WHERE TO FIND TV SCRIPTS?Complications Ensue
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Monday, January 31, 2005

My peerless assistant, Caroline, was kind enough to email me some questions to answer. One is, where do you find TV scripts to read?

I don't love Simply Scripts or Twiz TV because they can't always seem to tell the difference between scripts -- what the show's writers deliver to the production unit -- and transcripts -- what viewers write down painstakingly after watching the show. Oh, many of the transcripts are marked as such, and many of the scripts are actually scripts, but some of the scripts are transcripts put in something vaguely resembling script format. Transcripts are better than nothing, I suppose, especially if you take the trouble to retype them in proper screenplay format. But they don't tell you much about how the action is conveyed to the reader. All they have is dialog.

Drew's Script-O-Rama has quite a number of actual scripts -- sometimes even the actual scanned-in pages from someone's purloined copy of a real script.

If you live in LA, of course, you can just pop down to the Writer's Guild of America library and read'em on the spot. That's best. Or the Margaret Herrick Library at 333 S. La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills (part of the Academy).

There are feature scripts at The Daily Script, but so far, only one TV script!

Script City sells TV scripts for the exorbitant price of ten bucks a pop. I'm not clear on how they can legally sell other people's copyrighted material, unless they've got a royalty deal going, which would surprise me quite a bit. I also don't know who's selling them the scripts. They do, however, have a large selection of this and that, for example around 20 "Third Rock from the Sun" scripts.

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I don't know of any place outside L.A. where you can just read scripts for free. I buy scripts from ScriptCity, and if I specify that I want them as PDFs they come to me within 24 hours and without shipping charges. Not a great way to read lots of scripts at once, though....

By Blogger Jeff, at 1:21 PM  

Actually, Simply Scripts identifies TV texts as transcripts in its index. None of the texts are represented as scripts unless they are in fact scripts. There are a few bona fide TV scripts in the TV section. There's a ER script in PDF that's particularly good. There are a whole slough of Wonderfalls scripts too.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:11 AM  

Planet MegaMall also sells thousands of scripts, with "no transcripts".

By Blogger kristian idol, at 7:56 AM  

I've been looking for a long time for somewhere online for people who have produced scripts to trade with each other for speccing purposes. I still haven't found one, so I just started one. It's Script Exchange: http://community.livejournal.com/script_exchange/
I hope it works!

By Blogger Muffin MacGuffin, at 11:14 AM  

Can anyone get scripts from the WGA Library or the Margaret Herrick Library or do you have to be a member? Do they let you make copies to read at home or do you have to read them at the libraries? Do they have copies of all aired TV episodes (on the networks and major cable channels)?


By Blogger Chris, at 7:42 PM  

Anybody can read a script there. Nobody can take them out.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:00 PM  

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