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: 

  1. You don’t get to choose. You read the next one alphabetically in the folder irrespective of what it is
  2. Even if it’s terrible, you read it all
  3. 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:

Oscar 2020-2021 on IndieFilm Hustle

No Film School – Oscars 2020-2021 list

The Daily Script TV script downloads

10 Great Websites to Download Movie Scripts

Need more reasons to try it?

8 Reasons you need to read screenplays