Creative Career Spotlight: Screenwriter Job Description

If you are well versed with the film industry, you will agree that screenwriters are essential and responsible for creating dialogue, characters, and also the storyline that makes up a movie. Screenwriters can either choose to specialize in a particular genre, like science fiction or comedy, or be a jack of all trades. Whatever the case, screenwriters have a lot of room for creativity. 

Among other responsibilities, screenwriters are tasked with creating the story the will be told on the screen. They might have to create several drafts before they come up with the final script. If you have excellent writing skills, this might be the best career path for you.


In this article, we will show you everything it takes to become a successful screenwriter. If you have always wanted to pursue a career in this direction, then you have come to the right place. Continue reading to learn more about this profession.


Duties And Responsibilities Of A Screenwriter

Among other responsibilities, screenwriters are responsible for the following.

  • Develop a story into a script
  • Research several ideas for original movie screenplays
  • Work together with other film executives to pitch screenplays and other ideas
  • Work on the visual elements in scenes with dialogue and plot
  • Work hand in hand with producers and directors to ensure you adjust and edit the script as required
  • You might be required to come up with original material or redo existing material

Expected Salary Of A Screenwriter

In most cases, if you are writing for a movie, you might be able to negotiate your pay. With that in mind, it is very crucial for you to first establish yourself by writing small gigs and networking with the right people in the industry. Do your research and be sure always to fulfill someone’s needs.

As you begin, you might either be paid on credit or cash, but whatever the case, never turn down a job. Once you have been established, you will be paid about $70,000 for a script. However, for projects with a budget of over $5 million, you will earn more than $100,000.

Eligibility To Become A Screenwriter

The beauty of this job is that you don’t need any formal education to get started. However, you might benefit from taking creative writing classes and learning about film. Many local universities and colleges offer such programs, so be sure to research them. 


Skills Required To Excel As A Screenwriter

Here are some of the required skills you will need on your radar to excel in this industry.

  • You need to have impeccable writing skills to excel as a screenwriter. This, of course, is coupled with a strong command of the English language and the ability to flow as you tell your story.
  • You will also need to have excellent observation skills. You might be required to base the plot, characters, storyline, or real-life events and people or situations you have observed in real life.
  • Since you are responsible for coming up with your storylines, you need to have a creative imagination. Being able to envision and create new ideas is a skill that is very useful. 

Screenwriter Work Environment

Most screenwriters are independent contractors, and they often work for themselves in private settings like home offices. You must be good at pitching ideas to get paid. Also, you must be willing and ready to handle rejections and criticism at all times. This should not discourage you but instead push you to work harder. 

Work Schedule

You can choose your hours, meaning you can write as much or as little as you want. If your pitch is accepted and your screenplay is used for movies, you might have to be available to make adjustments and edits if need be. In some situations, you may be working within tight deadlines. 


Bottom Line

Becoming a screenwriter is not something that takes ages to learn. All it takes is a passion and good writing skills; the rest you can always learn on the job. If this has always been your dream career, then hopefully, these tips will help you get started. Otherwise, we wish you the best of luck as you pursue your dream job.