Here’s How You Can Learn Screenplay Writing During The Lockdown and Use Your Creativity Wisely
The pandemic induced lockdowns, despite its multiple negatives, have a few positives as well. The best of those was the sudden excess of time that we had in our hands to learn, explore, and experience new skills that we didn’t have the time for in our otherwise busy lives.
Given that we were no longer strictly adhering to the 9-to-5 schedule of a day job, we could take up classes and acquire new expertise that nurtures our passion and interests.
If writing a screenplay has been your long-held dream, then this is the time that you can utilize to learn how to write a screenplay from the comfort of your home!
Screenwriting is a great way to explore your inner creativity and build on all the new and exciting ideas that might be crowding around in your head. However, much like any profession, screenwriting has certain technicalities and approaches that you need to know and follow.
Given below are the six necessary steps that you can take to begin your journey as a screenwriter.
1. Write Down Your Logline
A logline is a window into your script. It is the single line that holds the key to your story. It is your guiding force while developing your script but also, your script’s elevator pitch.
A logline was traditionally written along the spine of a physical script so that the producers can get a feel of what the story is about and then make their decision for or against reading it.
In modern times, the logline can be seen at the beginning of a screenplay and is often incorporated into the ‘treatment.’ It answers the following questions about the script and is never longer than 50 words –
- How does your protagonist get involved in the story?
- What is the challenge that they face, which works towards moving the plot forward?
- Where does the story exist, and what is its USP?
Your logline should not use the protagonist’s name but would rather have a description of their physical or psychological characteristics.
2. Create Your Outline
We all know how difficult it is to get out of a writer’s block, especially when we are in the middle of our dream project. The best way to combat your writer’s block is to structure your thoughts.
This is where writing down your outline comes to use. The outline of your script encapsulates all the major events that happen throughout and give your efforts a certain direction and flow.
You can jot down the outline in a traditional format over a couple of pages, but we suggest that you create an idea wall and write down the steps on post-its and stick it there. This way, your outline is always in front of your eyes, and you can take a note off as soon as you are done with it.
You can use clear, simple sentences such as ‘Nina takes a flight to England” to serve as indicators for your outline. The main focus of your script should be the pivotal point that shapes the entire direction of the script.
3. Form Your Treatment
The barrier between your script and a producer can be navigated in two steps – a great logline and an engaging treatment. Treatment is nothing but a well-written pitch for your script.
If you have given your producer the 50-word elevator pitch for your script and they have found it interesting, what they need next is the short story version of your screenplay, known as the treatment.
Treatment is generally short – a page or two long at the most – and contains your artistic vision in detail along with how your characters are represented in the story. It is a brilliant way to gauge the interest of a potential financier.
4. Get Down To Writing
Once you have all the groundwork ready, comes the more difficult part of working on the actual screenplay. This is your actual hero and space for you to express your unique and creative storytelling.