But still, I held back. The hardest part of making a movie isn’t writing a good story. It’s getting someone to fund the process of bringing the story to life (do you have a hundred million dollars lying around to fund a movie?). Fortunately, said the lawyer, he’s friends with several people at a major Hollywood studio. “We have everything we need… except for a great script,” he told me.
“Hmm…” I thought. “Maybe this isn’t a complete waste of time.”
In my experience, most writing projects like this don’t work out, but when they show up, it’s important to give them your best. After all, at the very least, it’s good practice.
How I Learned To Write a Screenplay
In college, I took a class with a veteran film and TV writer, who began the class by writing, “STRUCTURE! STRUCTURE! STRUCTURE!” on the chalkboard in big bold letters. “What’s the most important part of a screenplay?” he would ask at the beginning of nearly every class. It was obvious what he thought: Structure.
Afterward, I wrote three short screenplays, one of them with a producer of MTV’s Made. After getting my mind around the strange formatting, I learned how hard it is to create unique stories in such a compressed form.
But it’s been several years since I tried my hand at writing a screenplay, so before I began working on this new project, I had to re-familiarize myself with the process.
The 5 Steps to Write a Screenplay
Most screenwriting professionals follow these five steps to write a screenplay. While this doesn’t mean you should follow these steps exactly, hopefully, this will be a helpful guide as you write a screenplay of your own.