Everything You Need To Know About Screenwriting As A Career Option

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By Chiranjib Bordoloye, Global Career Counsellor (UCLA Certified)

A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter or scriptwriter) is someone who writes screenplays or scripts for films, television programs, video games etc.

Screenwriters are an integral part of any film because they are responsible for creating the characters and storyline of the film along with writing the dialogues.

They often tend to specialize in a particular genre viz comedy, horror, science fiction etc.

Duties & Responsibilities:

The job generally entails the following duties:

• Research and development of new ideas for original movie screenplays.

• Creation of an initial framework for screenplays.

• Incorporating a story into a script.

• Pitching screenplays and ideas with film executives.

• Brainstorming with producers and directors to edit and adjust the script as needed.

• For an adaptation, screenwriters rewrite and rework existing material with legal permission. However for scripts based on actual events, screenwriters must do research before writing.

Skills & Competencies:

The following skills and qualities are required to be successful in this role:

Writing Skills:  As audience are embracing more quality content, the story becomes the new USP of the film. Hence the ability to write a compelling story along with a strong command of languages is a must for this job.

Observational Skills: Many screenwriters base characters, plot lines, and much of the dialogues of a script on real events, places and people they’ve observed in real life. They must also conduct proper research to avoid discrepancies.

Creativity & Vision: Innovation and creativity are a must. Screenwriters must be able to come up with new innovative ideas for the film. They must also envision what a film might be like beforehand.

Adaptability: When working on a film, screenwriters must work with the producer, director and other team members to adjust the screenplay as needed. 

Interpersonal Skills: They also must be able to effectively pitch their screenplays to producers and directors. 

Education:

Aspiring screenwriters can study about screenwriting in the following institutions:

• T-Series Stageworks Academy, Guwahati

• Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata

• MGR Government Film and Television Institute, Chennai

• Gulshan Kumar Film & Television Institute of India, Noida

• Film and Television Institute of India, Pune

• Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, Communication & Creative Arts, Mumbai

• Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema & Entertainment, Mumbai

• New York Film Academy, New York

• University of Southern California, California

• University of California, Los Angeles, California

and many more…

Next week we will explore another career option. Stay tuned.

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