Screenwriting Resources

The world of screenwriting is constantly evolving, just like the filmmaking industry.  Hollywood is a living, breathing entity.

The downside of evolution – especially in an industry – is that many people feel that the changes will adversely affect them, or that they’ll lose their power.  So they build fortresses to try to control their section of the landscape.  There are very few who can survive by doing this.

I’m constantly in touch with people in the industry, and there are new resources for screenwriters every single day.  Some are good, some … not so much.  This page will showcase the resources that I feel every screenwriter should know about and utilize.  I’ll update periodically – but only with a resource that I feel is beneficial to you, the screenwriter.


Screenwriting Publications


Script
A magazine published by Final Draft.  Many useful, informative and entertaining articles for the screenwriter.

Screenwriter’s Supplies


The Writer’s Store
A writer-centric store that offers personal service and outstanding support for writers.  The store carries every brad, book cover, software package and tool any writer will ever need!

Screenwriter’s Services


Writers Guild of America, West
The online presence of the WGA, this site has many useful tools – including contracts, compensation guides, agency lists, information on indie productions, animation, residuals and many other important items that screenwriters need to be aware of.  If you’re going to be a professional screenwriter in Hollywood, you will have to join the WGA.

Writers Guild of America, West Registry
The site where screenwriters register their screenplays.  If you are going to present a screenplay to Hollywood, virtually no reputable studio, production company, agent, manager or other entity will even LOOK at your screenplay unless it has been registered here.  Most screenplay contests also require registration.

Screenwriting Software


Movie Magic Screenwriter
The de facto industry standard in screenplay formatting software.  This is the software package I started out with, and – years later – this is the package that I write with.  This software package is sold through a number of outlets, but it can usually be found cheapest at Amazon.  To check Amazon pricing, click HERE.

Final Draft
A terrific software package.  This software does virtually the same things as Movie Magic Screenwriter does, for about the same price.  I have this package, and it has always worked well when I’ve used it.  Like MMS, this package is sold through a number of outlets, but it can usually be found cheapest at Amazon.  To check Amazon pricing, click HERE.

Celtx
This is an excellent package.  It will format screenplays properly, has great online support, and – best of all – it’s FREE!

Screenwriter’s Hollywood Resources


IMDb
The Internet Movie Database.  If there’s a movie, actor, production company, producer, director or any other information you need to find on a film that’s old, new in production or slated to be in production, you’ll find it here.

Rotten Tomatoes
Movies, Movie Trailers and reviews of some older films and all the current box office releases.  Some professional reviews, some not-so-professionals ones.  The court of public opinion is always entertaining!

Box Office Mojo
The true tale of the tape.  IMDb will tell you everything about everyone in every movie, Rotten Tomatoes will tell you who liked or didn’t like a movie … but if you want to see the unvarnished TRUTH about a movie, you need to know how much it cost to make and – more importantly – how much it made.  Box Office Mojo breaks down flicks in a number of different ways using the criteria of the Almighty Dollar.

Recommended Fellowships and Contests for New Screenwriters

I’m going to be REAL upfront with you: I hate screenplay contests. I DESPISE screenplay contests. Screenplay contests, are without a doubt, the absolute worst thing a screenplay writer could enter. Why? Because the only person who WINS a screenplay contest is the person who PUTS ON the screenplay contest. It’s a stinkin’ waste of screenplay writer’s money. Of course, that being said, Here are two competitions that are different; they actually do benefit the screenwriter. If I endorse ’em they MUST be good!


Nicholl Fellowship
From the website: “The Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, awarded annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is the world’s most esteemed screenwriting competition. Each year up to five $30,000 fellowships are awarded to promising authors who have previously earned less than $5,000 writing for film or television.”  I recommend this Fellowship for new Screenwriters over any other contest out there.

BlueCat Screenplay Competition
From the website: “Founded by a writer, the BlueCat Screenplay Competition’s passionate commitment to develop and discover the unknown screenwriter continues to define our work today.”  What sets BlueCat apart from other competitions is that each writer who enters the contest gets two written analyses.

Screenplay Collaboration Websites

These are ssesoned sites that have stood the test of time, and that I feel comfortable recommending, with the caveat that you’re going to be collaborating with amateurs rather than professionals most of the time. This means that you’re getting advice about an industry that these people don’t work in yet. It also means you’re being critiqued by people who don’t know how to critique. Take everything you read on these sites with a HUGE grain of salt, and understand that the critiques given here aren’t necessarily based on prevailing industry trends.


Trigger Street Labs
Started in 2002, Trigger Street has undergone several changes.  Originally started as a site to allow screenwriters to get exposure and feedback on their screenplays.  They have a unique critique system that requires you to review a certain number of scripts before you can upload and receive reviews on your work.

Zoetrope Virtual Studio
Francis Ford Coppola’s website.  From the website: “…a complete motion picture production studio on the Web. It offers powerful collaborative tools for writers, directors, producers and other film artists. It also includes a number of film-related discussion sections and chat rooms.”

Online Screenplay Libraries


Drew’s Script-O-Rama
One of the oldest screenplay websites still online.  This site offers screenplays in PDF, HTML and some TXT formats at no cost.  There are also transcripts from TV shows as well.

Simply Scripts
From the website: “Welcome to SimplyScripts – links to hundreds of free, downloadable scripts, movie scripts, screenplays, and transcripts of current, classic and maybe a few soon-to-be-released movies, television, anime, unproduced and radio shows.”

IMSDb
The internet movie script database.  All of their screenplays are in HTML format and can be read in your browser.  From the website: “If you enjoy movies you’ve come to the right place, we have the biggest collection of movie scripts available anywhere on the web. Our site lets you read or download movie scripts for free.”

Script City
This is not a free site, or a site that offers online screenplays.  Script City is a screenplay store  that offers screenplays in PDF or print format.  From the website: “Script City has the largest selection of all your favorite movie and television scripts. We have titles from Hollywood’s golden era all the way up to the most current films and television shows. All scripts are in their original screenplay format for your script writing education and collection.”

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