Why do you want to become a writer? Do you love to write? Is it your passion? Maybe you’ve read some success stories, and it turned you on. I’m not going to try to put you down in this article, but I feel it would be wrong to give you a course about scriptwriting without talking about the downside of it – and there are many. Here are the top reasons you might not want to become a scriptwriter:
- No respect – The first thing you need to learn is that writers don’t get the same respect as directors, producers and actors. I know it’s weird – without scriptwriting, all the others won’t have jobs, but still, this is the hard truth. Don’t get me wrong, Hollywood always paid well to writers, but eventually, it is an entertainment business built on stars, and the directors are much more visible than the writers.
- Not everyone is going to like what you write – Writing is subjective. You can put your heart and soul into it, but id the producers won’t get it, it won’t be filmed. Don’t be too overwhelmed by someone’s critic. If you are having problems with listening to criticism, you won’t make it in this business. The trick is to find the balance between listening to them but not to let it shut you down, and also, you need to remember that every criticism is subjective.
- You write the script, not the movie – The credit “A movie by” never goes to the screenwriter. This is an important fact you want to remember. Your script will be rewritten in the rehearsal room, in the production stage, in the editing room and in many other stages of making the film. It is not your film, and you don’t get the final word. Most screenwriters ate the development stage of production, but you need to remember that a movie is built from different opinions put together. Sometimes you will need to do the rewrite because the producer asked you to. You’ll need to learn how to deal with it and when to take it personally and when not to.
- You will probably need an agent – Everybody needs one, and show business is an artistic form of business, but it still a business, and if you want to keep your mind strictly to your art, you need someone else to do your negotiations, to sell your script, to build connections,
- It’s a long ride until you start selling – Selling your first script can take a long time. Big production companies don’t buy scri[ts from unknown scriptwriters very often. Writing the best script ever is not enough. You need to get it to the right production companies, and that is not an easy step. There is also the part of being rejected. That’s not easy, and it can happen a lot. The rejection can often be for a random reason that got nothing to do with you or your script. You need to have thick skin here.
- The salary is not stable – If you went to film school in college, you’d probably need money to pay for it, and screenwriting is a horrible way to make a living. As higher education keeps getting more expensive every year, and the competition on the market keeps getting bigger, you’ll need to find ways to get the money until you start selling your first script (and even after). of course, you don’t have to go to college to learn scriptwriting. There are free online scriptwriting class, like this one or other online paid courses
The truth is that there are downsides to every path you’ll take, but I can assure you one thing-If you love scriptwriting and are passionate about it, there are no cons to become a scriptwriter – it will all be worth it. You need to make sure that you are not doing it for the wrong reasons. For example, making a lot of money is bad, but love writing is a lousy reason. If you love writing, you might be better at becoming a novelist or a poet. You also need to love filmmaking and to be happy to take part in that industry.