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How To Direct Your Own Screenplay

Adam Scott

Learning how to adapt a screenplay from paper to screen is the most important part of learning how to be a writer. You can learn a lot about the writing craft, and more about storytelling, by having to adapt a screenwriter's vision to your own vision.

The best way to learn how to write is by writing

If you're forced to learn by adapting the screenplays of others, you'll be forced to adapt the process of writing.

You'll learn how a story is told. You'll learn how to remove yourself from the scene.

This is a valuable lesson that will benefit you greatly. It will give you experience working on something that's so different from your own project.

And you will have gained the experience that is key to how you direct your own project.

You will learn how to choose the right screenwriterMy brother writing on my grandads old typewriter

Sometimes screenwriters are just too talented for their own good. For this reason, it's imperative to choose the right screenwriter.

Someone who is experienced at writing for the screen and someone who's easy to work with. I recommend reading scripts in their entirety before you submit them.

Not all screenwriters write well enough to be produced on film. And it is not appropriate to use the script of someone who is not talented enough.

You may not see eye-to-eye with the screenwriter. That being said, you should be able to see the overall work. If you can't see what is bad, you should be able to see what is good.

You will learn how to write your own screenplay. A good way to learn how to write a screenplay is to write a short film.

Start with a general idea and a story-line that you are passionate about.

Start making a rough outlineNotetaking

Don't be afraid to deviate from your original idea. You may need to go in a completely different direction.

Or you may need to rework your initial outline. But this is a great way to learn how to write a screenplay.

Once you've created a basic outline, you can start writing it. But it is best to wait until you're ready to create your project.

Writing the script is just the beginning. Once you have a basic outline, you can write about it.

To make your movie, you'll need to cast your characters. To cast your characters, you'll need to write your casting brief.

To write your casting brief, you'll need to get a feel for the type of actors you're looking for. This doesn't mean that you must read a hundred actors to get a feel for the type of actor you're looking for.

It means that you should study actors, and read reviews of what other actors are being offered. Then make a list of the actors who fit the characteristics you want.

From here you can study their work and then narrow down the list of those actors you think you could work with. Once you have a short list, you can look for agencies that are looking for suitable actors.

Or you can simply contact the actors directly. Asking them to submit their availability, their measurements, and a sample reel is a great way to get a feel for how the actor is as an actor.

Don't go into your casting brief thinking that you must cast a type of actor

Think of actors as actors. If they're well-known, they may or may not be available at the time of your production.

This doesn't mean that you should accept every actor that is recommended, but do look at the list and see who else could be a good fit. You should look at their strengths and their weaknesses.

Don't pigeon-hole your casting brief. Cast a wide net.

This will help you cast an incredible and diverse range of actors. And hopefully you can find your dream actor.

I recommend that you get a sense for what the actor is like before you speak to them. Don't immediately start talking.

Write down some things you want to knowWriting in a journal

  • Do they need a diet coach?
  • Is their ideal diet high-protein, low-carb, low-fat, high-carb, low-fat, or all-natural?
  • Are they vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore?
  • Do they need to lose some weight?
  • Do they need to gain weight?
  • Do they need to gain muscle?
  • Do they have specific physical characteristics they should have?
  • Are they into aerobics?
  • Are they into bodybuilding?

It's good to be honest with yourself. Then write your casting brief.

It should not only be brief, but should also be specific.

Once you have a basic draft of your script completed, you need to re-write the script. Most filmmakers never go back and read the script.

This is because they get a lot of offers. They get offers to direct their scripts.

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