How do you get into writing screenplays for film?

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Answered by: christopher, An Expert in the Movies Category
Writing screenplays for film can be fun and rewarding even if it never gets to the bigscreen. It is not like writing a novel although some of the same rules apply as far as having your acts. Typically three acts. Beginning middle and end. It is important to set you hook within the first act. This is what propels the story forward. It is a god idea to start with an outline of your story first and have character profiles. Know your characters. Make them real. Your main characters should go through something in the story that will evolve them in some way by the end of the story. Multiple plots are a good way to move the story along. Why are these things happening. Unlike a novel being too descriptive can hurt a screenplay. You always want to write in the here and now. what is happening and why. Let the director decide shot angles and style of shooting. Keep the dialouge fresh and crisp. Listen to people talk when your out in public. Come up with an interesting idead. Something you would want to see. A screenplay is measured by pages. One page typically means one minute of screen time. So a 90 page script equals roughly an hour and a half film. There are many books on the subject of screenwriting. Although I suggest reading screenplays to get a feel for them. read the scripts of movies you've seen and liked. see what changes were made from script to fil and study the format of the screenplay. The right format is everything in a screenplay. There are great programs such as Movie Magic Screenwriter from Wright Bros that retails for roughly 200$ that do all the guess work for you. You can install the program on your computer and it formats the screenplay for you. It takes a bit to get used to but once you've read a couple screenplays you will get the idea. Writing for Hollywood is a climb up a mountain. It is very difficult to sell a screenplay. Don't let that discourage you. If it was easy than everyone would do it. Focus on a good clean preicise story line. Have vibrant original characters and make the reader care about the characters. In script writing every page and every word count. Study film. Learn the three acts. You want to hook your audience in the first eight minutes. Keep them watching or reading. The Writers Store in L.A. has every thing you need to learn about any topic in screenwriting. They can be found online at You can order over the internet and they will be happy to assist you even if your a novice or experienced. Watch alot of film. Ask yourself why was this fil successful? Why did I like it? Did the scenes move forward quickly and efficiantly? You know yourself what makes a good movie from a bad one. Take your time. a good screenplay can often take a year or more to develop and write. 75% of the process is all done in the brain, just thinking, plotting your story, creating a world, playing God and writing screenplays for film.

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