Update: Time to Read 2017 Movie Scripts

One of the best ways to learn the craft: Read scripts!

With the ongoing release of 2017 movie scripts as part of the studios annual For Your Consideration campaigns, it’s a great time to resume our Go Into The Story Script Reading and Analysis Series. To date, we have covered 63 movie scripts of such notable movies as Argo, Arrival, and Boyhood, all the way up to Up In The Air, Whiplash, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Jimmy Stewart reading a script and breaking it down.

With each script, we spend an entire week analyzing it:

Monday: Scene-By-Scene Breakdown
Tuesday: Plot
Wednesday: Characters
Thursday: Themes
Friday: Dialogue
Saturday: Takeaways

I am excited to announce we will begin our bi-weekly 2018 script read and analysis series with Get Out. Download the script here.

Check out the list of 2017 movie scripts available to the public:

Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight)
Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
The Beguiled (Focus Features)
The Big Sick (Amazon)
Brad’s Status (Amazon)
Breathe (Bleeker Street)
Brigsby Bear (Sony Classics)
Coco (Pixar/Disney)
Darkest Hour (Focus Features)
The Disaster Artist (A24)
Downsizing (Paramount)
Elizabeth Blue (Nittle Baby Productions)
A Fantastic Woman (Sony Classics)
First They Killed My Father (Netflix)
The Florida Project (A24)
Get Out (Universal)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Disney)
Happy End (Sony Classics)
I, Tonya (Neon)
Lady Bird (A24)
Last Flag Flying (Amazon)
Logan (20th Century Fox) — script hosted by Cinephilia & Beyond
The Lost City of Z (Amazon)
Loveless (Sony Classics)
The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleeker Street)
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House (Sony Classics)
Maudie (Sony Classics)
The Meyerowitz Stories (Netflix) — Note: Broken Link
mother! (Paramount)
Mudbound (Netflix)
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (Sony Classics)
Novitiate (Sony Classics)
Okja (Netflix)
The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) — Note: Broken Link
Thor: Ragnarok (Disney)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)
Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features)
War for the Planet of the Apes (Twentieth Century Fox)
Wonderstruck (Amazon)

Last year, the studios and production companies released nearly 50 scripts, so there’s a lot more to come in the next two months.

What I propose: Let’s read and analyze one 2017 movie script every other week beginning in January 2018.

Here’s where you come in: We need volunteers to read a script and provide a scene-by-scene breakdown as the launching point for our weekly discussions. Trust me, this will be a great learning experience for you and we can add your breakdown to the 55 we already have in archives, thereby adding to a valuable resource for the online writing community.

To download PDFs of the scene-by-scene breakdowns we have aggregated to date, go here.

For those folks who volunteer to do a scene-by-scene breakdown of a 2017 movie script, you not only get your name duly noted in a blog post and your name enshrined in archives, you also get a special dose of creative juju.

Finally allow me to use the words of one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters to bludgeon you over the head with the value of reading scripts. From my most recent interview, Jon Spaihts responds to my final question, What advice would you offer to aspiring screenwriters about learning the craft and breaking into Hollywood? Here’s his answer:

Read the script and then watch the movie. Watch the movie and then read the script. Watch the movie with the script in your lap. Study the parts. You have to see through the surfaces. Being a fan is insufficient. Break it down. That means slowing it down and looking at it through a series of different lenses.

Once you’ve begun to do that, you can see what the parts of a screenplay and the parts of a movie do.

First thing Jon said: Read scripts.

We’re going to do that every other week in 2018 and do a week-long analysis of each script. People who volunteer to do a scene-by-scene breakdown provide an important aspect of that process.

Who’s up to read a 2017 movie script and do the online writing community a solid by working up a scene-by-scene breakdown?

Hit me up in comments with your preferred movie script. And my personal thanks in advance!

UPDATE: Some folks who have volunteered:

Battle of the Sexes / Helmanon Omaande
Beauty and the Beast / Anomalia Sablayrolles
The Big Sick / Andrew Lightfoot
Brad’s Status / Brandy Barber
Darkest Hour / Adam McKenzie
Downsizing / Héloïse Chung
Get Out / David Joyner
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Will King
I, Tonya / Niki Leydecker
Lady Bird / Sridhar Reddy
Logan / Stephen Williams
Lost City of Z / Richard Koman
The Man Who Invented Christmas / Michelle Carter
Mudbound / Mark Furney
Okja / Vincent Eggleston
Mokhtar Djawadi / The Shape of Water
Thor: Ragnarok / Gina Gomez
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri / Halil Akgündüz
Victoria & Abdul / Joni Brainerd

Thanks to the folks who have already sent me their breakdowns. This will enable us to begin our 2018 bi-weekly script read and analysis series. Starting January 1, our first script: Get Out. Download the script here.

Let’s target getting the scene-by-scene breakdowns to me no later than January 1, 2018.


Update: Time to Read 2017 Movie Scripts was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

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