Friday, May 14, 2010

John August does NOT like ScriptShadow. The question is, should you?

ScriptShadow, as many of you are aware, is a site run by Carson Reeves (not his real name), an L.A.-based aspiring screenwriter. It’s been around for a while but really hit the headlines late last year when August wrote a blog post decrying it and the site’s review of Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network led to thousands of hits. The site reviews scripts by established writers and newbies alike, and does not pull its punches about the quality of the scripts (whoever’s written them). Reeves is also not afraid to reveal spoilers - and therein lies the problem for John August.

August claims that the site could lead to a situation where studio writers are unable to show drafts to anyone for fear of a security breach, and that there is a real danger of scripts being spoiled before they’ve even been shot. On the other hand, some claim that the chance to read these scripts will only help writers, and that the promotion possibilities for scriptwriters from the site are endless.

My take? It does seem mad that we’ve gotten to a point where big-name writers face having their screenplay secrets spilled before a single take has been shot. On the other hand, this seems like the natural progression from sites like Movies get spoiled, so why not scripts? If you don’t want to know what happens, don’t read it!

For the minnow screenwriter, ScriptShadow could offer untold benefits; if enough online readers like your script, it could get made. For big-name writers, it could seem like the final insult. But for a writer of any type, the site does offer the chance to read a lot of scripts and carries informative interviews with the pros. Surely that’s worth, as one person already put it, more than four years in film school?

Ultimately, ScriptShadow is yet another example of how the internet is changing the way movies get made – and will continue to do so.

1 comment:

Brett said...

I think SS is a pretty sad waste of bandwidth, and I agree pretty much completely with Agust (and Mazin and any number of other pros) that it's borderline illegal and absolutely disrespectful for Carson to be posting (and damaging the value of) specs and in-development scripts.

Would you want someone posting your early drafts before they are ready to be seen? Would you want your hot scripts posted for all just as you are trying to stir up heat and interest in a few select markets?

To answer your titular Q: "No, I don't think I should."