THE IDEA - WHAT IS THE FILM ABOUT?
What is a story?
Most people mistake a story as a series of events that unfold, typically chronologically. This is just a series of situations that may or may not tie together – which can easily lose the reader/viewer’s attention.
The most important thing you need to know is that a story is the emotional/physical JOURNEY of the protagonist (main character).
In the final scenes of a screenplay, the protagonist should be completely different to the opening scenes. The protagonist should go through an emotional journey to grow, and experience an emotional/physical challenge that tests their core flaw.
TITLE - WHAT TO CALL YOUR FILM
Film titles are more than words, it’s your films plot, it’s brand and above all its core marketing message. So let’s run down a few helpful tips to getting the title just right.
Titles typically enter the head of the screenwriter long before they even figure out the plot or start writing anything at all. Don’t be alarmed if you’re half way through your first draft or even complete, and you’re still stuck for inspiration. It will happen.
Let’s say you’ve already thought of you’re title and completely fallen in love with it, just as much as your protagonist, but then a quick Google search brings up a truck load of matching IMDb titles and you’re heart breaks into a gazillion pieces. What does this mean? Can you still use it?
Just like a song title or a book title (which fall under titles of creative works) they can’t be protected, which is why you see many examples of songs using existing titles. However, you could run into trouble if you’ve gone ahead with a title that has existing prominence in the market. For example, if you’ve decided to call your film ‘Interstellar’, you’re likely to face some legal challenges or maybe even lawsuit from the studio.
If you’re still struggling for a title, you can always open a word document or a notepad and bash out a few ideas. Try not to overthink what you’re writing. Doubt kills creativity. Think about the key scenes in your script, primary locations, lines of dialogue that stand out or even the core themes of the movie. Write it all down. You’ll probably finish with a messy page or two that just confuses matters worse – but somewhere within that jigsaw puzzle will be the perfect title unique to your screenplay. Give it a try.
HOW TO WRITE A FILM TREATMENT
HOW TO STRUCTURE A SCREENPLAY
The Nutshell Tecnique
Comedy or Tragedy
Blake Syder's Beat Sheet
HOW TO FORMAT A SCREENPLAY
HOW TO WRITE DIALOGUE
Writing dialogue in your screenplay can be daunting for most writers, so here’s a few tips on how to go about it.