Since I already saw two movies – Once as well as the movie Juno – on the big screen, I was excited to learn that I could actually see the scripts for these films. Not only that, but I could get them for free. How? By going to www.foxsearchlight.com/awards/ the Fox Searchlight Pictures website. There are other scripts avaiable as well, all relatively new or recent films?
Amazingly, there were scripts for the films Juno, Once and The Savages, all ready to be downloaded and read at leisure.
A list of scripts available for free download online – and plot synopsis – are listed below. They include:
At the Fox Searchlight Site:
Juno (PG -13) – 2007
This movie focuses on a pregnant teen who plans to give her baby up for adoption. It has been a favorite of both critics and regular movie viewers. soaring up the popularity charts in many cities where it was shown. You’d have to pay $13.00 or more for a script elsewhere. This movie is not yet available on DVD so this is the only way you can get a “behind the scenes” feel for how it was developed. You can still catch it in some theatres.
Once (R) 2007
Although this film has an R rating, probably for language, it is a relatively understated and sweet story of a man and woman who meet and are supportive of one another, both being musicians. Each is recovering from a broken heart. I won’t give too much of the movie away but will say there isn’t anything particularly explicit in it. You’ll understand why when you see the film. It definitely is not your typical boy meets girl type of film. I liked it, although it might seem a bit slow to some.
The DVD is available but the script is free and provides a chance to actually see how a script looks on the page, invaluable to film or other writers.
The Savages (new release, not yet available on DVD, rated R)
Best described as a black comedy, the movie stars Phillip Seymour Hoffman ( a particular favorite of mine) and Laura Linney as siblings forced to care for their aging, increasingly forgetful, father. I haven’t seen this one but customer ratings at Amazon www.amazon.com were quite high. If you’ve seen it or are just curious to view the script, you can check it out at the Fox Searchlight website.
Two other scripts, Waitress as well as the script for Namesake, are available at Amazon’s Mobile Feed site. You can get the script for Syriana here:
Syriana came out in 2005 and featured George Clooney in a suspense thriller about the oil industry, CIA, etc. I confess I have yet to see this one but it got plenty of buzz. It might be worth checking out.
For those interested in seeing Waitress, Namesake or The Darjeeling Limited, you can do a search of the forums. They were there last time I looked (see forum link above).
Please note: The links to Fox Searchlight are an official site and Syriana has been released by the studio as well.
What you can learn from reading scripts (not just watching movies on screen) :
Writing a script is its own art form. It isn’t like writing poetry, a novel, short story or home remodeling book. Some have compared a good script to poetry but there are clearly differences. Describing the experience of reading a fine movie script is no substitute for sitting down at your computer (or printing it out if you have the time and inclination) and reading the lines on the page, seeing the dialogue and then comparing that to what was on the screen.
Come to think of it, actors could learn from reading these scripts as well.
Enjoy….and get psyched for the Oscars, if the SAG strike ends soon.