Screenwriting

 

Introduction

Writing the screenplay is the first step to creating a feature film. Usually a screenwriter will give a brief outline of the story to a major studio. If this is accepted then the script can then be written in full. However, even when a screenplay is completed this does not guarantee that the film itself will be made.

The format of a screenplay is very specific and different to other forms of writing. If it is not written to the correct industry standard then it is likely to be rejected. It gives short descriptions of time and place, as well as character dialogue and actions. It is always written in first person. Those who want to write screenplays should learn the rules of the format.

During the early days of film making screenplays were written on physical type writers. These would then be copied and given out to the cast and crew of the production. However, in modern times screenplays can be written using a number of programmes on a computer. They can even be written using a smart device such as a mobile phone.

Famous Screenwriters

Screenwriters are not as well known as other people in the industry. Actors are often recognised because they are the ones on screen. Directors are also in the spotlight regularly. Those who write the story have more anonymity. Despite this there are a number of famous ones who are lauded for their skills.

Quentin Tarantino is often discussed due to his ingenious use of dialogue. His characters can be seen talking about seemingly incongruous aspects of life and popular culture. This gives them more depth and believability. He also references a number of well known films through his scripts.

Nora Ephron was once considered the greatest writer of romantic comedy movies. She managed to mix real life characters with sweet and funny scenarios. They were not just stories, but also commentaries on modern life.

Charlie Kaufman is popular in the industry because he manages to explore a number of serious subjects. He can do this even when the story itself is comical or silly. His scripts have helped independent films become more widespread in Hollywood. One of his most famous works is the metaphysical comedy Being John Malkovich.