Reading Movie Scripts

Over the years, several secondary teachers have shared that they can entice even the most reluctant readers with movie scripts. Students like movie script reading for many reasons:

  • The narrow page format offers more white space, making the text less overwhelming.
  • The cinema jargon makes it seem less like you're reading for schoolwork.
  • The visual cues to actors help students visualize what characters and scenes look like.

But don't be misinformed. Movie scripts are a powerful tool to teach predicting, questioning, visualization, characterization, point of view, irony, and more. Movie scripts require comprehension skills beyond just reading what the characters say aloud.

Since scripts are meant to be read aloud, they are a great tool to practice fluency. Students can manipulate their voices while delivering the same line several different ways by emphasizing a different word to create more meaning and interest.

Hope Elementary (Hope, IN) teacher Pete Law uses movie scripts with his high ability fifth graders. In Pete's class, students meet in small groups (for RtI), determining what they want to read. If they choose a movie script, they have the option of reading it alone, with a group, or even to "perform" the script as if they were auditioning for the movie.

Common Core State Standards--Smekens EducationHere are a couple of the sites that Pete uses to print scripts for his students:

For more scripts (please screen for appropriate scripts as examples included on the sites are not censured for language), visit:

For more strategies and ideas on how to weave movies and scripts into your secondary classroom, check out Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom. The four sections provide a wealth of practical information: 1) Film Terminology and Cinematic Effects, 2) Film and Reading Strategies, 3) Film and Literary Analysis, 4) Teaching a Complete Film.

RL.9-12.10 ...Read and comprehend literature, including...dramas...
CCR.L.9-12.3 ...Understand how language functions in different contexts...


Insight Editions Inception: The Shooting Script
Book (Insight Editions)
  • Writer-director Christopher Nolan s initial handwritten outline of the Inception plot
  • A preface by collaborators Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
  • in which they delve into the 10-year development process behind Inception
  • An 8-page color insert featuring Inception concept art
  • An in-world appendix with instructions for operating the mysterious PASIV Device mechanism

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Video Scripts - Successful Online …
Video Scripts - Successful Online …

The filmmakers?

No, I doubt it. We did a single post, got something like 80 responses, hardly any actual resumes, and pulled the post and that was that.
I wasn't reading then- was that the folks who were all "we need a DP we don't pay and we start shooting day after tomorrow" ? I actually wrote to that person. They said they had something like 4 projects lined up, right?
Dude, pay your DP and give them enough time to see the locations, read the scripts, etc. I mean, THAT IS YOUR DP!
We were fliming outside Los Angeles, and I really don't mean to sound bitter or like I think I poop celluloid

Buy Syd Field's Screenplay.

Read it several times. Then start reading well regarded scripts. Take the list that have been nominated for Oscar's the past several years and go to Drew's Script-O-Rama online. You need to know what the basics of a script are (Syd ) and then you need to know what a great script reads like.
Having a great idea for a film and being able to write a great script are 2 different things. Your best bet is to save up a few 1000 dollars and hire an experienced screenwriter to write it on the side. $5k will get you someone with real experience. $10k will get you someone with real experience who will turn it around in 8 weeks

Calling All Writers

The Pacific Northwest Screenwriters Contest
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Screenwriters Contest. This contest is designed to bring attention to the great writers that are looking to get noticed.
Deadline for entries is 9/15/07
All entries must be WGA Registered or Copyrighted
Entries must be the original work of the author/s
All Film/TV Movie Scripts must be over 75 pages (See Categories Below)
Drama Feature
Comedy Feature
Sci-fi - Action Feature
TV Movie – Mini Series
Fees for entering:
1 Category Fee $20

Of DH and Screenplays

DH, with reference to the thread below and some of your previous out of the blue lectures on screenwriting, I have one simple request from you. Stop informing the people on this board how to write a screenplay. More than half of what you spew is 100% wrong -- you will discover this when you get in the trenches. Your film school education has taught you only about one-tenth of what you need to know.
I just sold a screenplay after a drought period (go to and then to current projects) and you know what helped me to sell the property? I rewrote the story to tell it from a visual angle, certainly not with the plethora of shots that you essay below as inappropriate (they are) but certainly not with the minimal INT

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Among its major investments in the last four years are a stake in U.S. online scrapbooking-site Pinterestand the acquisition of Canadian e-book firm Kobo for $315 million in 2012. Since 2012, Mr.

Michael Wiese Productions Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need
Book (Michael Wiese Productions)
  • ISBN13: 9781932907001
  • Notes: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Week 3: Reading Scripts and …
Week 3: Reading Scripts and …
Final Draft Final Draft 9
Software (Final Draft)
  • Final Draft automatically formats and paginates screenplays and teleplays to entertainment industry standards
  • Industry giants such as James Cameron, JJ Abrams and Aaron Sorkin recommend using Final Draft to write your screenplay
  • Final Draft is the market leader and the preferred file format of the Writers Guild of America, West Online Script Registration
  • Final Draft is the proud recipient of a Primetime Engineering Emmy Award
  • Scripts created in Final Draft 9 on Windows, Macintosh or in the Final Draft Writer app for iPad look exactly the same
Focal Press Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen (Michael Wiese Productions)
Book (Focal Press)
  • ISBN13: 9780941188104
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
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