Atlanta — Do you think you have what it takes to become a screenwriter?
Although there is currently a WGA strike, there is always time for you to hone your skills. AI is starting to take over, but there is nothing better than a real script written by a human.
Follow these tips to perfect that craft.
- Study creative content! When I first started getting into screenwriting, I went online to reread my favorite movie (“Sister Act 2,” an amazing movie!) script. Several websites such as Scriptpdf.com is one fantastic outlet to download pdf files.
- Build a portfolio! Get started writing your own material and making the film. Not everything has to be blockbuster-worthy. You just need to have material that shows you’ve written and filmed material.
- Network! If you're in college and your school offers a Mass Media or Communications department, take full advantage of it. Many of your school's alumni have been in the same place as you before, but they were able to use their creative genius to build something from the ground! Try to connect with them!
- Check out what is going on in your city, and follow events on LinkedIn as well as Eventbrite. Something is always happening In Atlanta, there are events almost every day. Either music videos, or films hiring extras, are great networking opportunities to get your foot in the door, it's also about what you know vs what you know!
- Learn the fundamentals of storytelling, and take script writing classes, if your institution allows it. If it doesn’t, I bet there are many other writers around you. Find a professor and start a writing club.
- Develop good writing habits. Keep a pen or paper around and jot down any idea you have to create a story along it. Write stories you care about, what you want to see, and how you want it to happen. It's your idea so you have the final verdict.
- Finish your script, you will go through many, many rewrites until you have completed it. With each rewrite, you will think of something better than before, trust your intuition, you're the writer, let the keys speak for you.
- Connecting with groups like Black Film Space, Women In Film, Women of Color Filmmakers, African Voices as well as OTV and Reel Sisters is a great place to network. These places offer filmmaking/screenwriting classes. Even utilizing Facebook writing groups is a bonus, they connect you to people who are looking to do the same things as you.
- You can also take up freelance opportunities to make extra cash on the side. Check out Upwork.com, there are always job opportunities posted daily.
- Get materials, software such as Writer Duet, and Final Draft, Final Draft does offer student discounts as well.
Remember, you're in control of the story. It's your vision, take criticism but treat it like it's your baby!
Miracle Trice, (she/her) is from Portland but is an Atlanta-based journalist who covers all aspects of entertainment and culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @miracletb_
Edited by Nykeya Woods