Screenwriters come up with stories, characters and dialogues for films and TV shows, creating scripts that guide the work of directors, actors, artists, and technicians.
Author: Institute for Career Research
ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING, GLAMOROUS and high earnings careers in the 21st century is screen-writing. The field includes screen-writers (also called scriptwriters and scriptwriting journalists) who write for movies, television and video productions, as well as some playwrights (or dramatists) who write for live theater and the movies. Screenwriters come up with stories, characters and dialogues for films and TV shows, creating scripts that guide the work of directors, actors, artists, and technicians. Screenwriters may work in the major entertainment centers of Hollywood and New York City. Some work in other cities and towns, creating scripts for radio broadcasts, corporate sales presentations, advertising and instructional videos, nonprofit fundraisers, web-based series, political presentations, and video games. Would you make a good screenwriter? Talent - creativity, imagination, the ability to tell a good story - is the most important qualification. Then you add specialized training in writing screenplays (movies) and teleplays (TV). It takes plenty of practice and experience to hone your writing skills, so expect to spend many hours writing and rewriting scripts. Personal traits are also important. Are you an innovative writer who enjoys the creative process? Do you love the movies, TV and other media? Could you work well in a collaborative environment, teaming with fellow writers to draft and revise a script? Can you handle constructive criticism - and even rejection? Are you persistent? If so, you could be successful in a screenwriting career. A college degree is not required, but is typically helpful to get started. Some writers major in screenwriting, film production, or creative writing in college, while other scriptwriters study topics far removed from the arts. The most important factor is your ability to write, so take writing classes, practice your craft, and build up a portfolio of your own scripts. Screenwriters may work for major production studios, local television and radio stations, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, or advertising agencies. Television writers are typically employees of a production house or studio, working as part of a team that creates each week's episode for a series. Film screenwriters are usually self-employed freelancers who are represented by agents. They may come up with their own ideas for films and sell scripts to producers; adapt novels or other existing works for the cinema; or work as "script doctors" to revise an existing script to meet the specific needs of a producer and/or director. It is not easy to break into screenwriting. Competition among talented writers is fierce for the limited amount of work available. You need talent and determination to succeed, but if you are willing to spend the necessary time studying the industry and learning how to write a good screenplay, you can achieve the personal and professional satisfaction that accompanies the role of a successful screenwriter."