In this article, we are going to look at the roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter in filmmaking.
According to popular or accepted knowledge, the roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter in filmmaking are to write a screenplay. But I want to also let you know that, there is much more to the craft than that.
Even though the roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter in filmmaking are to write screenplays, there are different ways and approaches each and every one of them takes to reach the much-accepted aim.
Now let’s quickly look at what a screenwriter really does, so we can use that knowledge to discover the real roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter in filmmaking.
What does a screenwriter do?
Every successful movie you have watched in this world began with the idea of just one person or group of persons known as the screenwriter or screenwriters.
Though it’s however sad that the screenwriter is often overlooked when it comes to filmmaking, while all the credits are pushed to the producer, director, DOP, editor, and even the VFX artist.
Technically, everyone has a general idea or understanding of the role and responsibility of a screenwriter. But it is very few those who actually understand the day-to-day process of writing a screenplay.
Simply put, a screenwriter writes screenplay that is used for filmmaking, but this act is not like the usual writing which could involve poetry or literature, thus, you will really get to discover how the role and responsibility of a screenwriter are played out if you read this article to the very end.
And before we analyze the role and responsibility of a screenwriter, let us look at a quick definition of a screenwriter.
Definition of a screenwriter.
A screenwriter is defined as a person or group of persons whose duty is to write content that is interpreted in visual mediums for entertaining or commercial purposes.
Screenwriters usually write screenplays that are used for feature and short films, commercials, TV presentations, video games, etc.
They formulate the storyline and characters as well as create the dialogues that are used by the characters.
Some screenwriters start off their careers as freelancers and write their first few screenplays as a spec scripts.
Spec script is a type of screenplay that is written to either be sold or used as a writing sample for the screenwriter.
And since the overall job of a screenwriter is to come up with a blueprint for an entire film, they have enormous roles and responsibilities to write a great script that will become one of the best films on planet earth.
Again, every screenwriter has a unique way of realizing and building up their story. For some, particular methods are deployed to make the writing easy while others write based on true life stories and experiences.
Now let’s finally get to see the roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter in filmmaking.
The role and responsibility of a screenwriter in filmmaking.
Below are the basic roles and responsibilities of a screenwriter:
- It is the screenwriter who comes up with the themes and ideas for the entire film production or making.
- The screenwriter is also the one who looks for the research background materials that will formulate the entire body of the film.
- The screenwriter also develops plots and characters for the whole storyline.
- The agreed format of a screenplay is also laid out by the screenwriter.
- As a screenwriter, it is your duty to prepare short summaries of all the ideas you have about the film.
- You also have the role and responsibility of selling your ideas or ‘pitch’ to producers as a screenwriter.
- Even while your film is in progress, it is also your duty as a screenwriter to get timely feedback on your work from producers or script editors.
- If a version of the script is needed aside from the one you have already written, it is going to be your role and responsibility as a screenwriter to rewrite the script to the agreed format.
- If you are a freelance screenwriter, you will be the one to handle your own tax and accounts.
Now before you can really carry out these roles and responsibilities as a screenwriter, you must possess certain skills, and that’s what we are going to look on our last subheading for this article.
Skills you need to succeed as a screenwriter.
- You must be good and have knowledge of the English language which is the generally accepted language for writing a screenplay.
- You must also have excellent written communication skills
- Be determined and persistent.
- Have excellent verbal communication skills
- Possess the ability to use your initiative.
- Must also have the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- You must be ambitious and have a desire for success.
- Have the knowledge of media production and communication
- You must be computer literate and also know how to use the screenwriting software packages very well.
As we have seen so far, there are many roles and responsibilities you need to have as a screenwriter.
It truly doesn’t matter how you get to a finished and come up with your first draft, as long as you get there.
What does a screenwriter do? Screenwriters write scripts.
How do they do it? Thats where the roles and responsibilities come to play, and as you have learned from this article, it is now time to gather all the knowledge and get down to writing your very first script.
Or if you have tried writing before and failed, this is the right time and opportunity to start all over again.
And this time I promise you that success is going to be your end of the story.
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