The problem has always been something of a Catch 22. You can’t get better as a writer if you don’t read outstanding material. For the longest time the problem was how do you get your hands on the best screenplays to read them? Even working on staff in the studio story departments doesn’t guarantee access.
Produced screenplays aren’t published, at least not legally, and the unproduced scripts are held in strict confidentiality. Even the screenwriters have to buy them back, if a deal goes sour. This is called turnaround and the buy-out is typically very expensive. Original investment plus development costs, plus interest, for starters.
The Hollywood Studios own the copyright to the stories they make into movies (or at least the lion’s share) or plan to make in the future. Stories are the bedrock of the whole business. But there is a way to get your hands on the best screenplays now, at zero cost. Drum roll please.
Deadline.com, the premiere online insiders’ entertainment daily started a free access program called Read the Screenplay in honor of awards season. Every year for the past few years they’ve been making the 12 Top Academy Nominated Movie scripts available in PDF form. That’s a dozen a year for three or more years.
I just snagged copies of Dune and Top Gun: Maverick and several others through this awesome program. Click the following link to gain access yourself https://deadline.com/tag/read-the-screenplay or use your favorite search engine to locate the site. What a treasure. Enjoy!
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