A Screenwriter College That Is Right for You



7/23/2012

If you dream of being a screenwriter in Hollywood, you might be looking for a good screenwriter college to attend. There are, in fact, a lot of reputable film schools that offer screenwriting among their different majors, and you are certain to learn a lot of useful things if you choose to attend one of these schools.
 

However, to become a successful screenwriter, you really need more than the typical film school or college writing program can offer you. Yes, you need to learn the particular skills involved with developing a good script, but what good is that script if you can’t ever get it into the hands of the Hollywood executives?


The point is, you need more than just an education if you hope to make it in the film industry. You also need connections, and you need to learn how to work those connections to your advantage. The truth is, most film schools aren’t going to give you the opportunity to make those connections, much less teach you how to network. Attending screenwriter college can help you with some aspects of your career, but you need a way to connect to the industry, as well.


Unfortunately, many aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters pin all their hopes on film school, going tens of thousands of dollars into debt to earn a degree that is essentially meaningless in the film business. When they discover that their degree does not open the doors they thought it would, many of these film school graduates end up taking non-industry jobs just to pay their debts off.
 

But here is an alternative to consider: who would be the best person on earth to teach you the art of screenwriting? ANSWER: a working screenwriter. It makes sense, if you think about it; while any film school instructor could easily teach you the techniques of script writing, a successful screenwriter can show you not only how to write a great screenplay, but also how to pitch that screenplay to Hollywood. He/she can also introduce you to people within the industry, helping you make those all-important connections.
 

What we’ve described here is basically the art of apprenticeship (externship), which has actually been used for centuries to pass certain skills from one person to another. If you don’t know of a screenwriter who could train you as an apprentice (extern), a film school that uses the mentor-apprentice (extern) approach (like Film Connection) can actually place you as an apprentice (extern) with a screenwriter (or other film professional, if you so choose).
 

The bottom line is that without the ability to make connections, film school will only carry you so far in your pursuit of a screenwriting career. A screenwriter college won’t help you nearly as much as an apprenticeship (externship) with a working screenwriter.