Screenwriting Advice

Hello fellow students.

My name is Grant. I’m studying at JMC Sydney, I’m a member SRC and part of the February 2015 intake and ftv.jpgtoday I’ll be talking about Screenwriting in the hopes of helping you.

The Idea

Firstly, you need an idea. One idea is great, but having a few different ideas is worthwhile. Try to mix up your ideas with different themes and genres. I had four or more ideas across different genres and that really helped me get the ball rolling. Write about what you know or what you want to do; this personal connection to the subject will get you involved. If you find yourself stuck without an idea or with the idea you’re working on, talk to your lecturer or classmates to drum something up. 


One of the most important things you can do is communicate with your lecturer to make sure you are staying on track with your script. Take the feedback you’re given by your lecturer seriously but don’t take it to heart, what they say is only constructive criticism to help you craft your script and get the best out of your work. Don’t just limit yourself to class time discussions as this can often cause your work stagnate and become harder to work with. The more you think about your idea actively the better.


Also, do yourself a favour and talk about your idea(s) with your classmates. Forming a back and forth dialogue can jostle fresh thoughts that will help you move forward. Don’t get too wrapped up in your own idea such that you ignore the suggestions of others. The biggest favour you can do for yourself is listen to others and using their feedback and suggestions improve on your own work. To put it bluntly some classmates may not like some aspects of your idea or your idea as a whole, but you’re not making it for them. You’re making it for yourself and others of a similar mind. However don’t hold grudges with classmates if they don’t like your idea, in fact take away from that and see if you can change it to something they may like or want to see. And never put down someone else’s work because they didn’t like your idea or you didn’t theirs, everyone is unique in their way of thinking so some people will clash because of that, others will happen because of person dislike but don’t let that form your responses.

Changing your Idea

Finally do not be afraid to change your idea. I made several changes to my script, from characters and their interactions, to story and direction, and the overall theme. Allow these changes to occur, do not struggle against it, in fact I suggest you follow them and see where you go with it. I also went so far as to have multiple copies of my script, one keeping with my original idea and another going with the changes I had made. You may find a suggestion from a classmate or something your lecturer says spark a flame underneath an idea that leads you to develop your script.

Best of luck.

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