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Screenwriting – Resources

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In film and television production, so many components and elements are set in motion way before the film director and the talented actors can film the story.


The whole process all starts as a vivid idea in the mind of a creative artist known as the screenwriter. Screenwriting otherwise known as script writing is the creative craft of writing scripts for films or televisions productions. A screenwriter is solely responsible for the creation of the story or script to be used by the film producer during film and television production. This is the most opportune time to start a screenwriting career. With technological breakthroughs in the

film production industry bringing down the cost of movie production and distribution to affordable prices, there will be a robust demand for great scripts—and script writers who can generate them.


The ability to write a screenplay or to write a script calls for absolute discipline, talent, and skill. Screenwriting classes can only ensure an aspiring screenwriter of the skill set required in the field but the other two have to be self-taught and God-given respectively. There is a huge disparity between scripts written by disciplined and talented screenwriters as compared to the ones written by indisciplined and non-talented ones.


What to expect in Screenwriting Courses

In film school, hard work and creative edginess are guaranteed to give a screenwriting degree student an upper hand in class. Although it has been considered a new field in writing modules, with most early screenwriters only pegging their careers on their talent and charisma, screenwriting classes have slowly gained so much popularity with many young people showing interest in this form of creative writing. There are numerous screenwriting courses targeting to equip students with relevant and key skills to ensure that they can write notable and competitor ready scripts. It is not easy to write a screenplay mostly because unlike other forms of creative writing, a screenwriter has to thoroughly work out the plot/story before typing it down. Whether you are about to start writing a lovey-dovey telenovela or an action-filled blockbuster the fundamentals of quality screenplay writing remain unaltered. A screenwriting degree should equip a screenwriter with the five S’s of screenwriting namely Story, Storytelling, structure, sequence, and spine.


Los Angeles has been considered to have some of the world’s best film schools offering immaculate screenwriting courses and degrees with flexible module selections to best fit the students desired interests. Aspiring screenwriters should make a point of undertaking a screenwriting course in order to attain very important knowledge about the different types of screenwriting career opportunities and how to maximize their talents and skills.


Types of screenwriting opportunities

The forms of screenwriting include

  1. Spec script writing – This is general script writing done by a screenwriter whose main agenda is the sale of his original story. It is known as spec script writing because the scripts are mostly written on speculation of a sale. Done by freelance script writers looking for a breakthrough.
  2. Commissioned screenplay – mostly done by renown screenwriters who have been approached by film producers and hired for scriptwriting purposes on an already developed concept.
  3. Feature assignment writing – the most sought-after form of screenwriting. It entails the offering of a feature assignment by a hiring party mostly a production company or producer to a screenwriter for adaptation of an existing concept owned by the prior.
  4. Rewriting and script doctoring – This is the process of editing and rewriting scripts to generate partially revised or doctored content for production. This is the form of screenwriting done by script editors and script doctors.
  5. Television writing – Is a much broader type of screenwriter encompassing most if not all the types of screenwriting. Daily Tv series screenwriting, writing for game shows and scripted reality-shows, and finally, video game writing incorporated into the video game designs.


    • Discussion groups


      national academic mailing list service facilitating discussion, collaboration and communication within the UK academic community and beyond
    • Specialist sites
      BBC Classic TV


      extracts of classic BBC TV and title sequence.
      BBC Nation on Film


      archival clips of a wide range of aspects of British life.
      BBC’s Writers’ Room


      BFI Live


      online video channel exploring film and TV culture. Discover exclusive interviews and expert insights. Unearth unique footage and forgotten favourites. Enjoy new outlooks and different perspectives.
      BFI Mediatheque


      list of films from the National Film and Television Archive which can be viewed for free on site at the BFI Southbank.


      bilingual internet forum for film and philosophy located at the University of Vienna (Austria)
      Creative Archive Licence


      (CLA)- the BBC, BFI , Channel 4 and the Open University set up the Creative Archive Licence Group in April 2005 to make their content available for download under the terms of the CLA, a single, shared user licence scheme for downloading of moving images, audio and stills.


      aims to provide an introduction to the first decade of motion pictures and the developments which help shape cinema as we know it today.
      Europa Film Treasures


      Watch hundreds of the treasures of European cinematographic heritage online. All genres and time periods are on the playbill! From comedy to science fiction, from westerns to animation, from erotic to ethnological movies. Also includes background about each film. Available in several languages. As the site notes, users may experience viewing difficulties due to high traffic. Developed by a film restoration company in collaboration with the legal successors (when they have been identified) and depositories.


      Exposure Festival


      website of Exposure, a UK student film festival dedicated to promoting, celebrating and developing the very best in the country’s filmmaking. The festival takes place annually at the Cornerhouse in Manchester, UK and showcases films in the following categories: drama; documentary; animation; experimental; music video; and under-18. Students on any course in the UK, secondary or post secondary, are welcome to submit films for the festival, and details on how to submit a film are provided on the site.
      Le Festival de Cannes


      Official site of the Cannes International Film Festival.
      Film Making


      The site provides a wide range of information about film and movie making for amateur and independent filmmakers. The site contains frequently asked question pages arranged into various sections, including cinematography, film companies, crew roles, finance, industry, legal issues, post production, production, screenwriting, visual effects, organisations, unions and sounds.
      Film Script Writing


      A website dedicated to scriptwriting. The website contains essays, guides and sample scripts. The character development section contains essays on character research, the villain and character relationships. The sample scripts section contains sample scripts of films such as Pulp Fiction, the Bourne Identity and Alien.


      reviews of films and books with a philosophical perspective.


      Channel 4’s FourDocs site features hundreds of 4 minute documentaries from filmmakers around the world. In addition, its archive features a selection of documentary classics, including John Grierson, Humphrey Jennings, the Free Cinema group and Nick Broomfield – which can be viewed in full online. Click on a-z listing to browse the archive.
      Film Unlimited Preview


      Site maintained by the Guardian, with news, features, interviews and more.
      Film Festivals.com


      from Film Festivals Entertainment Group provides access to information on major film festivals worldwide.
      German Cinema Inc


      Export-Union des Deutschen Films site, to promote German cinema, includes magazine, archive and news.
      Google Video


      search engine for online extracts of wide range of film and television extracts.
      Imperial War Museum Collections


      the online collections of the Museum.
      Independent Television News


      ITN’s Film Library.
      Internet Archive of film materials


      San Francisco based non-profit organisation. [To exit click on the downward arrow next to Back button and select previous page/pages to exit.]
      Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)


      contains a collection of movie scripts and TV transcripts


      live television online, more than 250 channels
      Latin American Cinema


      pages from the WWW virtual Film History library.
      Library of Congress, American memory Project


      historical film source of wide range of multimedia material of American history and culture.
      London Project: the birth of the film business in London




      resource for British based artists’ film and video with clips, new writings, past articles and biographies.
      Mapping the transition from page to screen


      Moving History: an online guide to UK film and television archives in the public sector


      National Archives’ Learning Curve


      archival film material of British and world history. [To exit click on the downward arrow next to Back button and select previous page/pages to exit.]
      The Script Factory Resources


      Shooting People


      Shooting People is run by filmmakers for filmmakers. Set up in November 1998, it is an independent filmmakers’ email network enabling UK filmmakers and screenwriters to share information and advice. Shooting People operates in the United Kingdom and New York.


      is a website where you can watch full-length documentary films for free. Locate and watch over 500 films from established heavyweights or first-time filmmakers on topics such as campus life, environment, health, history, international, life and culture, music and arts, politics, science and nature, sports and hobbies, and women’s issues. Movies include some commercials.


      online resource of avant garde films


      US-based, offers a list of software resources for would-be authors. Features programs for screenplay and theatre writers, as well as conventional fiction.
    • E-journals
      Empire Online


      Encyclopedia of Television


      this is the first edition of the Encyclopedia of the Museum of Broadcast Communications available online. Edited by Horace Newcomb with contributions by academics, scholars and researchers.
      Internet Writing Journal


      The Internet Writing Journal : the Online Magazine for Writers and Booklovers’ was establish in 1997. The content is a combination of reviews, interviews and articles for writers.
      Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media


      this non-sectarian left and feminist publication presents material on film, television, video and related media and cultural analysis. Looking at media in its social and political context. Published irregularly, but about once a year, it includes full text of all issues (back to 1974), analyzing media in relation to class, race, and gender . Covers topics such as China and the China diaspora film, horror films, new worlds of documentary, Internet today, and more.


      an independent, American magazine on the art and business of filmmaking. It was founded in 1993 as a small regional publication in the Pacific Northwest. The website has a news section with the latest headlines and there are featured stories on topics such as screenwriting, producing, directing, acting, and editing. There are archives with selected articles going back to 1993 and a blog and discussion forum.


      Le magazine du cinéma, with links to other French and international sites.


      online journal. Reviews, interviews and informed analyses of film.


      online peer-reviewed online journal of film studies based at the University of Nottingham.
      Screening the Past


      an international refereed electronic journal of visual media and history.
      Senses of Cinema




      The website TwelvePoint.com (12pt) is a subscription site which has replaced ScriptWriter Magazine, the screenwriting journal. Scriptwriter Magazine became TwelvePoint.com on the 1st of July 2008. Supported by the UK Film Council, the site offers the following: articles on scriptwriting; a blog; forums; an archive of many past articles; a ‘beginner guide’ series of articles; a section on contracts; regular industry digest; ‘ink top’ leads; and an ‘ask the agent’ facility. There are also links to useful online resources. Birkbeck Library has a subscription, username and password required.
      World Picture


    • Organisations
      American Film Institute


      British Film Institute


      home site of the BFI, with links to many other sites
      British Board of Film Classification


      includes current news and a searchable archive
      Flow: a critical forum on television and media culture


      London Film School


      This website for the London Film School (LFS), is based at London Metropolitan University.
      Scottish Screen


      Scottish Screen develops, encourages and promotes every aspect of film, television and new media in Scotland.
      Script Factory


      a script development organisation established in 1996 and based in London that works to support screenwriters by finding and developing new screenwriting talent.

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