Before asking what is a scriptwriter, we should define what a scriptwriter is not. A scriptwriter is not a literature person like a novelist. A screenwriter is a person who draws pictures with words. The main task of the screenwriter is not to write a story, but to convey the images to the paper. All other definitions are the personal definitions that each scriptwriter will make for herself. Because every screenwriter may have different sensitivities, while some define themselves as storytellers, others may not up to tell stories.
Even if a scriptwriter is not a literature person, she can use literary methods to present his ideas. For example, the screenwriter’s statement is a text in which you can explain the theme, genre, and subject of your screenplay, and identify your motivations and goals. The screenwriter’s statement is an important opportunity for you to best describe and convince other people. In a project dossier, the first ancillary document often examined together with the synopsis is the screenwriter’s statement and the director’s statement.
A scriptwriter’s statement or a director’s statement is a personal text written in the first person. They can include a variety of styles, content, and formats. If you think you can explain your idea well, you can add an anecdote you hear, an excerpt from your favorite author, or even a poem. This is all about your creativity and your ability to write. Also, in a scriptwriter’s statement, each screenwriter actually gives his / her own personal answer to the question of what a scriptwriter is.
In order to assist and guide you, in this section, we will provide a standard outline of a scriptwriter’s statement, and share ready-made questions to help you uncover the main elements of the text.
Now, let’s divide the text into three chapters as introduction, body, and conclusion, then address the issues you can talk about in these chapters:
You can start the text by giving an overview of the theme of the film. For example, Time to Love (1965) is about ‘falling in love with an object’. In the introductory part, you can give general information about the theme of being in love with an object. Or you can make a more specific introduction to the topic and tell you about an event that you’ve heard or an anecdote that pushes you to this theme.
In the body section, you can relate the story and characters of your screenplay to the theme you talked about in the introduction. You can also introduce your characters in general and talk about their different and interesting features. For example, the main character of Time to Love (1965) falls in love with the image of a woman and has dilemmas between reality and imagination.
In the conclusion section, you can determine your approach to this theme and topic like why you choose this topic, what depths you will add to this topic and how you will present the story in a genre. So what is the part of this subject that is personally relevant to you? What are the differences in how you deal with the issue? For example, although the film Time to Love (1965) initially appeared to be a classic melodrama, Metin Erksan transformed many clichés in the films, added poetry to the melodrama genre. You can talk about such differences in the conclusion section.
Of course, you don’t have to use this pattern we offer you. What is important here is that the text should be a direct or indirect answer to a number of questions. Let’s examine what these questions might be:
You can use the following questions to reveal the main elements of the scriptwriter’s statement and start writing the text through these answers. Or, when you have completed the text, you can test it to see if it meets the questions.
- What is the theme and genre of the film?
- What is the relationship between the story and the characters and the theme?
- What does the film outline?
- How are your characters in general?
- What is your personal connection to the theme and subject of the film?
- What is the special meaning of this story for you?
- Why should this story be told? Why now?
- What does the viewpoint of the topic promise to the audience?
- What are the differences in how you deal with the issue?
- Is the screenplay based on your own personal experiences and ideas?
- What are your influences and inspirations?
The director’s statement covers all the elements of the scriptwriter’s statement. In addition, it describes the tone and audiovisual preferences of the film and how the screenplay will be revealed. For example, Time to Love (1965) has elements similar to the Antonioni films: In contrast to the melodrama films of the period, it includes black and white plans reflecting one’s inner world, using little dialogue and emphasizing the visuality and creating a melancholic atmosphere with autumn images.
Accordingly, the additional question we will ask for the statement of the director could be:
- How will you realize this screenplay in terms of sound, tone, rhythm, atmosphere and visual style?
Producer’s statement may not be an auxiliary document needed for applications for a screenplay since a producer is not involved in the project yet. But we think it would be useful to briefly talk about the producer’s statement so that you have an idea of what the producer’s role is. Contrary to popular belief, the producer doesn’t only have to look at it in terms of providing funding and managing money. The producer can be involved in all creative processes, from project design to distribution.
For example, in this blog, we explain how to make a screenplay ready technically and how to prepare the necessary documents for presentation. This is, in fact, a process that the producer, the screenwriter, and the director should work together. Because the documents prepared during the presentation of a screenplay should be evaluated from a producer’s point of view and shaped accordingly. In addition, the project dossier should also include funding documents such as the script budget and the financial plan.
In short, the producer can also address the issues mentioned in the statements of the screenwriter and the director. In addition, the producer’s statement includes the feasibility of the project, the financing strategy, and the targeted audience.
We have completed this section. Finally, we eliminate the fact that each text you prepare will not exceed 1 page.
In the next post, we will explain how to prepare a biography and filmography.
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A screenwriter is a person who draws pictures with words. The main task of the screenwriter is not to write a story, but to convey the imagination on paper. All other definitions are the personal definitions that each screenwriter will make for himself. Because every screenwriter may have different sensitivities, some define himself as a storyteller, and some screenwriter is up to tell stories.
The screenwriter’s statement is a text in which you can explain the theme, genre, and subject of your screenplay, and identify your motivations and goals.
The director’s statement describes the tone and audiovisual preferences of the film and how the script will be revealed.
The producer’s statement is the text in which the producer evaluates the issues mentioned in the opinion of the screenwriter and director according to the producer’s own point of view. In addition, the producer’s statement includes the feasibility of the project, the financing strategy, and the targeted audience.