The Ultimate 5 Step Guide For Hiring A Screenwriter

Are you having a great idea in your mind and wondering how to write it in a story format? Is movie-making your passion and have no experience on writing a screenplay? Are you looking for hiring a screenwriter? To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.” – Alfred Hitchcock. So script is what matters the most for a film.

There are thousands of people out there with ‘great’ ideas in their mind and don’t know how to put it in words on a paper. Atleast, they are great ideas for themselves. However, they are bad at screenwriting. That’s the reason most of the makers give up on the idea even before trying. By the end of this article, you will know how to hire a screenwriter and when exactly its needed. Firstly, we need to make sure that the idea or concept of the story is good enough to proceed with writing or thinking about hiring a screenwriter.

Here, I will help you choose a screenwriter and things to be done even before approaching a screenwriter. Also, know how much do screenwriters get paid in India.

Develop the idea or concept of the story

There are two types of the stories that fail to impress the audience. Bad story concept that is written well and bad story concept that is written badly. So it’s important to judge whether the concept of the story is good or bad. Don’t start developing the story if you feel that the concept isn’t good enough. There are very few instances where the concept is bad but due to the well written screenplay and characters, the movie became successful.

When you have an idea for a story, discuss it with your friend or trusted ones and record it. Write down the points on a document and edit it accordingly. You can consider their opinions and make changes if it suits your story and have a clear understanding of how the story should be. Once you have an understanding of your story, you can proceed with looking for a screenwriter.

Points To Keep In Mind For Hiring A Screenwriter

You can follow these steps one-by-one to hire the best screenwriter for writing your story.

Step 1: Write Down All Your Ideas.

Step 2: Seek Out To Screenwriters

Step 3: Study Their Past Work And Relevancy

Step 4: Shortlist And Interview The Best Writers

Step 5: Deadline And Payment

Write Down All Your Ideas.

We need to write down all the ideas and points related to the story on a document that we have in our mind. At the same time, have an idea about what you need from the writer to your story. In this process, you need to decide on the genre of your movie. Genre can also help you and the writer in developing the story, as it helps in shaping your story. Check out the list of 10 most popular genres with examples for each.

Seek Out To Screenwriters

You can post a job for a screenwriter or even try reaching out to the screenwriters that are available online. You can reach out to screenwriters through different sources. Also, there is another way to reach out to screenwriters. If you have a logline or the story in your mind, you can reach out to investors or a producer and explain the concept to them. If they agree to invest in your story, you can discuss the budget and other things. Later, you can hire a screenwriter and this procedure is much better than hiring a writer yourself. However, you need to check what medium the writer regularly works in, movies, television etc.

On the other hand, you shall also have to discuss whether the investor agrees for any changes in the script later.

Logline: Logline a short description or summary of your movie. It includes elements like the main character, setup and conflict. It’s a single sentence that tells what your story is all about.

Study Their Past Work And Relevancy

If you have posted the job online, you will be receiving many profiles as they are many writers available out there. However, you need to choose the one who can communicate with you well and understand your thoughts for the story. If you ever wonder For example, anyone can draw an aeroplane on paper, but only an engineer knows whether the drawn picture of the aeroplane is actually possible to develop or not. In the same way, only an experienced writer knows whether the concept of the story actually works.

Check their past writing experience and the production teams they worked with. See how well their writing achieved success. Also, its important to verify if they can work on the genre of the story you have.

Shortlist And Interview The Best Screenwriters

The best way to identify or decide whether a writer fits your story is to look at their sample work. Make them write a sample for your concept or anything related to your concept, if you don’t wish to reveal it to them. You can have a sample of any number of pages to help you understand the writer and choose one. Before you have the writer start his work, make sure to give him an idea of what type of audience you have in your mind. The screenwriter 

Deadline And Payment

Its good to have a contract and better to make at least a partial payment upfront to the writer, so if you feel that the script isn’t shaping out as you expected, you can cancel it anytime. Try to have deadlines for your story, like every 20 pages. Check the story and redraft if necessary. It’s always good to change the story at the initial stages, rather than wait for the whole script to complete and rewrite it. Have regular meets after achieving a set target and see if any changes or add-ons are required.

Always have an idea about the budget of your film, because good and professional screenwriters are expensive nowadays. If you are looking for screenwriters in India, then you need to have an idea about how much they charge. In India, beginner or entry level writers charge ₹ 10-15 lakhs per project, mid-level writers might charge around ₹ 20-30 lakhs; and established writers should be paid ₹ 40-60 lakhs per screenplay. Whether or not you are worried about leaking of your story, it’s always recommended to sign an NDA agreement.

10 Sites For Hiring A Screenwriter:

  1. Fiverr
  2. All Freelance Writing
  4. Upwork
  5. People per Hour
  6. Freelancer
  7. Facebook Groups
  8. Writer Access
  9. Indeed
  10. WorkingInContent

Before you approach a screenwriter, you can try your hands on writing. There are various softwares available online that helps you with screenwriting. You can check out our article which helps you with how to write screenplay for a movie. You can even write as much as you can and then approach a screenwriter. You can refer to some best books for screenwriters, if you wish to improve your writing. This might help your writer understand your vision better.

7 Softwares For Screenwriting:

  1. StudioBinder
  2. Final Draft 10
  3. Movie Magic Screenwriter
  4. Scrivener
  5. WriterDuet
  6. Highland
  7. Celtx

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