Got an idea for a movie, but don’t know where to start? Here’s Step 1

As the infamous director Alfred Hitchcock said, “To make a great film you need three things … the script, the script, the script.”

And he’s 100% correct. It all starts with the script. Maybe you’re not a writer or just don’t have the time to write, but you want the credit for your movie. That’s when hiring a ghostwriter makes the most sense. A ghostwriter will write the script for you but takes no credit. They’re invisible … just like a ghost, but not as scary.

A film ghostwriter is highly skilled and has mastered the art of writing screenplays. Elements such as story pacing, witty and engaging dialogue, and character development all work together to bring the story to life. If you’ve ever watched a bad movie, you know what a bad script looks like. The characters are hollow without any depth, the dialogue is stale and doesn’t sound the way people really speak, and the story doesn’t hook you right away, drags on, or cuts too quickly from scene to scene. All of these are signs of an inexperienced script writer.

Ghostwriters do this for a living and know how to take your idea and turn it into gold. You don’t even have to have your thoughts on paper. You can dictate the story to them during the discovery stage, or you can provide notes, a synopsis, a treatment, or even a book that you want adapted into a screenplay. No matter where you are in your process, a ghostwriter can pull the pieces of the story together and make magic happen.

The first thing you need to do is find a good ghostwriter. You can use Google or your network to search or you can use well-established companies that specialize in ghostwriting services. These companies have already vetted the writer and put their stamp of approval on their expertise. They can also choose the best writer for your genre and style and will ensure the work gets done. Ghostwriters Central is an excellent place to start.

It’s important that you work with a ghostwriter who is a fit for your project and also for your personality. You’re going to be working back and forth together on the project so you want to match with someone who works at the same tempo as you. Genre is also extremely important. Some ghostwriters specialize in one or two genres, while others may be experienced with most genres. After reading their writing credentials, it’s a good idea to get on the phone before hiring them to see if you like the writer and can imagine yourself working with them.

If they pass the test, both in skills and personality, an NDA and contract are the next crucial steps. A non-disclosure agreement protects your ownership and rights to the work and a contract will spell out exactly what is expected of the writer and will outline the payment structure. After that, you’re ready to start.

As a side note, many so-called freelancer websites have writers that offer screenplay writing services. If you’re considering a writer offered through such a service, you need to know two things: 1) Make sure you can work with that freelancer directly without having to make every contact through the company’s own messaging system. That’s no way to work with a writer. 2) Do not use the services of a writer who is not a native U.S. English speaker and located here. That’s just asking for trouble.

So, what’s the best way to work with a ghostwriter? Clarity and setting expectations are two key elements. An initial phone call to lay down the story is the best way to begin. Lay out the main plot, a B story, and any important plot points that absolutely need to be in your movie. Make sure to describe your characters and their relationship to each other and the plot. The ghostwriter may provide an outline of acts one through three before they start writing to ensure you are both on the same page. After that, you will begin to receive pages to review where you can make notes for edits or changes. A good ghostwriter will recommend story points and flow, and they might suggest changes, additions, or omissions to the plot, but as the client, you always have the final say. 

A writer who shares your vision for the script and who can deliver an interesting, collaborative, creative and fun experience is a delight not to be missed. I recommend you reach out to Ghostwriters Central for ghostwriting services. They’ve helped thousands of clients achieve their goals since 2002.

Using an excellent movie ghostwriter is a great way to bring your thoughts to the big screen. Always remember to do your due diligence on anyone you hire and make sure to set expectations and communicate clearly. See you at the movies!

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer


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