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Rewriting a Script

Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for television, video games, or film. It is one of the most sought after careers in Hollywood, although it is hard to find the right people to take your script.



Screenwriting has several forms throughout the entertainment industry. Sometimes, there are several writers for a single script, which is divided into various levels of development with various tasks for each level.

One of the most frustrating and expensive processes of screenwriting is rewriting. When a writer gets help from script analysts, doctors, and other such consultants, he can actually get charged up to $3,000. Some of the more renowned script doctors are Quentin Tarantino, Robert Towne, William Goldman, and Mort Nathan. Many films undergo rewriting throughout the development process. Often, the rewritten scripts are produced by a second team of scriptwriters. There are some well-known writers and new writers who early in their careers turned out promising scripts but which had insufficient marketability. However, they now earn a good income through rewriting existing scripts.

In rewriting scripts, there is what is called “page one rewrite”. When the characters or storyline is good but the script is clumsy, other writers are contracted to change the entire draft. Polish or punch-up is done if there are only little problems such as a weak dialogue or two, or poor humour.

Screen credits depend on the size of the new writer’s contributions to the scripts. If the rewriter changed 50% or more of the original script, credit is given to him or her. However, it would be difficult to give screen credit to the actual total number of screenwriters who contributed to the making of any given film.