What does a screenwriter do?
Screenwriters are responsible for creating a variety of new ideas and developing them into stories for many different purposes. They often create scripts for a variety of movies, television shows, and video games, and also create adaptations from books and true stories. They bring their ideas to life by creating interesting characters, plots, and settings. They strive to make their stories believable and present them to producers. Screenwriters often present initial drafts to producers and then perform a variety of changes and edits to their pieces to meet the needs and requirements. Screenwriters often focus on a specific genre such as comedy, horror, romance, drama, and biography.
What kind of training does a screenwriter need?
Screenwriters typically need at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with a bachelor degree in screenwriting, drama, English or other related field. Some screenwriters have a master degree in screenwriting from a professional film school. Prospective screenwriters typically complete courses in creative writing, English, drama, journalism, theater, and acting. Many screenwriters complete internships or formal apprenticeships under experienced screenwriters to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Some screenwriters begin their careers working as story editors for film studios and move into screenwriting positions as they gain the necessary experience. Many screenwriters join the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) to remain competitive in the field. Screenwriters typically complete continuing education and additional training throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a screenwriter?
Employment of screenwriters is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased expansion of the entertainment industry will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Screenwriters with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do screenwriters make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for screenwriters is $29,000; average salaries for nationwide screenwriter job postings are 55% lower than the average salaries for all nationwide job postings (2).
A career as a screenwriter is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in writing scripts for a variety of purposes. Screenwriters must have a solid understanding of the concepts, policies, and procedures related to screenwriting. Creativity, patience, perseverance, detail orientation, good problem solving and a vivid imagination are necessary characteristics. Screenwriters must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of people. They must also be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines.