Ultimate Guide for Beginners by Corry Raymond
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Want to become a professional screenwriter? Screenwriters prepare their script in a way that enables readers to envisage the setting, emotion and the way it will work on screen. Be aware, it's a tricky business to get into.
Scriptwriting Guide for Beginners by Corry Raymond
If you have a story full of drama, a cast of exciting characters, and a narrative that fits in a film or a TV show, then you should consider becoming a professional screenwriter. Listen to Corry tell you all about a scriptwriters life👇
What is screenplay?
Writing your own script
How not to start
Meet Your Instructor
What you’ll learn
Character names should be always written in capital letters.
Show don't tell – there's a plot and there's a story in a movie.
In a screenplay, INT means interior and EXT means exterior.
The first thing to start with when writing a scene is a scene heading.
A screenplay is not a storybook – it is a technical document & a blueprint to make a movie.
A screenplay includes all relevant information to all existing parties during a production.
What is a screenplay?
A screenplay is not a storybook but more of a technical document. It is a blueprint for making a movie or tv series which contains information relevant to all the different members of departments across a film's production. A screenplay has to be a specific document which dictates scene length, setting, time of day, direction and special effects. The screenplay elements can change during production but it's necessary to understand if a film is viable or not.
Final Draft is a paid industry standard screenwriting software. You can also find a free online software called Celtx, which formats your script. Corry's advice is to either sign up to Celtx or download Final Draft for your screenwriting. When you start writing a screen, start with the screen heading. Then move on to the action, where you begin describing your scene. Then you can write the dialogues. In this chapter, Corry will explain all the above steps in detail.
You have already heard the practical foundations of writing a screen, but there are some theoretical ones as well. The golden rule of screen telling is: "Show, don't tell". In this chapter, Corry will explain the difference between the plot and the story.
Make it clear to the audience what the story and the plot are. This is where the "show, don't tell" rule comes into play. To show something is to invite the audience to see some details. To tell them something is when you have a character explain what is happening. Corry will tell you an example of both and explain why showing is better than telling.
Writing your script
The best place to start isn't always the story you want to tell but the important scene that has inspired you to start writing. Before writing your script, open your notes and start plotting. It doesn't have to follow the script writing formats at this stage. At this stage, begin with telling, and then when you turn it into a script, that's when you have to find a way to show it.
How not to start
A bad way to start screenwriting is to paint by numbers. If you read anything on story structure don't start with this. Structure is something you add after you have the first draft. Let go of thinking of the final piece when starting your screenwriting. Just get the story down on paper and out of your head. You will rehearse the screen many times later on and during production. Corry will tell you more about how to start your script.
Give unique voices to your characters. They need to feel fully formed and real. You need to know what they would say and how they would react at a given moment. On every screen of the script, the character has an objective, a super objective and an unconscious desire. Corry will explain that in more detail in this episode.
Screen structure is the final step of your screenwriting. Here you will have to look at your scenes and check if they follow the classic scene structure. Listen to Corry teach you all about screen structure in the final chapter of this masterclass.
Director, videographer, scriptwriter, and filmmaker
London, United Kingdom
“The best place to start screenwriting isn't always the story you want to tell but the important scene that has inspired you to start writing.”
If you want to learn more about film production don't miss out on our article about the basics of filmmaking.