As someone with a passion for writing, you will likely consider attempting to be a screenwriter at one stage. Screenwriting is a challenging but rewarding job.
As someone with a passion for writing, you will likely consider attempting to be a screenwriter at one stage. Screenwriting is a challenging but rewarding job. It allows you to help shape the direction of media platforms such as TV, films, and even podcasts. However, learning how to get started as a screenwriter is more complex than it might first appear.
If you are wondering, ‘How do I become a screenwriter?’ this guide will try to break down some of the information you need to know. Everyone is different, and every country has its path to getting into screenwriter positions. Generally, though, you should try and take the following into account.
How do you become a scriptwriter?
Becoming a screenwriter might sound simple, but the reality is far more challenging. For example, you might hear of people who just fumble and luck their way into the profession. For every person who manages this, though, countless others find it nigh-on impossible to get a start.
To begin with, you are going to need to hold some degree if you want to get a job right out of academia. It would be best if you were looking to study subjects like creative and digital media, film and TV production, creative media production, English, film studies, media studies, and creative writing.
However, you might also wish to further extend your education by getting a degree in psychology or history. This can make it easier for you to sell yourself to companies as a specialist scriptwriter.
It would be best if you also had plenty of practice.
While education needs to be a big part of your journey into learning how to become a scriptwriter, experience, actually writing, is just as useful. If you could find a few opportunities to write without an educational background, some companies will take your experience over someone with more academic leanings.
You should be looking to read as many screenplays as possible to see how the process unfolds. You should also look to start developing a portfolio; this is just as important as your education. Saying you have X degrees in Y subjects is useful; showing how that allows you to write a quality screenplay is more important. Show your quality, do not tell.
Attend networking events
So, how do you become a screenwriter outside of your education and portfolio? Put simply, you need to start networking with people in the industry. You should take the time to look into both online and offline networking events to do with screenwriting. You might find that you can join groups via social media – especially Facebook – that introduce you to other people within the writing world.
However, look for local TV and media productions – including theatres – where you can join. You might find yourself doing a fair amount of volunteer work at this point, but it gets you experience and can make sure you meet people who can help you find a career.
You should also look to create profiles on screenwriting directories such as ScreenSkills. Look to find local companies first and foremost, though. Smaller local productions are more likely to give you a chance than a big-name producer or TV company. Once you get your foot in the door, though, offers can begin to appear like clockwork.
Use the above as a quick guideline to help you work towards how to get started as a screenwriter. Everyone will have their journey, but the above should give you a better chance of being spotted for your talent as much as your academic quality. Good luck!
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