Update, April 07,2018: So we decided to share with you what a sample of a Nollywood script looks like. A top Nollywood producer, Chinaza Onuzo, One of the founders of Inkblot Productions, producer of The Wedding party, My Wife and I and the Department shared the script of the movie ”The Arbitration” here.
This is what Chinaza had to say for sharing this wonderful scrip of the movie.
”One of the best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read scripts but there aren’t really many scripts of Nigerian films out and about to add to the diet of hollywood scripts. So i thought I’d change that a bit”.
Please go ahead and download the Nollywood movie script in pdf format and go through it.
Screenwriting is the act of writing scripts intended to be turned into movies or television shows. Those who write scripts are called screenwriters, and screenwriters are often freelance writers, which means they are self-employed.
Let start with some hard facts about selling a script to a movie producer or a big production company. To be totally honest, you don’t simply write a screenplay, market it, and then sell it for a million naira. That’s a myth.
In order to break into the movie industry (Nollywood) as a script writer you have to go in with a realistic viewpoint, if not your dreams will get crushed in a twinkle of an eye.
This article will try to guide you on how you can achieve you dream as a successful script writer.
BROADEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE
You need to acquire all the knowledge you can lay your hands on about script writing and the industry. Read as many produced script that you can lay your hands on. This will be the best education you get. Reading scripts. Reading produced scripts especially.
Another important step to actualizing your dream is to watch MOVIES, consume as many movies as you can. Do it like your life depended on it. It is also expected that you pay attention to details while watching these movies. Each scene matters. Each scene builds to the next. Each scene has purpose. Each scene is short, sweet, and to the point.
WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WANT TO WRITE?
You need to think long and hard about what you want to write and if your ideas are big enough, be it in comedy, horror, action, drama, or sci-fi (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, YOU’LL NEED IT). Once you are able to narrow what genre of movie you will be writing, it will be easier to make a master piece with your scripts.
DON’T STOP! KEEP WRITING!!!
If you keep working on writing scripts cover to cover you are honing your skills before your big break into the industry. Your first script will and always will be your worst. Don’t fall into the trap of writing your first script and then going out and trying to market and sell it. You’re not ready.
Renowned script writer, Tunde Babalola, when asked how he has perfected his art over the years, his reply was “It is by continually writing. One never stops learning. The more one does it, the better one gets at it. Of course, there are books one can read on the subject and further degrees that one can study to enhance one’s craft, but I’ve always believed practice makes perfect.”
In the course of reading produced script you will pick up certain knowledge that will be very useful to you. You will learn that you need to draw your reader/viewers in from your first few pages, they have to engage the viewers, making them yearn for more.
HOW DO YOU MARKET YOUR SCRIPT?
Do your research and find out who to approach. Do not just pick the most popular producers/ Production Company and throw your script at their faces. Do your research. I will advise you find a way of getting their email address. Email is non-committal. They don’t have to talk to you. They have to read through their email. And response-wise, it’s as easy as clicking “delete” or “reply”.
When reaching out to prospective client/investor you should give basic introduction about yourself, logline, synopsis, and end by saying thanks for considering.
What if you can’t get an email? Well, if you can lay your hands on their phone numbers brace up and give them a call. Before you make that phone call rehearse your selling point and give it the best shot you can.
Attend industry related events where you can come across potential investors, a big producer, other aspiring script writers or a production company. When you find yourself in the presence of such personalities it is important you portray a good impression of yourself. You might only get that opportunity once and one opportunity is all it takes to set your career rolling.
SO HOW DO YOU SELL YOUR SCRIPT?
First thing is to have at least 2-3 great scripts you are 100% sure will have anyone hooked from the first few pages. You might ask why? Well, if you get the opportunity of meeting someone who seems interested they are probably going to ask you “what other script do you have?” They may love your writing, but the concept you have in the script they read isn’t something they want to produce. So they’ll see if you have anything else. If you don’t? “Great. Nice to meet you. Have a nice day.”
Have three great scripts and you’ll look more and more like a seasoned writer that’s ready to tackle this beast of a screenwriting career.
Find some additional resources that can help better your chances of becoming a successful script writer in Nollywood
Final draft: is a screenwriting software for writing and formatting screenplays.
Celtx: Combines full-feature scriptwriting with pre-production support and also enables online collaboration.
Fade In: is screenwriting software for writing screenplays in the professional
Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach, by Paul Gulino,
Style, Structure, Substance and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee
Lastly,Learn the film industry and the goings on. Know what’s being made and who is making them. Know which films are failing at the box office and which are succeeding. Read this stuff every day!