The internet can be a screenwriter’s most valuable ally. Networking, becoming part of a screenwriting group, and the ability to keep up with industry news; the online screenwriting community is an often-overlooked tool for a writer looking to break into the industry. Today I’m advising you on how to take advantage of the online screenwriting community.
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Make Screenwriting Friends
Getting to know other screenwriters online is a great way to be part of the screenwriting community, especially if you don’t live in a film hub. Finding friends who are also screenwriters will allow you to trade information about opportunities you hear about, give advice and feedback on each other’s screenplays, share successes and learn from failures, and even provide one another with career tips and guidance. And, it’s not about asking for favors. It’s about finding real value in sharing information with like-minded people.
Meeting writers on Twitter, or joining a group like Reddit’s r/Screenwriting can help you stay on top of the latest screenwriting competitions, workshops, and fellowships. SoCreate also has a Facebook Group for screenwriters, and thousands of screenwriters follow SoCreate on Instagram. There’s no shortage of people to meet from around the globe! Other Facebook Groups include:
Find Representation and Meet Executives
Agents, managers, and executives use social media, too, and it can be helpful to connect with them online. Reaching out to people you’re interested in working with online can set an excellent groundwork for a future relationship. Remember to be friendly, personable, and ask questions (not favors), but don’t be overly persistent. With social media and the internet, they know how to find you if they want to.
Get Up to Speed on the Industry with the Hollywood Trades
Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline Hollywood are great websites that will keep you up to date on what’s going on in Hollywood. I follow these trades on Twitter as well as receive email notifications from them, which makes it incredibly easy to stay informed on the latest news. Screenwriters should know who’s who in the industry, what’s selling, what’s being made, and what’s being distributed. By reading the trades, you’ll become aware of producers you might be interested in working with, as well as agents of writers currently selling work. When you come across industry people you’re interested in, you can use IMDbPro to find out more about them!
Access the Internet Movie Database
We’ve all used the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to find out more information about our favorite movies. Well, IMDb Pro is the professional version of the website. IMDb Pro provides the contact details of over 300,000 industry professionals. It’s an excellent tool for learning about producers, agents, and managers and what projects they’ve worked on, or who they represent. I highly recommend using IMDbPro to research projects similar to your scripts and see who was involved with them.
While IMDb Pro isn’t free ($149.99 per year or $19.99 per month), it can be worth the investment for a writer who’s breaking into the industry and looking for a way to find professionals to make connections with. SoCreate has an entire blog and video about finding representation using IMDb Pro.
Learn, Learn, Learn!
If you want to learn to write a screenplay or just brush up on your screenwriting skills, there are SO many resources online. A person can get a seriously good screenwriting education online if they look. It’s one thing I love about writers: most of them are more than willing to share what’s worked for them, their tricks, and their best advice. And for the most part, it’s all free and accessible. Of course, SoCreate’s blog is chock-full of screenwriting lessons, and the SoCreate YouTube channel has dozens of quick videos for fast advice on all of your screenwriting questions. Script Magazine (watch the editor-in-chief’s reaction to SoCreate here!), NoFilmSchool.com, and Film Courage are three other great resources.
Hopefully, this informed you of some of the best ways to take advantage of the online screenwriting community. Make screenwriter friends, network with industry professionals, keep up with what’s happening in Hollywood, and always keep learning. Happy writing!