How to write a movie Script (Screenplay)?

Screenplay is an important document in movie making process. Whether its documentary, feature film, short film, music video, web series, we are strictly dependent upon screenplay. Screenplay is a document in which a story is written in terms of visual meanings. Of course today sound is also integral part of video, so audio details are also included.

How to write a movie Script (Screenplay)?
Read: Basics of Screenwriting for Dummies

Read: How to write a Script for a Short Film in Five Easy Steps?

The one who writes a screenplay is known as screenwriter. The process of writing a screenplay is known as screenwriting. Screenwriting is a craft which can not be learned with out training. Some confuse screenwriting is an art but in reality it is a craft. Craft can be learned with sufficient practice, right guidance and proper training.

Screenplay and script are two different kinds of document especially in Indian film industry where as in abroad, both are same document. What is the difference, we are going to cover in another article. But for now, keep this point in mind.

In screenplay, we write down scene after scene in a certain order and with a certain logic.

What is a scene?

An incident which takes place in a location at a specific time is known as scene. When the time changes or location changes or both changes, then it becomes a new scene.

Scene has majorly five important parts:

  1. Slugline: The heading portion of each scene. Which tells the reader about the location of the scene and the time duration of the scene.
  2. Action: Movements or anything that can be observed in a scene is mentioned in terms of action.
  3. Character cue: The character who ever speaks anything in a scene, that reference name.
  4. Dialogue: A character what ever speaks or says
  5. Transition: Time passage between two scenes.

Average length of movie script / screenplay: In general, one page of screenplay occupies one minute of screen length. The average length of Indian movies are 150 minutes. If we exclude four songs, each song average length of 5 minutes and end credit roll of 10 minutes then we get the average duration of Indian movies 120 minutes. In this sense, the average length of movie screenplay could be around 120 pages. But wait, in terms of movie making especially in India, 120 page length script is really big and perhaps any film maker would show interest to read such a long length document. Thats why, it would be wise to keep the length of script in between 80 to 90. Up to 100 even its okay. But beyond 100 it is a large document and no one would agree to spend such long time.

Remember screenwriting is a step by step process. It is vast and it is complex. Thats why very few well prepared and trained writers get opportunity. If you are serious for this craft, then dont assume just by writing a scene after scene would provide an opportunity in the industry. The fact is bit harsh. With out knowing screenwriting from its core, it is hard to get hired or to sell script in the industry.

Before wrapping up this article, one important fact: In school or college, if we commit any mistake in our project then either colleague or professor or project supervisor used to point out the mistake but in professional career (any field), if we commit mistake knowingly or unknowingly no one is going to point out the mistake and the consequences would appear in real future. My intention is not to discourage or dishearten you in any way but to make you familiar with the reality if not today then tomorrow you are going to encounter for sure.

Luckily, if you work hard, learn the craft as much detail as much you can and plan a right strategy trust me, tomorrow I would be the one who might be writing about your success. And I mean it. If you are really serious, then first know the reality, learn the craft, gain as much knowledge as you can then the success would be yours.