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I plan on writing my first screeplay in 2022. However, I'm not sure whether to write a tv or movie script for my first screenplay?

I have many ideas that could be either a tv script or a movie script. However, just curious, what does the entertainment/film industry value more? TV or Movie Screenplays? I am struggling on my decision. I plan to use the script to submit to writing competitions and apply to grad film school. I would really appreciate some feedback on this matter. Thank you.

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You should follow your dreams and write what you want. Follow your heart. Write the TV script, because you can make it more exciting with more episodes and whatever you're into. Dakota W.
You should write a tv show because you would have more room to expand as the episodes come along. Kendra A.
Kendra A. I so with you.agree Dakota W.
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Hank’s Answer

So your fundamental decision is: Teleplay or screenplay. Right?

A lot really has to do with the school you're applying to -- if that's your reason for writing at the moment. I would research the school and find out where their focus is. Keep the actual and immediate goal in focus: Getting accepted into the grad program. Oui?

Also, does the program look at you as a "writer" or as someone who does or doesn't write "producible material?" There is a huge difference. You can be a great writer but write a really bad story. You can also be a fantastic storyteller but can't write worth anything.

See if you can reach out to some current and/or former students. Ask them what they think the focus of the grad program is.

The advantage of writing a TV series -- and BTW, you will initially write ONLY the pilot, never multiple episodes -- is that the pilot is mostly setup and is often the most fun to write. With a feature film, you need to pack the whole smash into 90 to 120 pages. That's a bit of work to do that well.

If instead of applying for school you're pitching a series to a producer, then you will need to get them to believe a series could last for at least three (3) season and preferably longer.

There is also a sort of compromise format -- the "limited series." Used to be called a "miniseries" but those fell out of favor a while ago. And yet they brought them back by simply calling them something else. Go figure...

Try to get to a headspace where you can determine which format suits you NOW and what the school is looking for NOW and write THAT. Folks often say it can't but the truth is: Any story can be told as a film or as a series. It just gets told differently in each.

Again... Eyes on the "prize."

Hank recommends the following next steps:

Actually, all the "steps" are in the answer, I think. Go to it!
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Teriyana,

I am not a published writer, but I do know published authors and some screen writers. I think that only you can answer your question. What I mean is that you are talking about entering very challenging areas - movies and television.

Television: If you had to do another screen play very quickly, could you do that? That is the pace of television - quick, quick, quick. Do you have a story arc that can be taught in small segments over a fast period of time? Is it ready for proper television which in the USA network television is 22 episodes, 22 scripts. Or do you see your work being used in limited series format (8 to 10 episodes to complete a story arc.)?

Movie: Is the story that you need to tell better set at a movie level? I understand from others that movie scripts have a formula in terms of certain number of pages. The story needs to be complete and standalone in a different way than serialized work.

I would say begin with what feels the most comfortable and natural to you. There is no right way to start but beginning with what feels natural is the less stressful way to go.

Gloria
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Aaron’s Answer

I've never written a screenplay so I hope my answer is useful. I've definitely read about shows that were converted to movies later because investors decided it would be better or vice versa. If you look at Disney, they started with movies and now they are doing TV show spinoffs from their Marvel Universe. This seems to be more common from my experience as a "netflix/disney plus/hulu" user lol. How to train your dragon was a movie, now Netflix continues to make how to train your dragon shows. On the flip, "troll hunters" started off as a show and became one of the most watched cartoons on netflix during Covid and then they did a finale movie.
Not having written a screenplay I do write books and I find myself making a skeleton first of what I want before deciding if it's going to be one big Novel or a series of books. I imagine a similar principal can apply. I don't know if you've heard of the "save the cat" 15 key story “beats,” or “plot points.” You can find the outline for free online but it's a good way to put your ideas into a proven method that captures readers and provides the right amount of suspense at the right times. I start building my ideas around this model sometimes. Sometimes it helps me realize I need to split my idea into two books instead of just one. You could try doing that and then it might help you answer your own question.
Thanks Aaron! This advice is incredibly helpful. I will try to apply some of the resources that you mentioned. Teriyana M.
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