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Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Up and Coming Confusion

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Question
Mr. Carter,

I am a high schooler, nearly 16, and an aspiring screenwriter. I have written multiple short screenplays and am in the process of adapting one of them into a feature length screenplay.  I want to believe it is good and that I am formatting it correctly, but there are so many different opinions out there (I personally use Syd Field's 'Screenplay'). I have grown in writing maturity over the course of the time I have been writing these and, with the assistance of a friend, am in talk with a television group over pitching my writing to them. Do you have any advice, from master to student, to give to an up and coming writer in these sort of situations? Thank you.

Regards,
Phillip C

Answer
Congrats on your writing. I guess, the first thing I would tell you to do is copyright your scripts with the U.S. Copyright Office (or your country's copyright office, if you aren't American). It's not terribly expensive but it protects your work, and more than likely the television group will want it to be copyrighted as well. I would say also, to look at this link: http://www.simplyscripts.com/WR_format.html
This is the standard format for screenplays. If you download CELTX, you can write in that program and write in the standard format and then export it. I would eventually invest in a writing software like Final Draft or Movie Magic too.

I would keep writing, but also learn to love reading. Read scripts, read novels, read the newspaper. It's good to keep informed and sharp.

Writing Plays/Screenwriting

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Anthony T. Carter

Expertise

As a active screenwriter and dramatist (playwright/librettist), I have been writing and directing since I was in elementary school. My expertise is in dramtic writing as well as historical research. I have been given such responsibility (dramaturg) for many local theatre productions. bbc

Experience

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts, minors in History and Psychology. As a writer, I have enjoy the experience of researching for information in regards to a script or just because.

Organizations
Royal Autumn Entertainment (Owner and Lead Creative) Nazareth College Alumni Association Geva Theatre Center (Official Videographer) JCC CenterStage (Official Videographer/Media Technologist/Dramaturge) Method Machine (Playwright in Residence/Dramaturge)

Education/Credentials
B.A. Theatre Arts, Nazareth College of Rochester 2007

Past/Present Clients
Nazareth College of Rochester Method Lab Nuts and Bolts Radworks Wilson Magnet High School JCC CenterStage Geva Theatre Center SE Video

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