What do you think of when someone says “screenwriter”? Do you think of a crazy person in a dark room, the glare of the computer contouring dark eye-circles, nervous fingers typing away while a voice narrates the whole situation? OK so that last part is impossible, but sometimes I self-narrate, because why not?
Screenwriting is no longer something that an elite few “artsy-type” people have the privilege of calling their “job”. Everyone should be using screenwriting skills in their work or heck, for fun! You remember fun, don’t you?
Here’s what I mean:
1) Get a job you actually love!
The world is moving toward video and needs more screenwriters NOW. By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic, according to Cisco. Companies are getting savvy and they don’t want to use direct marketing (ie. promotional videos) anymore. Indirect marketing through storytelling is what’s what in this day and age. Think: a fictional web-series about a female character living in Beirut. A company can use that for product placement or simply just add their logo because the people who watch your series are within their target market. If you have a love for writing, it’s time to train yourself in writing for the screen. Several digital media companies are popping up in Beirut because they know they can sell a good script, they just need good screenwriters. I would know… they’re always contacting me for more writers.
But it’s not all about getting a job. If you already have a job that you love, screenwriting can make you better at it:
2) Better observation skills
Writing for movies is a visual craft and once you start to train in visual storytelling, you’ll become a better observer. Once you become a better observer, you’ll be a better leader. That’s a fact.
3) Story Structure for everything
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, good writing has good story structure, which essentially means a simple, clear way of communicating beginning, middle and end. It could be a sales pitch, a presentation or even an email, once you’ve got story structure, you give yourself an edge, simply because you can communicate effectively.
4) Visual storytelling to get your point across
How many promotional emails have you trashed, or sales pitches have you personally paid no attention to? When you can get someone to visualize what you mean, you win the argument or land the sale.
5) A different type of self-discovery
Taking care of yourself, understanding who you are, well, that’s good for both your personal and professional life. There’s something special about screenwriting that makes it different than any other type of writing, that’s probably because it’s related to the craft of acting. By embodying other fictional characters, you can live many lives and relate to many things. As FADE IN: screenwriter Yasmine Mehio, put it, “it’s like discovering your personal brand to better understand yourself.” See, we’re already talkin’ business-speak.
Why online video is the future of content marketing – The Guardian
The Explosive Growth of Online Video – The Content Strategist
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