How to Write Animation Movies

Being an Animation Screenwriter – How to Write Animation Film Screenplays


By Pinaki Ghosh

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Good news is that we at have been writing a number of animation films like ‘Captain India’ and a few more are in the pipeline. Somehow the word went around that we have specialist animation screenwriters.

But how different is animation screenwriting from usual screenwriting for live action movies? Let’s check out.

1. First, if you are writing the screenplay of an animation movie, in other words, if you are an animation screenwriter, you should be ideally someone who has grown up reading comicbooks and graphic novels. Writers who have vast knowledge of comicbooks and graphic novels will be better animation screenwriters than the ones who have never really loved reading comicbooks and graphic novels.

2. The animation screenwriting format is usual. Exactly similar to live action movies. You can write it using Microsoft Word, Open Office Word, Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter in the usual screenplay format.

3. Keep the dialogs brief and interesting. Ideally single sentences. Long, boring dialogs are usually unusual in animation screenplays.  Keep that in mind as an animation screenwriter.

4. However, keep your action descriptions vivid. That is one way animation screenplays are different from normal screenplays. The animation artists should be able to understand the actions and depict them exactly. As such the animation screenwriter must pay attention in clearly describing each action. You cannot afford to cut it short here, as your vision may not reach the animation artists if your action description is too brief.

5. Maintain a fast pace. Two talking heads covering 7 minutes in one location is not what animation viewers are prepared to watch. As an animation screenwriter, keep changing scenes frequently and avoid stagnation.

6. Avoid overcrowding of characters in one scene unless you are specifically told to do so. Try to keep two to three characters in a majority of scenes. Only a few scenes should have a large number of characters. It is difficult and expensive to put up a scene with a large number of animated characters.

7. It is a good idea to watch a number of good animation films for a week before starting to write your animation screenplay. Not to pick up ideas, but to tune your mind. It is said what we write has 10% experience and 90% inspiration in it. Good works inspire us. The one week will be a good investment to boost your inspiration.