Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

5 RESOURCES FOR THE NEW WELSH SCREENWRITER

with 2 comments

You want to be a screenwriter. You’ve read Story and The Writer’s Journey and you’ve watched hundreds of films over the years. You’re even finding the time to write in between shifts in the day job and you’re pretty close to finishing the first draft of your Magnum Opus. Here’s a few online resources that might come in useful.

FINAL DRAFT

Before you send out your screenplay to anyone, it needs to be properly formatted. There are free programs out there that will do this, but Final Draft is one of the best and widely used around the world. Getting the formatting right is essential, and this program is incredibly easy to use and relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking to save money, trawl the web for free alternatives – just makes sure you’ve got it right.

SIMPLY SCRIPTS

Watching films isn’t enough – if you’re serious about being a screenwriter then you need to understand the craft of the script itself. It will make you a better writer. If you can spare the few hours needed to read two feature scripts a week, you’ll read over a hundred in a year and you what you learn will be invaluable. Read as much as you can, from produced Hollywood blockbusters to spec scripts that other aspiring writers are penning in their bedrooms in Wales. This is a good site to start with, but as usual, a quick google will find various scripts and usually for free. Try to avoid transcripts (scripts written by fans from watching the film), and stick to the genuine articles.

FILMSHED

Before you send your script to the Film Agency for feedback (you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression), or spend your hard earned cash on a professional opinion, it’s a good idea to get the input of other people in a similar position to yourself. Filmshed’s forum is frequented by a variety of people in Wales, many of whom will read your script and give you feedback. Some opinions will need to be taken with a pinch of salt, and some will be right on the money.

DANNY STACK

This blog is a great place to learn about what life is like as a working screenwriter living in the UK. If you’re a ‘people person’ and need constant company, maybe the writer’s life isn’t for you. Pick up some great tips on writing and the lifestyle it brings, and find out about news that might be useful to you.

YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION

Sometimes, it’s hard to actually sit down and just write. The internet, while full of useful resources and a great place to kick off research, can be an incredible distraction from doing what your meant to be doing – writing. You’ve fired up the computer and you’ve opened up the writing program to type up the scene that’s been in your head for days, but just before you type, you might just check your email, facebook, BBC news, sausage dog owners’ forum, or YouTube for yet another viewing of that hilarious video of Miss Teen USA South Carolina 2007. Turn off the internet and write. You’ll be amazed how much you get done.

I hope this is useful. Get in touch if there’s other resources you’d like to share.

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Written by Matthew Redd

November 21, 2008 at 3:52 pm

2 Responses

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  1. An open source alternative to Final Draft is Celtx.

    Mei

    November 26, 2008 at 12:43 pm

  2. Thanks for the heads up on CeltX, Mei. I’ve heard of it, but never used it myself. I first bought Final Draft in 1997 (it was shipped from the USA was on 2 floppy disks – those were the days) and have been a devotee ever since.

    Matthew Redd

    November 26, 2008 at 4:39 pm


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