Reading screenplays provides an added benefit—allowing you and your brain to see proper formatting in action.
I was there to teach two classes and help some of my private students pitch, but I also did a lot of pitch coaching to the regular attendees. The Expo is one of the few major opportunities screenwriters have in the United States to pitch their material to Hollywood producers, managers, and agents.
They also offer highly specialized classes on some of the most esoteric and commercial subjects about the craft. The classes that I taught were about the writing aspects of the process, not the pitching part, but after I taught a new class, Writing Concept First, there was a surprising result; one of the students who had been unsuccessfully pitching a romantic comedy found his concept, went to pitch and was immediately asked for the script!
Then, another screenwriter who had also been unsuccessful pitching, took this class, and later, pitched that same script using the new concept he had developed in my class and was asked to submit the script to the production company of a well-known actress.
Finally, another student approached me in the hall and said she had restructured the concept of her script, spoken to her manager who was very excited, and told her she was now ready to pitch. No one was more surprised than I — this writing class helped pitching!
As a result, I thought I would share the techniques I taught in this class that helped these writers make the connection. Writing Concept First is a class about finding the larger, humanistic notions behind a story.
For example, the film, The Godfather, explores the concept of family: I believe that if you walked into a pitch meeting and opened with that line, any producer who makes crime stories is going to want to know what that script is about.
This advice to be more indirect is counter to what you usually hear, which is usually: Just say your pitch straightaway. Instead this is a new and different approach — creating a universal playing field before you pitch so that you and your potential producers, agents, etc. There are three steps to developing material concept first.
I always work with a timer set to 15 minutes and write by hand. In each of the exercises below, allow yourself to go outside and beyond your story. Trace the source of your original inspiration for the idea. How did you come up with the idea?
I was really angry when my friends made fun of me. One day, when I was finally in Paris, I thought, what if I really could go back into the past and live that life? I was torn between entering a traditional marriage or opting out to finish my novel: What would have happened to me if I had known the great writers of the 20s and 30s, or been mentored by someone like Gertrude Stein?Script writing software (also known as screenwriting software) can be buggy and expensive.
Former MGM Stephanie Palmer reviews the top screenwriting apps.
Amazon Storywriter automatically formats your screenplay as you type, so you can focus on the story and skip the busywork. Continue writing, even when you’re offline.
Maximize your productivity by using our installable app when you are off the grid. Sync your work easily to the cloud when you’re back online. Write your screenplay anywhere and seamlessly sync your updates. Learn More. Final Draft is a program made to perform one task with excellence – the writing of a screenplay – by people who support Final Draft users with passion and understanding.
If you want to learn how to write a screenplay, at some point you’ll need script writing software.. When it comes to script writing software/screenwriting software, I have three apps to recommend.
Here’s a quick guide to the best screenwriting software so you can choose what’s right for you. Movie Outline provides professional screenwriting software and analysis of top Hollywood movie scripts for simple story planning and script formatting to help you write a better screenplay.
VERSION ––The latest software based on the Dramatica story development system -- powerful new writing tools for both aspiring writers and established professionals.