What does it take to be a ScreenwriterSo what does it take to be a screenwriter?
It'?s a long period of six wards. I' m not saying this to make you feel panicky, but to ensure that you realise that busy scriptwriters must be able to make on-call. The commentary threads that followed - and the e-mails that followed - made many people wonder exactly how long and in what period of quality a scriptwriter should do it.
If a scriptwriter is asked to author a script (like Shazam! or Big Fish), the agreement usually provides for a 12-week deadline for the initial work. Later revisions and polishing will take from eight week to two week. A few weeeks later a production or recording engineer phones the scriptwriter and the following interview is held:
I' ll get back to you in a few extra week to make sure everything's okay. I' ve come across a copy of this interview on every single one of my projects I've been on. Subsequent telephone conversations try to limit the timeframe even further, with the aim that you submit the screenplay on a Thursday or Friday so that everyone can finish reading it at the weekends.
I am reluctant to give a fixed number for how many wks it should take to compose a screenplay. Different projects. It took Big Fiish most of four month, while Charlie and the chocolate factory took three wards. Part of the excuse Charlie was only three week was because he was all that he was.
This suggests the better question: how quickly should a screenplay writer be able to turn a screenplay over if it is urgent? From my own experiences, the most effective scriptwriters are those who can exactly assess how much patience they need. It' part of the trade, just like a carpenter who promises a date of supply.
To work on Iron Man, I gave them exactly how many nights it would take to solve certain problems and provided pages every evening. I would hate to employ an author for movies who can't produce a screenplay in eight week's work. You want to give each author as much free space as she needs, but in my opinion the deadlines are often the most important factor in getting the screenplay done.