AskDefine | Define screenwriters

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of screenwriter

Extensive Definition

Screenwriters, scenarists, or script writers, are authors who write the screenplays from which movies and television programs are made.
Most screenwriters start their careers writing on speculation. That means they write without being hired and paid for it. Selling such a script calls to sell a "spec-script". Only a handful of spec-scripts are produced every year.
Many of them also work as "script doctors," attempting to change scripts to suit directors or studios; for instance, studio management may have a complaint that the motivations of the characters are unclear or that the dialogue is weak.
Script-doctoring can be quite lucrative, especially for the better known writers. David Mamet and John Sayles, for instance, fund the movies they direct themselves, usually from their own screenplays, by writing and doctoring scripts for others. In fact, some writers make very profitable careers out of the script doctoring food chain, being the ninth or tenth writer to work on a piece; in many cases, working on projects that never see exposure to an audience of any size.
A few screenwriters have also found work by selling a treatment (approximately 10-30 pages) or synopsis (usually 1-2 pages), of their screenplay even if it isn't completed yet. This is however extremely rare.
One of the most important elements in bringing an idea to fruition for a studio to produce is attaching the right screenwriter to the project. Often projects are sold to studios who then assign their own preferred screenwriters to complete the script or write the final draft.
Most professional screenwriters are unionized and are represented by organizations such as the Writers Guild of America. The WGA is final arbiter on awarding writing credit for projects under its join.
screenwriters in Asturian: Guionista
screenwriters in Bulgarian: Сценарист
screenwriters in Danish: Manuskriptforfatter
screenwriters in German: Drehbuchautor
screenwriters in Spanish: Guionista
screenwriters in Croatian: Scenarist
screenwriters in Hebrew: תסריטאי
screenwriters in Japanese: 脚本家
screenwriters in Dutch: Scenarioschrijver
screenwriters in Norwegian: dramatiker
screenwriters in Polish: Scenarzysta
screenwriters in Portuguese: Roteiro
screenwriters in Russian: Сценарист
screenwriters in Albanian: Autor filmi
screenwriters in Simple English: Screenwriter
screenwriters in Finnish: Elokuvakäsikirjoittaja
screenwriters in Swedish: Manusförfattare
screenwriters in Vietnamese: Nhà biên kịch
screenwriters in Turkish: Senarist
screenwriters in Ukrainian: Сценарист
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