Some Quick Screenwriting Tips

Cinema is hailed as the most expensive art-form in the world. It is also amongst few of the youngest industries, with its roots going back to early 20th century. Over the years, cinema has evolved extensively. Many auteurs came who redefined the language of films. From popcorn entertainment to intellectual documentaries, from heart-wrenching dramas to mind-bending science fiction, cinema has seen a lot. Because it is still young, I feel that a lot of the grammar is yet to be written.

Films are a collaborative effort. Hundreds of people work tirelessly day and night for months to constitute an experience of two hours. Screenwriting, as a filmmaking department, plays a crucial role. I will just jot down some quick screenwriting tips that might help you to write better.

  1. Read. Read. Read. Everything from journals, magazines, novels, scripts to columns. The more you expand your horizon of knowledge, the better ideas will emerge.
  2. Watch the greats. Kurosawa, Fellini, Godard, Ray, Tarantino.
  3. It’s a visual medium. Show, don’t tell.
  4. Learn the basic structures of storytelling.
  5. Let the creative juices flow. Screenwriting is as much art, as it is craft.
  6. Never mention camera angles in your script. Let the DOP handle his/her expertise. Focus on your strengths — story, characters, themes, structure, arcs, dialogues.
  7. Consider the screenwriting process as that of architecture. Without a proper floor plan and design, there won’t be any building. It is the genesis, origin and the spiritual department of films.
  8. Use a good screenwriting software. My advice would be The Final Draft.
  9. Don’t bother about the first draft of your screenplay. Keep redrafting and rewriting.
  10. If two people agree with each other in any of the scenes, delete those scenes. Conflict is the skin of every story.

Lastly, don’t quit. Writing for films is a worthy endeavour.

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