Screenwriting

Putting the Script in Script-to-Screen!
Compiled by CUFP President Clea Litewka

1) Get Yourself some Scriptwriting Software
Don’t even try formatting your screenplay on Word. You’ll never get it just right…and you really don’t need to when there are screenwriting programs that do the job for you!

Celtx → Free
www.celtx.com

Final Draft → Definitely Not Free
http://www.finaldraft.com/

2. Watch all you can, but don’t forget to Read Scripts!

For free:
Simply Scripts
Daily Script
Script-O-Rama
Twiz TV
There are a ton of transcripts on this site–you don’t want those. Try the original scripts for shows like Desperate Housewives, The Office, Lost, and Pushing Daisies instead.

For $$:
The Writers Store
Honestly, the most amazing screenwriting resource in the world…
Amazon’s Screenwriting Section
Look for Newmarket’s wonderful Shooting Script Series for titles like American Beauty, Juno, The Shawshank Redemption, Gosford Park, Snatch, and more.
Ebay
Looking for a particular script that isn’t published? Ebay has thousands of originals and reproductions. This is an especially good resource for those who want to read TV scripts.
Bookcity Script Shop
Thousands of film and TV scripts.

3. Join the Screenwriting Community!

Writers Guild of America

Script Magazine
Run by the owners of Final Draft, this great magazine features how-to and questions articles, interviews with famous screenwriters, breakdowns of new release scripts, and more.

4. Get to Know the Industry
Read the trade mags! It’s the best way to find out what kind of scripts are selling, and what scripts aren’t.

Variety

Hollywood Reporter

Nikki Finke on Deadline
Hollywood’s most reviled trade blogger.

5. Take Classes!

In New York City:
At Columbia
Non-film majors should look for Edward Pomerantz and Loren-Paul Caplin’s “Filmwriting for Non-Film Majors” Workshops.

Gotham Writers’ Workshop
Gotham offers a significant discount on Final Draft to those who enroll in Screenwriting or Television Classes. Plus, if paying for classes isn’t your style, Gotham offers free classes open to the public at the beginning of each class session.

One-Time Workshops:
Look through publications like Script Magazine for advertisements about upcoming Master Classes.

Online:
Gotham Writers’ Workshop (again)
UCLA Extension
UCLA Extension is known for its great writing classes, plus, their Writers’ Program is especially known for their sense of community and support. There are classes on UCLA’s campus as well, if you ever find yourself in sunny LA.

6. Write your Script!

7. Get Your Script Read!
The best way to know if your dialogue words is to hear it out loud! Invite your friends over for a reading, and remember to take notes as you listen.

8. Get feedback!
Ask your friends for feedback, or ask CUFP! We are more than happy to give feedback on scripts at any stage in your writing. E-mail us at cufilmproductions@columbia.edu to set up a meeting.

HAPPY WRITING!

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