It is true that the entertainment industry is not usually how good your story is but how commercially successful it is. So even if you have a whack storyline; as long as you have done the required broadcast, many people will storm the cinema to see the movie because of the hype.
So the question I am posing to some screenwriters is, “How do you choose your story?” “Do you start writing it first or do you first research what sells?”
I actually think that the most important principle to keep up with when writing your screenplay is CREATE FOR YOURSELF FIRST. As a writer, you have to enjoy your own story first. You are your own first audience. If you don’t like your story, who will?
But then there are so many writers who in their attempt to get their scripts to be a commercial success take on a story that they think will sell. While this may be seem like a wise choice, if you are not connected emotionally to your story, it could be difficult to end up with a good story. So write that story you know you will enjoy writing.
And for a screenwriter, there is no doubt that part of what helps us write a screenplay is the knowledge we have gained from the movies we have seen. So if you decide to write on a genre you don’t know very well or don’t watch often, you might end up doing more preparation than if you work on a genre you enjoy.
Personally, horror and mystery are my kind of movies. So, most times it is difficult coming up stories that is void of mystery. A friend once told me to write a comedy screenplay for him and I totally flopped. I might be a funny person but writing comedy isn’t my thing. I can’t actually sit down with all concentration and watch a comedy movie. But when it comes to horror movies and mystery and I am with my boyfriend, there is every tendency that I will forget that he is sitting beside me until the movie comes to an end. That is how much I love horror and mystery movies.
So dear screenwriter, choose a genre that interests you; it could be comedy, romance, action; we all have our niche after all.
When you are done with your scripts, the next stage is to try to sell it. When considering how to market your script, ask yourself this question, “Will I actually pay to see this movie I have written?” if your answer to the question is in the affirmative then, the next step is to consider who and how large your audience would be. You can equally determine the right people to send your script to by looking for producers that are already making films like yours.
If you are a Nigerian screenwriter reading this, you will understand that it is totally a big joke if you write a horror screenplay and consider selling it to the popular comedian, Basketmouth. He might just roll his eyes and ditch yours script to the nearest waste bin.
So, know the kind of producers you approach with your script but most importantly, you don’t have to get the script right, the priority should be GET IT WRITTEN.