6 Things To Do Before Writing A Screenplay
1. Learn Screenplay Format. Hollywood expects your script to be in what’s called Studio Format. That means letter-sized paper and 12pt Courier font (at a pitch of 10).
2. Download Screenwriting-Software. Or, of course, you could just pull out your trusty typewriter. Courier, the font, was originally designed by copying an IBM Selectric typewriter ball! Screenplays are supposed to look typewritten. So, if you can’t afford fancy script-writing software, you can do it the old-fashioned way and no one will care.
3. Learn The Three-Act Structure. Roughly 100% of Hollywood films follow the 3-Act Structure. So, if you don’t know that structure backwards and forwards, your script will never get purchased and it will never get shot.
4. Learn Where to Place Your Turning-Points, etc… Your first turning-point should come on roughly page 20, give or take a few pages. Your second turning-point should be perhaps 25 or 30 pages from the end. Your mid-point should come right where you’d expect, in the middle. Et cetera.
5. Watch Movies. As many as you can. With an emphasis on the top movies of all time – in your genre. See what the best film-makers and screenwriters are doing and try to emulate them. Read breakdowns of those films’ story-structures. Pay close attention to how they develop their characters and advance their plots.
6. Make Time. Set aside at least 1 or 200 hours to actually sit down and write your screenplay. Writing a film-script is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared for a lot of long, hard, frustrating work.
For more detailed information about how to write a screenplay, please check out the free online screenwriting course at SCREENPLAY.today.