Screenwriting: How To Write Production Drafts

Once your script has been accepted for production in the screenwriting industry, you are going to need to create a production draft. The point of this draft, as insinuated by the name, is to make production easier and to make further revisions and rewrites more organized.

Step 1: Choose Your Scriptwriting Software

While a first draft script can be written on almost anything, once your script has been selected for production you really need to pick up some software to help guide you in the process, as well as give your final drafts a professional and easily understood appearance. The further along in the process of scriptwriting you get, the more people are going to look at your work. At this point, many people who will be an integral part of the production of your film will be viewing your drafts; presenting it accurately and professionally is a must.

There are many great scriptwriting software packages out there, but do your research and find the one that best fits your understanding and experience level in both screenwriting and computation.

Step 2: Rewrite, Reorganize and Reedit

At this point, your script has been accepted, so it is a good bet that the production company saw something in it they liked. For this reason, you do not want to go in and butcher what you have written thus far, because it is possible you will rework or remove something that the producers particularly liked. This does not, however, mean that you should not revise your work at all.

Many writers get timid or lazy at this point because they are either too afraid to mess up the already-accepted script or they do not think it is necessary for them to work anymore. This is not correct though. As a screenwriter, you should once again proofread your script and ask others, in whom you have confidence, to do the same. Make any final corrections.

Step 3: Number and Lock Your Scenes

The first step you will take is to number and lock your scenes. Scenes are generally and most easily numbered chronologically in this draft, but once a scene is given a number, it keeps it. If scenes are later reorganized or thrown out, the sequence of the numbers will no longer be chronological because each scene retains its original number with new scenes earning a new number at the end of the chronological chain or with a number and letter combination. This is called locking your scenes and the purpose of it is to easily identify where major changes have been made to the script.

Step 4: Create the Presentation

Do not become indolent about the presentation now. At every step of the scriptwriting process, you want to present the best looking script you possibly can. Be sure that the pages are neatly printed with no smudges or stains. Bind your draft with an attractive and sturdy binding that can handle the mass without making page turning difficult. Do not add too much extra information, such as quotes or a synopsis. Be sure your digital copy is also pristine and provide a copy in the digital format as well for easy printing and editing.