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Do you have a great idea for a screenplay? Want to get it turned into a movie? Dipping your toes into the world of screenplay writing might seem a little daunting at first, but you can get your work out there if you have the right tools. Although Writer’s Relief does not offer services to screenwriters at this time, we’ve compiled a short list of reliable resources to help you get started on the path to the silver screen.
1. Final Draft. Even if you’ve read our previous article on how to properly format a screenplay, constantly checking your margins can hinder the flow of your writing. Final Draft takes the technical aspect out of your way, automatically placing all of the elements of your screenplay where they belong and even auto-finishing slug lines and character names so you can write quickly and efficiently. Final Draft also publishes Script magazine, which is a treasure trove of articles, interviews, and in-depth coverage from the industry’s front lines.
2. WGAW or WGAE Script Registries. Just because you don’t have enough writing credits to join the Writer’s Guild of America, that doesn’t mean the WGA can’t help you while you’re starting out. In order to avoid any legal hiccups in the future, it’s best to register your intellectual property before submitting it to agents, managers, or producers. You can register everything from a written idea to a polished, completed script with WGA—that way, you’re covered along every step of the writing process. NOTE: This doesn’t necessarily apply to books. See our article on copyright.
3. InkTip. Not unlike Writer’s Relief, InkTip is a service that helps put your work where the right people can see it. You have the choice of listing information about your script on their Web site, in their magazine, or on their e-newsletter—all of which are seen by an international network of industry professionals! InkTip boasts a long list of clients whose scripts have been optioned by production companies, and the list grows every week.
4. Withoutabox. If you would like to take a more hands-on approach to getting your script out there, you might want to try submitting it to film festivals with the help of Withoutabox. This site will help you through every step of the process, from finding the right festivals for your script to tracking the status of each submission. In fact, many film festivals require submissions through Withoutabox. You can register for free, and members often get a discount off of festival entry fees.
5. Your local bookstore. The best way to learn about screenwriting is to follow the example of those who have made it big in the business. Luckily, many of them have written books! Some great reads to check out: Syd Field’s Screenplay and Screenwriter’s Workbook, David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible, Denny Martin Flinn’s How Not to Write a Screenplay and Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434.