The script and the job of a scriptwriter is probably one of the more unglamorous parts of filmmaking. But nothing could be more crucial. It is perhaps the script that’s the true hero of any successful movie, and the villain of a failed one. In Hollywood, unless the director or an actor happens to be part of the script writing process, the scriptwriter’s name usually dims in public memory.
Hooked on films, I have often been interested to know about screenplays and movie scripts. How is a script structured and how does it translate to the screen? The following five websites are a journey into the world of scriptwriting.
Put together by the famed screenwriting duo of Ted Elliot and Terry Rosario (Aladdin, Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean), the site aims to be an all-in-all source for aspiring screenwriters. The site’s tagline says it as – Professional Secrets for Screenwriters.
So take them as secrets or as insider tips, this site could do with a bookmark or the sheer weight of resources which includes a forum, and more importantly the do’s and don’ts of film writing. A sister blog – Theis also a good read.
There are quite a few other script downloading resources on the web, but this is one of the few constantly kept updated. Along with movie scripts, the site also covers plays, radio scripts, non-English scripts, unproduced scripts etc. An interesting addition is the section on Treatments. Treatments are like stories which broadly explain the theme of the movie and how the story moves forward.
Though not many in number, you can download and read them to find out how the director’s mind worked. The Writer’s Resources Page is full of useful info like a glossary and articles on the scriptwriting process.
Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material during April 1- 30 every year. The content has to be original and can be written as a screenplay, stage play, TV show, short film, or a graphic novel. The script can be an individual effort or attempted by a team. Last year’s entries totaled nearly 400,000 pages submitted by 29,663 writers.
Prizes? As the site says – happiness, creative juices, pride, laughter, bragging rights and a brand-new script. Before you fill the ink for the challenge, check out the Writer’s Resources for loads of tips and guides.
There are lots of online writing apps. RawScripts is specifically for writing scripts in the required structure. Sign in with your Google or Yahoo account and start drafting your first script immediately. The online script writing program makes the job easier by keeping it simple. Script elements like sluglines, character introductions, dialogs etc are automatically prompted as you start creating each scene.
RawScripts also allows you to import and export your scripts and also share them. But the biggest advantage is that you can work on your scripts from anywhere in a secure environment.
If you want to stay desk bound, then Celtix, a 16.5MB free software for Windows, Mac, and Linux is an oft recommended piece of software. Celtix is a complete production system that helps you tell your story in a variety of formats like – film, video, documentary, theatre, comics, advertising, video games, music video, radio, multimedia podcasts etc.
This is an online magazine for scriptwriters and wannabe filmmakers. Though the site is not as full-fledged as the subscription based digital or print version of the Script magazine, the articles are worth a read for behind the scenes look at what exactly goes on in the business.
You have reviews, interviews, multimedia podcasts, meetups etc. The online magazine for scriptwriters also keeps watch on events and competitions. The most informative feature could be the section that focuses on the craft of writing for the screen.
If stitching together words into creative sentences is your hobby, then you can give screenwriting a few pages of effort. There are lots of learning resources on the web. I have just mentioned examples of five varied kinds that can help when you start thinking of your first script. If you have ever tried writing for the screen (or radio) give us a few bytes in the comments.
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