A Screenwriter or script writer produces written story elements and dialogue for use use in feature films, sitcoms, television dramas, radio plays, cartoons, TV adverts, musicals and videogames.
Working with their own imagination and sometimes with a team of writers, they use or adapt previously published works or create new stories for actors to bring to life on camera or through animation or audio productions.
Pay is variable and based on scale of projects undertaken and your reputation and experience.
You may find it beneficial to take a degree or postgraduate qualification in English, journalism or creative writing which will give you some of the skills required but this is not essential.
You will usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You could come up with your own screenplays and ideas and try selling them to agents or producers, once you have a few accepted and get some experience you can start to build a reputation which will give you further opportunities. You will stand a better chance if you have experience in storytelling and creative writing from other job areas such as journalism or acting.
You don't need any specific training to be a screenwriter but you will need creative writing talent. Screenwriting competitions are a good way to get noticed by broadcasters and regional screen agencies. You could also submit your work to the BBC Writers Room.
Take a look at Screenskills for further information
- excellent literacy skills
- the ability to work to deadlines
- good research skills
- to be self motivated and able to work on your own for long periods of time
- excellent IT skills
- to able to accept and understand criticism
- excellent communication skills
- the ability to sell your ideas to producers
- good at networking with agents and producers
Salaries can vary depending on how successful you are. Many scriptwriters in the UK will have other jobs to subsidise their income