I am 14 years-old and am very interested in screenwriting. I have read numerous books on the subject. I have four questions:
- At 14 years-old, what else should I be doing besides reading
- What screenwriting software do you use and why?
- In your years of experience, do you find that your creative
vision makes it to the big screen, without being altered too much?
- How old were you when you wrote your first script? How old were you when your first script got purchased?
Thank you in advance for answering my questions.
Usually I answer one or two questions per reader, but I remember when I was fourteen I had a lot of questions, so I’ll make an exception.
First, at 14 years old you should be watching everything and everybody. I don’t mean movies. Watch people, try to figure them out, try to listen to the cadence and content of their speech. People are simply characters without a plot. They’re your best place to start. And no one thinks a 14-year old is paying attention, so they’re likely to let you watch and listen.
And of course you should write. But I wouldn’t get too hung up on writing a whole screenplay just yet. Write snippets. Write stories. Just write whatever you feel like.
Second, I use Final Draft for the Macintosh. I love it, but there are other good programs. And remember, a tool is only as good as the person using it.
Third, a screenwriter’s creative vision often does suffer on the way to the screen. A screenplay is a blueprint, and the actual movie that gets constructed may not live up to your highest hopes. I was thrilled with GO, but then I also produced, so I had a pretty big hand in how it would be done. Other projects haven’t always met my expectations, and it’s usually because choices were made that I wouldn’t have made. That’s the reality when you’re not the final voice on a movie.
Fourth, I was 22 when I wrote my first script. I wrote it in film school, and it was overwritten like most first scripts are. It’s never been produced, and honestly it never should be. But it got me started. The first script I was paid to write was HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS, which is just now making it to the gate. The first original script I sold was GO.
When I look back to stuff I wrote when I was 14, I’m usually impressed by the vocabulary and horrified by the subject matter. I wrote about the stupidest things, most of them related to Dungeons & Dragons. But it’s important that I wrote those early things, because it gave me the confidence to make a living at it now.