Screenwriting Help: How To Keep Your Script Out Of The Trash

If you’re looking for screenwriting help and inspiration, I’m happy to report there has never been a better opportunity to get your work produced. In fact, dozens of crap screenplays get made into crappy movies each year.

If you’re like most writers, you probably watch these movies and agonize over ways you could have made the story better.

How did that script even get produced?

What the heck is wrong with Hollywood?

I need screenwriting help!

Here’s the thing…

Nobody sets out to intentionally make a crappy movie. It just sort of happens.

I’ve been to the meetings. After the table read, everyone sits around and talks for hours about how successful the film is going to become. It’s like even if someone finds flaws in the story, they don’t say a word for fear of being fired and missing out. Besides if Michelle the movie mogul says the film going to be good, it must be good.

Anyway, that’s how bad movies get made. People are afraid to speak up.

screenwriting help

Screenwriting Help For Smart People

Given that most people can’t tell a good script from a bad script, there is oodles of opportunity to keep your script out of trash.

Here are 5 things that can really help your screenplay rise above the noise:

1. Avoid buzzwords. For years, people talked about their film as having four quadrant appeal. These days it’s everything from tentpole superhero to summer blockbuster. Just stop it. Talking like this is dated and annoying.

2. Write for the pleasure of it. Great writers enjoy what they’re writing, creating characters and worlds that stand out in the minds of those who watch. If you write just because you’re trying to cash in on trends, it will show in a big way and likely won’t get you anywhere.

3. Know your market. I’m not talking about the actual movie going public here – I’m talking about the people you’re trying to pitch to. Most producers specialize in certain genres. Pitch to people who are actually in the market for your product, your screenplay. Don’t waste your time on the others.

4. Don’t worry about market factors. Instead of trying to convince producers that they’ll make millions, focus on what makes your story stand out. Why should they care? How will your script help take the filmmaker’s career to the next level?

5. You don’t have leverage. Don’t pretend like you’re a big shot until you’re actually a big shot. It only makes you look like yet another desperate poser.

Looking over this list I know you’re saying those are shortcuts for pitching a script, and you’re correct. The fact is that writing your script is one thing. It takes hard work no matter what. But pitching can influence how people perceive the potential success of your script. And that gives you power.

Keeping these points in mind can help be the difference between writing and selling a script, or getting your screenplay tossed in the trash. And if you’d like an awesome resource on how to write a screenwriting treatment, go here.

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ARTICLE BY Jason Brubaker

If you'd like more tactics like the article you just read, make sure to grab a copy of the filmmaker checklist. You'll get 65 useful steps you can employ to produce your next feature film.