The very first phrase on that blank sheet to kick-off your screenplay hero or heroine’s journey, is ‘FADE IN.’ That again depends on your screenwriting software. I love using Final Draft, because it is popular in Hollywood, the cinema capital of the world.
Anyhow there are many ‘woods’ these days and you can’t blame anyone for adding the suffix to a native name just to have ‘…wood.’ But I insist on Hollywood’s Final Draft!
To cut short a long explanation on Nigerian Film Industry, Yoruba film industry, Igbo Film Industry or Kano Film Industry, just add the ‘…wood.’ That’s Nollywood, Yorubwood, or Kaniwood. After all Bollywood is real!
What’s in any name, when you’re typing in ‘FADE IN?’ Nothing other than following internationally accepted standards for screenwriting. That is how screenwriting becomes a trade, a craft and an industry. That’s why your decision to become a writer, creative writer or more exact screenwriter must be based on established craft practices.
More so are established craft practices in journalism, engineering, architecture and agriculture among other industries. Therefore your decision to become a screenwriter unarguably needs knowledge and practice or craft. And to cut it short for lack of time ‘FADE IN’ will certainly lead to a SCENE HEAD.
Wait! You can’t even get to FADE IN, if you don’t understand what your story is all about. That’s when the controlling idea germinates in your consciousness. Indeed your creativity germinates theme, central message or goal of your story. And that’s one element of the business of screenwriting craft you cannot ignore. Theme gives you the impetus to write your synopsis and treatment.
However to have a focused or particular theme, message or goal for your screen story can be challenging sometimes, really, because your desire to write the best screenplay that can make as much money at the cinemas like Black Panther, Wedding Party or Chief Daddy will mean putting on your grandfather’s thinking cap.
Don’t look too far! There is something that has been bothering you or your neighbor. Call it a personal pain! I choose to call it inequity; because what is peppering you actually comes from some social, cultural, economic, political or religious imbalances. How do you, the screenwriter heal that pain or restore balance for whoever feels the pain?
Write about that pain, imbalance, inequity or bitterness!
Follow the guideline and explain theme(s) in your TREATMENT!