How to write a film script.
Not sure where to start with your next movie? Follow these helpful steps to carry you from idea to film-ready script.
Make a list of loglines.
Loglines are basic film ideas that follow this formula: Inciting incident + protagonist + journey + stakes. Think of it like the short, excited voiceover phrase at the beginning of next summer’s blockbuster (“In a world…”).
Compile a list of several loglines and share them with friends, family, or even complete strangers to narrow them down to your best idea.
Build a beat sheet.
Once you have an idea, it’s time to build a beat sheet. A beat sheet is a list of plot points (also called beats) that make up the overall story.
Make sure each beat is relevant to the story and holds your viewers’ attention. If you don’t like a beat, take it out. Whittle your beat sheet down until you can get through it entirely (and still love your idea by the end.)
Create an outline.
The outline is like your roadmap to a fully formed script. Look at your beat sheet and fill in the details for each plot point. The more detailed your outline, the easier and faster it’ll be to write your film script later.
Write your script.
Armed with a detailed outline, it’s time to finally write your film script. Put your virtual pen to paper and watch your story come to life.
While it’s certainly an accomplishment, finishing your first draft isn’t the end of the process. Show your draft to friends, family, managers, or whoever else will read it to get feedback. Then, rewrite and repeat until your film script is as good as it can be. Then, you’ll be ready to make your movie.