How to make a movie script: 7 professional steps

Watching a good movie is always a pleasant task, isn’t it? There are scenes capable of moving viewers and also completely involving them to the point of awakening other abrupt feelings. In that sense, it must be amazing to be able to develop an idea until it turns into a movie script, right?

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To become a professional screenwriter it is necessary to study a lot, especially the films whose screenplays are considered the best. In addition, it is necessary to follow a series of steps that are fundamental to facilitate the work. With that in mind, in this list, you can pick up some tips on how to write a movie script professionally. Check it out below!

Step 1: Develop your idea conflicts

(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

Before anything else, know that there is no narrative without conflict. It is necessary that there is some discomfort in the natural course of your characters’ lives for something to happen and transform everything the way it is.

So, think of an idea you would like to develop into a movie. A good tip is to reflect on your own experiences and find some conflict within them. For example: you really want to be a great screenwriter, but you don’t have the time to develop in this profession. Not having enough time can be the conflict in your story.

Step 2: Know where your story will go

(Freepik/Playback)(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

With the conflicts of your ideas in mind, it’s important to know where this story might go, as there are several possibilities. If your character wants to be a screenwriter and doesn’t have the time, he can quit his current job to dedicate himself to the arts or also reorganize the routine to write in the time gaps.

At this stage, a good tip is to write your idea in up to 30 words, like a logline. So, in a single sentence, describe the starting point of the story, the motivating conflict and its resolution to better understand how everything is coming together.

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Starting from the same example, we can have something like: A young man who wants to be a screenwriter doesn’t find enough time to dedicate himself to his dream until he is fired and, later, hired by a major Hollywood studio.

Step 3: Define the characters and their motivations

(Freepik/Playback)(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

For your movie script to win over viewers, remember to create multidimensional characters, that is, with depth and layers. In most scripts, the main characters are responsible for guiding the stories and interest the audience in their trajectories.

In this way, think about developing characters with characteristics that will make the audience easily identify, either by their actions or charisma.. A good tip is to separate a file on the computer to write things about themeven those that will not be visible during the narrative.

Step 4: Define the action list

(Freepik/Playback)(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

Also professionally called the Grid, the action list can be very simple, but it really helps writers get on with the story in terms of organization. Often, there are several events about the plot that we already know need to happen, but their order has not yet been defined. A list of actions can help with this task.

These tricks are great for keeping you on track from start to finish. After all, cinema is an art full of characteristics that have the advantage of translating several scenes to the small screen, which require priceless tricks – how do you think babies cry in movies?

Step 5: Craft an argument

(Freepik/Playback)(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

With your list of actions in hand, it’s time to write your screenplay. An argument basically consists of the literary form of the story. Thus, write in prose all the actions of the characters with beginning, middle and endhighlighting some details of the main narrative events.

This document will be essential for the further development of the film’s dialogues. Therefore, do not be vague in the description of the actions and keep in mind that everything must be transformed into a scene visible to the public.

Step 6: Organize the actions in a melodica

(Freepik/Playback)(Freepik/Playback)Source: Freepik

Before starting to write your screenplay, it is still recommended that a melodica be created. This document organizes your work in a practical way, above all, in the list of actions and in the argument.

In a melodica, it is already possible to sketch some rubrics that will be present in the scenes, as it organizes what is important in a dynamic way. An even more elaborate version of the melodica consists of an outline, in which there is even the insertion of scene headings, which indicate the setting, space and time.

Step 7: Use scripting software

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Finally, you can put all these tips into practice when writing your screenplay in Master Scenes format. This is the most accepted format in large productions, mainly because of the organization of scenes and dialogues.

All this can be found more easily in scripting software, such as Celtx and Final Draft, which already leave everything pre-formatted, just writing the story.

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