Last year I read a script a week – I think I was inspired by what someone listed as one of their goals on Twitter – but the difference was that they read one a day, every day for a year! And I think they were a professional writer, so had the time each day to do this… Due to my work commitments and extra curricular film related activities, this wasn’t sustainable. But one a week was doable…
I had a calendar reminder set, and every Saturday (or Sunday, if I was off filming and had to delay it by a day) I would make the time to read a script. The rules I set for myself were:
You don’t get to choose. You read the next one alphabetically in the folder irrespective of what it is
Even if it’s terrible, you read it all
And that folder must be curated outside of your personal preferences, to widen your perspective, beyond your personal tastes (so I took mine from every award nominee script download email link, and every twitter download link etc, but I already had hundreds downloaded before which were more in my wheelhouse and a lot of others that I’d always considered reading and then never got around to).
So I read a lot of TV pilots, random episodes of hit shows and features, and even some notable shorts. I even read some of those terrible adaptations of hit UK shows that they tried to relaunch in the States, and could see why they disappeared and never made a splash.
And if I was sent a script by someone and had to read it, I could choose whether that script counted towards my goal or not.
What is the point?
If it was bad, I needed to work out why it didn’t work and if it was good I needed to know why it worked. You also, subconsciously begin to absorb the formatting tricks and stylistic devices that different writers use. And also, who would turn down the opportunity to lose yourself in someone else’s vision for an hour or two? I mean we do it all the time when we watch TV or a film, right? And usually I felt inspired to write shortly after each great script, so there was always a knock-on benefit, purely from a motivational aspect.
Anyway, I kind of let it go after December due to lack of time, But I think I’m going to get back into it and continue. So I’ve got 4 scripts to make up for it before I can relax and just do one a week next weekend…. lol – But for any of those looking to up their game, I can definitely recommend the benefits of some scheduled script reading.
Places to start, when looking to find scripts to download:
It’s been a strange, stressful and very long week. But one where it was great to learn that my WWI Short Script GAS! made it into the Quarter Finals of Fresh Voices screenplay competition. Nice. That made up for the rest of the drama and stress.
Also, it’s been fun! Each evening, the whole week, I’ve been doing a course by Lucy V Hay of Bang2Write fame, called SUBMISSION SECRETS, re helping creatives master the tricky art of presenting themselves and their creations in the best light to prospective publishers and production companies, with a view to getting work published / commissioned – like creating a creative resume, query email, one-pager or synopsis etc. It’s been very useful and nicely complements two other courses I did at the end of last year, which were also geared around different parts of the same process. And it’s also been good to meet with the same creative peeps, and network a little online this week and find out that everyone pretty much feels the same out there. You – as a creative entity – are not alone! And I’m hoping that the course will come in very handy, in the near future, when we look to secure funding for SVEN GUNNAR the feature and MURDER TOURS.
But now I need to decide if I am going to give GAS! a little polish and pay to resubmit it to Fresh Voices????
JellyFEST in LA, selected both COMFORT HIM and MR CLEAN to their 6th season, and has also awarded both films Semi-Finalist placings. Both films were in the same Narrative Short category and at the same festival. Nice! Many thanks. And congrats to the team!
That means that COMFORT HIM has now been selected to it’s 18th and MR CLEAN has now been selected to its 20th film festival! That’s amazing and both films have done far better than our original dreams or expectations!
Our micro comedy horror short COMFORT HIM has been selected to its 17th festival, the Vancouver Independent Film Festival and the first one for 2021! Nice. We’re very grateful. We’re also running out of space on the posters.
When we made this little short, it was an experiment. We didn’t know if anyone would select it, let alone if it would win some of the awards it has picked up, especially when we released it before we put it into festivals – which traditionally was a big no-no. But this is great and we’re very happy! Congrats team!