It can be daunting to send your screenplay to a festival. Whether it’s a short or a feature-length script, those words have been carefully crafted by you, and it’s normal to feel anxious about sending your baby out into the world.
Here are our top 5 tips for getting your screenplay festival-ready.
1 . DO A SPELL CHECK
It’s the easiest thing to forget, but please, please, please – do a spell check before you send your script off. You want your work to look professional and well-edited. Software such as FinalDraft will have an inbuilt spellcheck function, but it’s also a great idea to go through your screenplay and make sure that your sentences are fully formed, and that you haven’t missed something while you were on your whirlwind writing spree!
Industry-standard formatting is super important when submitting your screenplay. While the story is the key, readers and judges will also want to see that you understand the standards of screenwriting when it comes to layout, formatting and the general look of your script. For great tips on formatting, check out this blog from The Writers’ Store.
Every reader and judge wants to see that your characters are not only fully-formed beings with their own personalities and traits, but that they all take a journey. If a character is just in a scene to deliver a witty one-liner, do they really need to be there? For more on character development, make use of this FREE character development webinar from ScriptMag.
Have you read your script out loud? It might seem silly, but dialogue reads so differently on the page. Get some friends together, or pull in a favour, and have a table read of your screenplay. Does the dialogue flow? Is the slang relevant? Would your characters really say that? Give it a whirl and you just might find you can build even better dialogue for your (already amazing) script.
A feature film script is around 90+ pages, and that’s a lot of reading. To make readers and judges excited to read your script, make sure your synopsis is bang on point. If you’re not sure where to start, here is a great step-by-step guide from Script Reader Pro.
Have a great writing weekend!
TEAM GRIM NORTH