Writing is a form of art; a great art, in fact. It is both learnt and innate. The passion for writing, some say, is a natural tendency, and learning and experience can polish the skills further. It is a powerful art, for the words have more power and more influence on human mind than anything else has. It is perhaps for this reason it is said that the pen is mightier than sword. Words can move you in ways that nothing else can. No force is perhaps more powerful to man than words. For some writing is a precipitation of their life experiences, where life remain the sole source of insight, wisdom and emotions. For others, it is a creation of a whole new world, where they can play god. Anyway, whichever the way the things are written, the bottom line remains the words have immense power and full justice should be done with it. Screenwriting, which is also known as script-writing, is actually the art and skill of writing the drafts or scripts for television dramas or feature films. It is often done as a freelance profession.
The jobs of the screenwriter include research on the story, developing an idea, and writing the whole plot. Screenwriters can be a decisive factor for the success or failure of a screen project. They have a great influence over the creative direction of the play. Emotional impact too is decided how much of emotions are being put into the script by the writer. The whole finished play and its influence, in fact, on the audience is a product of a good screen-writing. The screen-writers either work on some original idea formed in their brain, or they are asked by the producers to create a play out of some particular concept they give, or some inspiring true story, some already existing screen work or a literary play or some story based on some novel etc.
Different types of Screen-writing
Writing on speculation
In the entertainment industry, the screenwriting can be of various types. Screen-writers may be hired to produce some work on a given concept, or they may independently write a script and then sell it to some producer. Spec Script Writing is one of the kinds of screen-writing, which is often very commonly practiced. Writers write scripts, without the incentive of a commission or a backing of some production house, which is totally on speculation. The content is totally on the discretion of the writer. He can write all what he wants. It is a sales tool in Hollywood. Writing a screenplay yourself, however, do not ensure that your script will be bought, it will be put to use or a drama or film will be made out it. Only a small number of spec screen-writers see their writing making it to the screen, others are often disappointed. Spec scripts are usually the original work or idea of the writer, but it can be adaptation too nevertheless. Newbie usually start off as spec screen writers. They write their scripts, than get it approved by some producer, with a hope that they will not only be accepted but also be given contract for future script writing.
Spec writing is a part of every writer careers and most of these writers start their career by writing these speculation scripts from which only a very small percentage makes it way to the screen. Although the Writing Guild of America doesn’t allow writers to write content on speculation but it’s an ongoing part of the industry. There is a difference between what this association forbids and writing spec script just as a sample for some producer. The association doesn’t allow writing for some producer without any proper contract because in that case the producer is taking credits for the work of someone else. While writing spec scripts, it is advised not to give camera angles or any other thing that lies under the domain of director because it is most likely to be ignored by the director while making this TV show. In most of the cases, the director asks the writer to rewrite the content which satisfies producer and director and is according to their needs.
Apart from this, there is another type screen writing which is called commissioned screenplay and this is written by a hired writer who is instructed about the previously decided theme of the whole play that he is writing about. In this case writer has to follow some certain instructions and has to write content which lies in the theme for which he is hired to write. In this type of screen writing mostly more than one writer is hired to write the content before it is used for making the TV show or anything else for which this content is written.
Sometimes produces or production houses contact certain screen writer to write on some theme or idea that they have already developed or have done some work on it already. The content is owned by the hiring company and he is hired only for that particular assignment. An official contract is signed by the screenwriter with the company or the producer of that specific screenplay. There are certain ways for the screen writers to get such assignments, they can get it directly from the producer or they can get it through open assignments. If the screen writer is famous, than people might contact him and hire him directly by approaching him.
In recent times many produced films are rewritten so that they can be made again by adding new things which are appropriate as the world has seen advancement. In this case when you have to rewrite a previously written stuff, in most cases this content is not written by the original writer and this contract is given to someone who can add some new angles to the previously written content to make it more interesting and slightly different from the one written before. There may also be case and this happens quite frequently that most parts of the content are good, main characters, story etc but the script itself is unusable because of some badly written dialogues or some bad humor. So in this case a screen writer is hired to polish things up a bit so that the script is more catchy and attractive for the readers. Giving screen credits depends upon the contribution of this new writer and sometimes production houses set some standards for giving screen credits. For example in American film industry, credit to the rewriter is given only if 50 percent of the original content is different after the work of this new screen writer.