Reading Scripts

One of the best things I took away from the Producing Masterclass last weekend is an outline of the 5 stages of producing films. I am at stage 1. I really appreciated getting a roadmap to advancing through to stage 5.

Some of the tips for stage 1 Producers were:

  • Read 100 produced scripts
  • Read 100 unproduced scripts

See what got made. See what didn’t get made (or what hasn’t been made yet). The aim is to get to the point where you’re bored reading scripts. Then the good ones will jump out at you (‘hmm … I’m at page 15 and I’m still reading and interested …’). Read the bad ones so you know or can work out what makes a bad script.

This isn’t just for Producers. This is a tip for scriptwriters as well. And Directors.

This sentiment is also suggested by Scott Myers, through the NoFilmSchool blog. He suggests that scriptwriters:

  • 1: Read 1 screenplay per week.
  • 2: Watch 2 movies per week.
  • 7: Write 7 pages per week.
  • 14: Work 14 hours per week prepping a story.

Okay, reading 1 screenplay per week will take me 4 years to read 100 produced and 100 unproduced scripts. I need to up my game.

Here’s what I’m doing.

I’m going to script websites, and am downloading .pdfs of screenplays. I’m putting them on my kindle. I’m reading them. They recommend that, when reading a screenplay, you mark on the page where your mind wandered (found yourself thinking about what to buy at the shops or did you walk the dog? Yep, it’s the script’s fault). So I’ll need to mark the document somehow. But regardless, 200 scripts.

I’m getting the scripts from websites such as:

Wish me luck!

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