Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writing Film - a good practice guide

A new good practice guide for screenwriters (pdf) produced by the Writers' Guild and to be launched at this year’s Screenwriters’ Festival, calls for writers and producers to be partners not enemies.

The comprehensive 'how-to' document aims to bridge the gap between the art and the business of screenwriting. It stresses that to be a success in the industry you need more than just a great script. Careful collaboration with other key players is imperative to ensure a script’s successful completion and financial viability.

“With this Guide, we’re encouraging screenwriters to roll up their sleeves and get involved”, says Olivia Hetreed, the screenwriter behind Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Chair of the Guild's Film Committee. “It's not enough to be good at writing scripts to be successful in the industry. In order to see your work through from first draft to completed film, and be appropriately acknowledged for your involvement, you need to know the business and build strong working relationships."

You can read more about the guide on the Writers' Guild website.

Update (23.10.09): Coverage on


  1. It really is worth downloading this guide - getting more involved in the contractual, business side of things isn't a burden - it's a chance to be a lot more than a gun for hire.

    There's a good piece on a related theme by the creator of High School Musical on the Writers' Guild of America website:

  2. Knowledge is power and the sooner, as writers, we take responsibility for our own work and destinies, the happier and more successful our careers will be. There's nothing more rewarding than productive creative collaborations... which sometimes can last a lifetime... so let's play our parts fully and professionally.

    Many thanks to Olivia Hetreed and the Film Committee for their sterling work in writing this Guide for us.

  3. Anonymous5:52 pm

    You don't need to buy the book. To get started in the biz, just write the script for a cheap horror flick. Movie people in London will throw money at you. (Just be aware: the movie itself will make nothing.)

  4. Re Anonymous:

    It's not a book and it's not for sale :-)

    It's a free booklet for anyone writing or producing films, big or small.

  5. Anonymous12:39 am

    In that case, cheap at twice the price!


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