Transitioning from Book to Film

When I write my stories, characters, scenes, plots, locations, dialogue, and narratives, there is a video playing in my mind.  I can see my characters, hear their voices, feel their emotions, and yes, I can smell them just as plainly as I can feel their hugs.  One of the most interesting things I plan on doing during these next few years is to learn to be a scriptwriter and transform my books for film.  I dream of sitting in the theater, popcorn and a cold drink in hand, and watch my stories come to life on the big screen.  They say if you want something done right, do it yourself – well, I don’t believe that I’m capable of directing and/or producing a film of any quality, but what I believe I can do, I will do, and that is to write it.

Surfing about on YouTube, in search of factual insight on the subject, I came across this nearly two-hour video below …

Scriptwriting for Beginners … a 2-hour lecture.

This instructor re-enforced my previous understanding that both Celtx and FinalDraft were the key software packages of this industry for their use and formatting of a script and to meet the industry’s standards of writing and presentation.  Without these standards, no matter how great a story (or rather a script) could be – if it is not formatted properly and laid out according to a film-maker’s preference the script will simply be tossed – hitting File 13 (the trash bin) with a bang, rather than the big screen.

Reading Scripts for FREE

The instructor in the above video mentioned a few websites where anyone can download the scripts for any movie that the producers and/or directors choose to release to the public.  I find this extremely useful in seeing and reading first hand what and how the professionals write scripts and screenplays.  Below is a short list of the websites mentioned in the video lecture above.

  At LA Screenwriter the scripts available to read for free is endless.  A few clicks of the mouse and I was reading “10 Things I Hate About You”.  If you have the Print Friendly PDF Extension for Chrome, you can create a PDF file of the online script you wish to read.

Simply Scripts was so easy to use.  I clicked the Menu button for MOVIE SCRIPTS then clicked “The Room”.  This took me to The Room Script Blog page, where I could download the PDF of the full movie script for FREE!  Learning how to write scripts to adapt my books for a film is an exciting venture.  But, reading the same scripts that all of those famous actors have read, is even more thrilling.  I plan on hunting around for several, by different and various famous scriptwriters.

Software Standards

Celtx has both a free and paid versions – allowing 3 scripts in total for the free version.  An assortment of monthly fees expand this restriction, depending on the number of users you might have, comes with various subscription packages and is mainly online, not privately on your own personal computer.  I am not fond of the idea of my work floating around on the cloud, so I don’t think I will use this software for that fact.


FinalDraft 10 allows a full installation of the software on your personal computer, with options to invite other users to assist in the creation and development of a script, and empowers the ‘owner’ to control who may or may not edit the script.  This security measure makes me feel like my work is safe, at home where it should be, and free from any damages of say, theft.  With a one time payment, FinalDraft is yours to keep forever.  FinalDraft, version 10, is my software of choice.


Scriptwriting – a book for beginners

Another mention from the instructor in the above video was the book “Save the Cat” – referring to the one and only book you’ll ever need to buy in order to understand the industry and its standards as well as learning the art and craft of a screenwriter.  Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need can be found on Amazon.  I plan on buying this book soon.  Look for it in my Book Blog later this year.

Scripts & Movies

The IMDb is the place to go to learn about the latest and greatest movies, the hot and the not so hot, the cast and crew, comments and all things related to the subject of movies.  Becoming an IMDb Member is a given if you wish to crawl into this world and explore, and with a few different Membership Types, you can rate, review, critique, and comment – giving you a front row seat to these people and this world of motion picture productions.

Script Awards

Stage32 hosts many awards and a great place for scriptwriters to show their wares, be discovered and work with many others, both newbies and seasoned veterans of the industry.  This is exciting!  And I will be looking into this further, so watch for future posts on the subject.

Bringing the world together to form a union of scriptwriters and material for movie producers, Page Awards is the number one source and service.  Everything from discussions to collaborations, contest entry to winning the movie jackpot, I will not neglect to investigate this avenue thoroughly.

Pin It on Pinterest