If you're new to screenwriting, or you've decided to try to sell something, you're going to want to learn more about the business of screenwriting. It's a big topic, and there is a lot to know! But, you've come to the right place. Below, find a list of resources to help you learn the business of screenwriting basics.
First things first, it's essential to understand precisely what the job of the screenwriter entails. What do screenwriters do exactly? What's expected from a screenwriter? Where do screenwriters live? Does your location dictate whether you can be a screenwriter or not? Once you know more about the job, you can then decide if it's right for you, and really what you want to pursue.
When considering a career in screenwriting and learning more about the industry's business side, it's essential to have reasonable expectations for how much a screenwriter usually earns. Investigating what salary a scriptwriter can expect to make can also shed light on typical earnings for screenwriters currently working in the industry. A screenwriter's salary usually dictates lifestyle, as well, so make sure it's in line with what you want out of your life and career.
If you decide that screenwriting is for you, be sure to check out this blog on helpful advice for new screenwriters. While you're at it, stop by and read the top 5 things you need to know about the screenwriting business for a quick guide on topics including querying, financing, and distribution.
Once you've written a few scripts (the more, the better), you'll need to take the next steps – the process does not end when your screenplay does. You're in the stage of wanting to get your work out there and to make money off of it ideally, but how? How do you break into the business ecosystem?
Maybe you've heard about agents or managers, and you're interested in working with one to help you either sell your work or get you staffed as a writer on a television show. These roles all do different (and sometimes the same) things in a screenwriter's career. Some writers may work with individuals in all three of these positions, and others may only work with one or two. What's the difference between agents and managers? Do I need one at this point in my career? I've heard about entertainment lawyers; do I need one of those too? As one of the most asked questions from screenwriters new to the business, SoCreate has covered this topic in depth.
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You've likely heard of the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) or maybe another guild if you're located outside of the USA. Screenwriting guilds are essential in securing fair pay and protections for screenwriters. Is it time for you to join a guild? What does a screenwriting guild have to offer you? Learn what it takes to join a screenwriting guild.
Maybe you find yourself out there, networking and meeting industry people. Say you've secured yourself a general meeting. What should you expect from your first general meeting? How do you pitch your screenplay? Understanding how to network, what to expect from meetings, and how to talk about your work will be helpful when you find yourself at the stage where you're actively meeting folks and promoting yourself and your work.
Maybe you find yourself actively working on your career, but you still feel like you could use some guidance. Have you considered that perhaps what you need is a mentor? There are right ways and wrong ways to find a screenwriting mentor, but they can be a great help if you can secure one.
As you progress with your screenwriting career, you'll probably make a lot of mistakes. But you'll experience a lot of wins, too! If you want to avoid those mistakes, many screenwriters have already made them, so you don't have to. Learn what career mistakes screenwriters often make so you can skip the headache.
I hope this blog could compile some helpful links to learn more about the screenwriting business. Get to know the screenwriting industry inside and out, and you'll go far! Happy writing!