A common problem that screenwriters face is that they get stuck writing scripts that they don’t enjoy. For the sake of experience, new writers take on any job that they can find. But this may lead them to work on script formats that they just don’t like. Or the producer of the script demands that the writers add some things that they just don’t agree with.
It can be difficult to get out of this situation, so Mikhael shares some tips that can help you avoid uninspired work.
Study The Script Before Accepting It
The first piece of advice to writers would be to read the script before taking the job. This is important to do because the writer should know if they will be inspired by the screenplay story structure. The screenplay structures that the writers work on is their livelihood. So, they shouldn’t compromise and work on something that doesn’t inspire them.
If someone comes across a project that they don’t like, it’s better to walk away. Always pick a project that makes you feel like you can do a good job on. Otherwise, it’s better to not put your name on it because if it’s bad, it will always remain a part of your legacy. That being said, it’s important to put in all your effort to make sure that you don’t create a bad rapport in the industry with a poorly done job.
Picture a scenario where the writer gets a gig for a love story and they submit their first draft. However, the feedback from the producer says that they want the writer to add, say, dinosaurs or aliens to the script format, should they succumb to it despite not being able to agree with the ideas?
The best course of action, in this case, is to follow your gut. The writer should always aim to do the job to the best of their ability. So, don’t shy away from sharing your opinion. However, it is important to express your ideas and opinions in a professional manner. Writers should advocate their vision. Creativity is not one plus one equals two. When the writer presents their ideas, they can sway people, especially when the person that the writer is working with is reasonable.
It’s unrealistic to expect that the writer will have complete creative freedom in the initial stages of their career. If it’s a paying job, then they should do the job to the best of their ability. It’s important to always provide the best service that you can as a writer.
Walk Away or Stick Around For The Paycheck?
All the writers that are looking for a career right now are trying to make it in the industry. They need to look out for their best interest and do something that will further their career. So, perhaps writing that dinosaur love story will be their gateway to success.
You will come across many spoof movies that have ridiculous screenplays. Despite the story content, the screenplay structure was produced and that did something for the writer to further their career. If a writer doesn’t do a script format because they don’t agree with the story, then someone else will take it. The project won’t get canceled just because one person didn’t like it. So, writers need to really gauge at the starting point in their career whether the project will help them progress forward.
Whether the project is good or bad doesn’t define the writer’s success. Everyone in the industry has made bad projects before and after making a big movie. Their game plan is to make one movie for the actors and one for themselves. However, writers need to remember that the opportunity to work on a screenplay structure for yourself may come after many bad projects or never at all. So, until then, writers have to keep working on other projects, that may not be their cup of tea, to progress in their career.
Get Yourself Known, Make Connections
It’s good business to go out and offer your services to people for free. When the writers put themselves out there for the sake of being known, they get the opportunity to flex their skills. This is something that they will not be able to do when working on someone else’s project. So, when writers offer their services for free, they are able to scout good talent to give their services to. They can find people who are emerging and want to hire them.
It’s important to come out of a job and have learned something. Even if the project that the writer has to work on is subpar, they should make sure that they have learned something or have made a connection once it’s over. At the end of the day, if the writer is putting their name on something valuable, one of these things has to happen.
One major thing that writers need to understand is that they shouldn’t be afraid of failure. They will face a lot of failure on the road to success. And they have to be willing to fail too simply because they will learn from it.
The Bottom Line
Screenplay writers should think of themselves as a character in a screenplay story structure. The character goes through a lot of challenges within a screenplay structure to achieve their objective. And if they fail in the climax, they will have a moment of rebirth where they can carry on with their lives with some new knowledge.
So, ultimately, writers need to stay as positive as they can and always keep their best interests in mind. Also, they need to realize that if they fail, then it’s not that big of a deal. Failing is a part of the learning experience and that’s the way things are supposed to be. So, don’t throw things out just because they seem unappealing at first blush.
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