Screenplay sites

Worth a look!

script-o-rama.com
Download your favourite film screenplays here; this excellent site has the latest and most authentic scripts for films from Hollywood classics to cult classics.

iscriptdb.com
Large movie script database prides itself on being the first to have many scripts online and has a section dedicated to screenwriters reviewing the latest scripts in Hollywood.

scriptpimp.com
This site features thousands of downloadable screenplays, an annual screenwriting competition and a writers’ database listing submission guidelines for over 400 US-based production companies, agencies, and independent producers searching for new material.

dailyscript.com
Another great site for downloading film scripts in their original form. In many cases, they have multiple drafts of the same screenplay so you can compare and analyse the development process of your favourite films.

simplyscripts.com
Extensive database of scripts and transcripts of feature films both produced and unproduced available to view and print. Clearly states if it is a shooting script or transcript and has sections specifically for TV and Radio.

scriptcrawler.net
A great resource site for scripts, information and other film stuff.

aellea.com/
Another great resource for screenplays of classic films.

screentalk.org/
Archive of current and classic scripts

A while ago, before I discovered Scrivener, I purchased MONTAGE. I’d used Final Draft, which is pretty well an industry-wide standard for writing and formatting screenplays, but I thought I’d give Mariner Software’s app a try. It’s all right, but it needs finessing. You can save yourself moolah although not headaches by simply using Scrivener to write a draft, but I would suggest for your draft that you’ll be sending out you might want to import it into either FD or Montage or another stand-alone scriptwriting app.

That said, there is this advice, which was part of the Montage package and which I’m going to risk giving you here, free. It’s good formatting advice from a produced screenwriter. With this, and Scrivener, you should be able to pull together a decent looking script.
How To Write Scripts.pdf (311 KB)

Lightning:

Good lookin’ out! I’m always happy to see a screenwriter going out of his/her way to help those new to the craft. I wholeheartedly agree with your choices above, and would like to add John August’s bog as another resource. John’s site is a great place for the new screenwriter to get up to speed on the process, and John gives great advice and is generous as hell when it comes to sharing his own work.

New screenwriters: READ SCRIPTS! In bunches. The best way to get a sense of telling a story for the screen is to see firsthand how others did it before you. If you’re like me, you’ll have dozens of niggling little questions at the beginning. Nothing answers these more comprehensively than reading scripts (in their original format).

Word of caution – what you want to get out of a screenplay is a sense of how the writer communicated the movie in his/her head into the written word. That said, there are a couple of things to look out for when reading other people’s stuff:

Some of these sites provide “transcripts” of films, in which someone (with a lot of free time) sat down and literally transcribed the dialogue in a film (usually from the subtitles of the DVD.) Beware these! You won’t learn anything of value from them.

Also, look out for screenplays by writer/directors. The Coen Brothers, for example, are brilliant writers, but they write scripts they know they’re going to direct – and as a result, their stage directions are maddeningly specific as to shots and angles (something you really don’t want to do in a spec script.)

Good luck! Now get offline, you should either be reading or writing!

Fingers, I hate to sound like the RIAA police, but you should not distribute copyright work without getting the author’s permission, or that of Mariner, if they have paid a fee to the author and consider that file to be part of their product. I recently bought the screen-writer’s guide from Script Buddy and considered making a copy of it for some friends, but then thought, would I want that to happen to my published work? Not a bit. It’s up to Keith, but I think it would be better not to leave that file posted on the forum. Peace.