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Monday, February 12, 2007

How Long Should It Take to Write a Movie Script?

I've mentioned WCCL's new Movie in a Month course a few times on my blog recently (mainly because I'm a big fan of it). Someone ('Anonymous') left the following comment the other day: 'What kind of film can you write in a month? This has got to be a con. You couldn't even write Scream 7 in a month. What can you write - How to Boil an Egg - the 28 day way?'

Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, of course, even if they're not prepared to put their name to it. But a recent article by Joe Eszterhas, the world's highest paid scriptwriter, takes a different view. Writing in UK newspaper The Independent, he offers the following advice:
Write six pages of script a day

Stick to this schedule no matter what. You'll have a finished first draft in roughly twenty days. Then go back and edit what you've written. Spend no more than five days on this edit.

Then rewrite your script from page one - with your edits. Spend no more than one week on this rewrite - that means putting out 20 pages a day.

Put the script away for a week; don't even look at it. Then edit it once again. Spend no more than four days on the edit this time. Then rewrite it again from scratch with your edits - taking another week. This will be your third draft. Now begin the process of trying to sell it - this, your official first draft.
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So Joe recommends writing your first draft script in twenty days - eight days LESS than the title of WCCL's movie-writing guide! OK, you'll have to go back and polish it before sending it out, but the same would apply with a book or any other literary work. You certainly can, and according to Joe Eszterhas you should, write a movie in a month!

To see my full review of WCCL's CD course by that title, just click here.

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