Email Address: