How to Do Research When Writing the Screenplay for Your Movie?

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Image credits – Pixabay

The time and method often varies from writer to writer and depending on the genre or the type of film that you are making. The aim of the article is to guide you by drawing the broad contours within which you will have to curve out your preference and develop your own methodology depending on what suits you.
Tips that you can follow

  1. Know the subject on which you have to write: Whether you are writing a screenplay for your own movie which you would direct, writing a spec script or you have been hired to write for a movie about which you have little information, you need to understand the subject thoroughly before you start with your research. You can create a draft or an outline which will help you to condense your research and make it compact. Now, you will have to expand the brief idea that you have come up with.
  2. Read, watch movies, interviews, listen to music: Always remember that the research is not the be-all, end-all of your movie. Try to read as much as possible on anything that remotely resembles the subject matter of your movie. Of course, you will have to watch a lot of movies and documentaries especially if you are creating a screenplay for a period drama or a sci-fi movie. During this time, you have to simultaneously develop your story and characters also.2
    Image credits – Pixabay

     

  3. Continue to write: Even as you do research, you must continue to develop the plot and characters. Ask yourself why you need certain characters in the movie. Are they adding value to the narrative? Don’t add scenes or characters to show-off your knowledge on the subject. Think about the audience and always write from their perspective. Set a time everyday for writing and continue to watch movies or read in your leisure time.
  4. Conduct short interviews: If you are writing a screenplay on a subject that you don’t understand too much, you will have to look for experts who are willing to talk. You will need to spend time in the library but talking to experts will help you get answers to your queries. Try to build your narrative around an idea that you have liked. Set yourself a deadline within which you want to finish the research and writing. Don’t procrastinate.
  5. Keep the audience in mind and understand the genre: If you are writing keeping a particular genre in mind, understand it well and follow the basic rules of the genre because your audiences may not appreciate a nasty surprise in the movie. If you want to be different, be honest with your audience about it without divulging specific details. Ruminate on the climax and the conflict that would anchor the story and drive the conclusion respectively.

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