Explore a Career in Script Writing

9 minute read

How often do we realize the efforts of the people behind the camera? Be it a cameraman, set designer, Film Editing crew, they go unnoticed most of the time, but they are as important to a movie as actors and directors. One of the most important people in the process of filmmaking is a Screen Writer. Whether a movie or a play, the role of scriptwriting is a central one. It is one of the creative career options suitable for those who have an artistic bent of mind. 

What is Script Writing?

The process of writing stories for the screenplay medium is known as script writing. It is the process of recording the characters’ movements, actions, expressions, and dialogue in a screenplay format. Creating a novel, a poem, or an essay is a very different experience from writing a script. Specific formatting strategies are essential to successfully express yourself on the screen. The screenplay structure is utilized to graphically represent the tale. Scriptwriters or screenwriters create material for movies, television, video games, and, increasingly, internet web series. Scriptwriting can be done for pay or on the side with the aim of selling or finding an agency for the screenplay.

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What Does a Script Writer Do?

Scriptwriters bring stories to life by properly and artistically explaining what happens in situations. Typically, they work in the entertainment sector, writing scripts for films, television shows, commercials, and other forms of media. They may also work in academia, teaching others how to develop scripts. 

A scriptwriter’s major responsibility is to write scripts according to the specifications of the writer or producer. In addition to conducting research on source materials, attending brainstorming meetings, interviewing the story creators, and gaining inspiration from other media, this process entails conducting research on source materials, attending brainstorming meetings, interviewing the narrative creators, and more. They may also devote a significant amount of time to developing their own characters and assisting the casting department in finding the proper actors to bring the screenplay to life.

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Writing a Good Script

The nature of a script solely depends on the medium you are writing it for. If it is an audio documentary or a drama, it would require a different approach while script writing for television is altogether different. While writing a script, it is important to know the limitations of a medium. For radio, it would require you to include powerful dialogues that would help the audience to immerse into the story, on the other hand, a TV script has a camera and actor to supplement the story, which exempts you from oversimplifying things. A typical script has a beginning, a conflict, a resolution and a conclusion. Which style of story writing is to be used, is the prerogative of a writer, but it is to be kept in mind that it should have the scope for actualization. 

To get an understanding of how to write a good story here is our detailed blog on story writing.

Scriptwriting Samples

Source: Movie Outline

Skills Required for Script Writing 

Here are the top skills that are required by aspirants for scrip writing:

  • Creative writing skills 
  • Good interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to work under pressure 
  • Language familiarity 
  • Strong command over at least 2 languages or more 
  • Keen observation skills 
  • Consistency 
  • Knowledge 
  • Good imagination power 
  • Networking skills 
  • Persistence 
  • QTP 
  • Unix 
  • SQL

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Education and Eligibility Requirements

For full-time employment as a scriptwriter, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational qualification that is usually required. Many businesses prefer candidates with a degree in English, Journalism, Communications and Media Studies because writing abilities are so important in this field. Scriptwriters and novelists, on the other hand, often need to get writing experience through on-the-job training. Before their work is suitable for publication, they may practice writing and collaborate with more experienced authors and editors.

If aspirants are planning to study script writing courses abroad, then they must make a note of the following:

  • All academic transcripts of the past 
  • Must have completed 10+2 in any stream from a recognized board.
  • If going for a master’s degree, then a bachelor’s degree is required in a relevant field from a recognized university with aggregate marks as per specified by the university.
  • English Language Proficiency proof like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE 
  • SOP
  • LOR
  • Resume/CV
  • Essays 

Explore What is Playwriting?

Top Universities Abroad for Script Writing

Scriptwriting is a craft that needs to be studied and honed. Pursuing Creative Writing courses is one way of going about studying the craft. The courses cover various genres of writing while emphasizing the specific genre of your interest. A number of universities abroad offer courses to help you get advanced knowledge of script writing. The other way of studying it is to join a reputed film school. The art of storytelling forms the core of filmmaking courses which can be pursued at the leading film schools in the world. Some of the best international schools that have dedicated programs in screenwriting/scriptwriting are listed in the table below.

Universities/Institutes/SchoolsLocationCourse Provided 
American Film InstituteUSAMFA Screenwriting
University of California Los AngelesUSAMFA Screenwriting
Columbia UniversityUSAMFA Screenwriting & Directing
Toronto Film SchoolCanadaWriting for Film and TV Diploma
University of British ColumbiaCanadaMFA Film Production and Creative Writing
Lodz Film SchoolPolandMA Screenwriting
London Film SchoolUKMA Screenwriting
National Film and Television SchoolUKMA Screenwriting
Auckland University of TechnologyNew ZealandMA Creative Writing for Screenwriters
La FemisFrance1 Year Screenwriting Workshop)

Top Colleges in India 

Here is a list of some of the most renowned and top colleges in India that are providing courses related to script writing or screenplay writing to aspiring writers:

  1. MIT School of Film and Television, Pune 
  2. AAFT – Asian Academy of Film And Television, Noida 
  3. MGR Government Film and Television Institute, Chennai
  4. Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore 
  5. Garware Institute of Career Education and Development, University of Mumbai
  6. Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune 
  7. Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment, Mumbai 
  8. Ramoji Academy of Film and Television, Hyderabad
  9. Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, Communication and Creative Arts, Mumbai 
  10. ZIMA – Zee Institute of Media Arts, Jaipur

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Top Online Courses for Script Writers

Sometimes it’s just preferable to spend the entire day in your pajamas and do things in comfort and at your own pace. Hence we have gathered some of the best script writing online certified courses from various online platforms to assist you to develop in your career. So, if you’re looking to improve your script-writing skills, these courses may be able to assist you.

Script Writing Courses Link 
Productivity Hacks for Writers (Writing Mastery)Udemy 
Research Methods for Writersed2go
Write a Book! Creative Writing Skills for Beginner WritersUdemy 
Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writersed2go
Fiction for Young Writers (Writing Mastery)Udemy 
Conquering Writer’s Block (Writing Mastery)Udemy 
Beginning Writer’s Workshoped2go
Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)Coursera 
Complete YouTube Course: Audio and Video Production at HomeUdemy 
Complete Video Creation, Video Marketing, & YouTube MASTERYUdemy 

Difference between Screenwriting and Script Writing

As a writer, you might have a question like: is there a difference between scriptwriting and screenwriting?

The main difference between these two terms is that script is used in several different mediums. A script can be used to write drama or comedy. But when talking about screenplays, it relates strictly to visual media such as movies, television shows, and video games. A screenplay is an outline of strictly a television or movie show. It has all the details about the story and its characters.

In screenwriting, the script always comes before making something visual. The screenwriter’s job is to make sure that every word counts for its visual representation. By using words and sentences in a precise way, it can create powerful visuals that will appear on the screen.

Screenwriting is the art of writing for the cinema. It is a profession in which the author uses a variety of techniques to convey information to an audience. Dialogue, action, and description are all used to create visual images in the reader’s mind. These images are the “movie” in which they are imagining while they read the screenplay.

The screenplay is a story told with great economy, as it has to hold the interest of a reader while simultaneously providing appropriate instructions for how to film it. The author must make every sentence count, and each shot tells its own story.

Screenplays vary greatly in length, but many run 100-120 pages. The screenplay is generally not printed with on-screen directions, because these would be distracting to the reader during shooting. If a director or actor has questions about what is being said or done, he or she may ask questions during shooting or request that handwritten notes be added later.

Screenwriters create the “movie” of a book with the correct format, structure, and techniques to tell a story. This lesson contains sample scripts that demonstrate the format of a screenplay.

“Film is a visual medium,” says Bobby Moresco, screenwriter for Crash and Million Dollar Baby. “And if you can’t see it, you can’t do it.” Screenwriters use words to help an audience see what’s happening in a story. Scriptwriting is one of the most challenging forms of writing because it’s difficult to describe the action in words alone.

How to Develop a Great Idea and Produce a Scriptwriting Gem!

To write a screenplay you must be able to imagine the story, characters, and dialogue clearly in your mind. A good idea for a movie is one that can be imagined, and easily written down as a screenplay. If a story is so complicated that it involves too much dialogue or is difficult to follow, then it will not make a good movie. So how do we come up with great ideas for movies?

One way of doing this is to use an existing movie as the source of our idea. We can take the basic premise of an existing movie and think of ways that the story could be changed. For example, if we liked the basic premise of “Romeo and Juliet” but wanted to make it into a comedy, we could use this as the starting point for our new screenplay. Or perhaps it is not necessary to change anything about the original story and we just come up with another subject matter (like “Romeo and Juliet” but set in space!)

When deciding on a topic for your screenplay, think about things that have universal appeal. 

Another way to get ideas for screenplays is to write about things that you know about or have experienced yourself. 

Pitching your screenplay is another essential skill you need to master if you want to sell your script and get it produced into a movie. This can be quite tricky so I will include tips and techniques on how to pitch your work so that it has maximum impact.

Free Script Writing Software

You may not want to spend a lot of money on high-end software to get started with scrip writing. Instead, you can begin practicing scriptwriting with these free options, which offer the same experience as expensive tools.

  • Arc Studio Pro 
  • Fountain 
  • Trelby 
  • Kit Scenarist 
  • Drama Queen 

Salary Trend 

A scriptwriter’s salary cannot be estimated on a monthly basis because it is directly proportional to the number of projects one may receive. However, the remuneration is also determined by how the scriptwriter charges for writing scripts, such as on an hourly or project basis. To give you a fair idea, the estimated average salary of a scriptwriter after completing a relevant scriptwriting course and acquiring all of the required expertise is listed below.

INR 8 to 10 Lakhs per annum INR 1.5 to 2 Lakhs per annum 
Maximum salary INR 8 to 10 Lakhs per annum 
Average Salary INR 4 to 5 lakhs per annum 

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What is scriptwriting?

The process of writing stories for the screenplay medium is known as script writing. It is the process of recording the characters’ movements, actions, expressions, and dialogue in a screenplay format. Creating a novel, a poem, or an essay is a very different experience from writing a script.

What are the skills required for scriptwriting?

Creative writing skills
Good interpersonal skills
Ability to work under pressure
Language familiarity
Strong command over at least 2 languages or more
Keen observation skills
Good imagination power

Which is the best college for scriptwriting in India?

MIT School of Film and Television, Pune 
AAFT – Asian Academy of Film And Television, Noida 
MGR Government Film and Television Institute, Chennai
Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya, Indore 
Garware Institute of Career Education and Development, University of Mumbai

Once you master the art of script writing and you establish contacts in the industry, you are likely to find a range of opportunities as the demand. If you are looking for courses abroad, our experts at Leverage Edu can help you choose the best course and the best-fit university with the help of our AI Course Finder. Book your first free 30-minute counseling session with us at 1800 57 2000.

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