2014 Award Season PDF Screenplay Downloads: For Your Consideration

It’s the beginning of award season and studios are already putting screenplays online.  I’ll update this list periodically. Be sure to check out GITS’s list for any you cannot find here. Good reading!

[UPDATED 12/09/14]

Cool Stuff! Writer Emergency Pack!

Hey Guys. Check out this cool deck of cards that the crew over at johnaugust.com are making.

Writer Emergency Pack is a deck full of useful ideas to help get your story back on track.

Go grab yourself one! Or two… like I did. They make good gifts!

Quote from Stephen King’s “On Writing”

I’m reading Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”, and I stumbled across this motivational quote I wanted to share:

I had written three other novels before Carrie — Rage, The Long Walk, and The Running Man were later published. Rage is the most troubling of them. The Long Walk may be the best of them. But none of them taught me the things I learned from Carrie White. The most important is that the writer’s original perception of a character may be as erroneous as the reader’s. Running a close second was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.

I am very familiar with the feeling of shoveling shit. It’s nice to hear a big time author like Stephen King feels the same.

Kill Your Babies

After months of breaking story, meticulous research, and countless hours spent hunched over my computer — I finished the first draft on one of the pilots my writing partner and I are working on. I should be happy! But I’m not. It just isn’t working. Some parts are great, and exactly what we had in mind when breaking the story — but other story arcs and characters didn’t make any sense. Something needed to change. Something big.

Over this past weekend my writing partner and I sat down with a blank cork board, a stack of notecards, and a sharpie.  By Sunday evening we had re-boarded the entire pilot. We kept most of the last 4 acts in tact, but completely changed the first act — getting rid of a lot of lengthy, unnecessary and boring exposition. But perhaps the biggest change — we killed our main character. Not in a story sense… we actually cut him out of the entire script completely.

We finally came to the conclusion that the majority of confusion in the script stemmed from the central character. There wasn’t enough motivation and dramatic need surrounding him — and anything we tried to throw in seemed forced. We discovered one of the minor characters had better dramatic potential within the story, and as an exercise, we ran through the story with him as the lead. Everything started to make a lot more sense.

So there you go. I’m about to start rewriting this entire script from another person’s perspective.

If it helps the story –kill your baby.

Video: “Creative Spark: Eric Roth”

Hello my writers and assistants and those who aspire to be. Check out the piece of hardware this writer works on.

And we’re back … kind of

Server is still having problems — website runs at varying speeds.

My writing partner and I finished 1st drafts on two pilots over the weekend. Very exciting. I love that feeling when you set a goal and actually complete it. This week is going to be extremely busy for me, so I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to post — or write.

I need a writing vacation. A writecation.


The Weekend!

No post yesterday. I’ve been running into a ton of website problems. I can’t tell if it has to do with this site or if it’s server-side. All I know is this website has been running slow as shit and it’s stressing me out. I’ll have to tackle it again on Monday — Hopefully it starts working better over the weekend.

I’m almost done with the first draft of my next pilot! I’m going to finish it this weekend. That’s the goal at least…

Everyone have a great weekend!

Video: “In Focus: Screenwriting”

Another great BAFTA Guru video.

Because the truth is, if you write a great script, they’ll find you. They’re aching for good writers. So, it’s the ability to be ready when the door opens.  It’s not about which door you knock on first… it’s about… getting the job as an assistant, keeping yourself in there, continuing to work on it, and waiting. — You will get your chance… and then the question is — are you ready?

Review: “Highland: The Better Way to Write a Screenplay”


Hello people! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend. I’m exhausted. I feel like I need a holiday from my holiday. Friends were in town. Drinks were drunk. Sleep wasn’t slept…

I’m sure you’ve noticed the little Highland ad running in the top right corner of the screen. There used to be a final draft ad up there to help cover some of the costs of running this little website. I’ve worked in Final Draft the entire time I’ve been writing screenplays, so the program is very second nature to me. However, at $250 … it’s fucking expensive… and I don’t see many new writers wanting to spend that kind of cash.  Highland on the other hand costs $30.  I’ll let you do the math.

I’ve been working with Highland over the past few weeks — and I actually really love it.  I’m the kind of writer who is super meticulous about how the words look on the page. I don’t like to leave any hanging words in action descriptions. I don’t like starting a scene at the end of a page and I pay way too much attention to page count. Highland doesn’t let me do any of that. It keeps me doing the only thing I need to be doing — which is write. No distractions. And the best part is, Highland will convert all the text into screenplay format automatically. You can always tab over and see what the screenplay will look like. Which means you can write in any program — word, email, notepad, google docs — and just copy and paste that text into highland and it will automatically convert it for you.

When I’m done with the first draft in highland, I’m still going to export the highland file into a final draft file (which is super easy to do) to make those meticulous formatting changes — but all those formatting changes are super pointless in the first draft! I actually think I write 2x as fast in highland.

But enough from me. Just watch the video below.

Go check it out!

A blog for aspiring screenwriters and those seeking to break into the film industry.