I’m overdue on the subject of free Screenwriting Resources. Some of these I’ve posted before, other stuff offered up today is new. All of it can help you in your quest to get on the board, to have a career, to finally swim with angelfish and African Cichlids in your Hollywood Hills kidney-shaped swimming pool– or whatever it is that you call “making it”. Let’s get going.
- SCREENWRITING FREE SOFTWARE
Celtx used to be my go-to free software. I’d recommend it to all incoming 18 year-old broke ass Columbia College students who didn’t want to steal Final Draft off Pirate Bay (which most did). Kinda off Celtx these days since they’ve been experimenting with a pay model. Yes, I know you can still get the basic service for free but it’s like jumping through hoops signing up and I don’t like complication.
The good news is the alternatives have never been better. Amazon Storywriter is my #1 free software choice these days. Signed up to check it out. Without some of the Final Draft bells and whistles, it does have all the functions of Final Draft for free. Check it out.
Although I haven’t checked out Fade In personally, I’ve heard good things from students. Also free.
Of course we always come back to Final Draft. The most current version is 9 and yeah, it’s the industry standard. Eventually, if you’re serious about doing this for a living, you’ll need to break down and buy it. Cost looks like $170 these days, which beats the $250 it used to go for. Perhaps the free options and Pirate Bay are having an effect?
- BEST FREE SCREENPLAY SITES
There are a couple ways to find a screenplay fast. You can straight up Google it: Alien Screenplay, or you can go to these sites and see if they’ve got it. All of these are spectacular for the numbers of free scripts offered. We can leave the discussion on if you need to go to film school for another time– it’s an essential education for any screenwriter to read as many scripts as possible. The best site for me right now is IMSDB. Lots of those Google search lead here. Millennials don’t get that you didn’t used to be able to snap your fingers and have the script for Star Wars, The Force Awakens or The Revenant just appear, but you can do exactly that through IMSDB. Another site I like a lot is Simply Scripts. In particular, their Oscar Scripts which allows you to bring up choices for Oscar consideration for the last 15 years. Want to find the script for Her, 12 Years A Slave, Django Unchained? It’s here and free. Lastly, the old standby, Drew’s Script-O-Rama still delivers the goods.
- THE TRADES
Stay in touch with the biz end of showbiz. The trades to be paper, now fully free and online. Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood.com, Deadline.com, and Variety will give you a headache from the IT’S ALL HAPPENING, 24/7 IN YOUR FACE INFORMATION! they disseminate on a daily basis. Don’t get depressed if it appears like everyone but you is signing a deal and making millions, that’s an illusion of the L.A. Mechanism. You still need to hit these to stay informed, or if you’re Jonesing for all that’s HAPPENING! right now in L.A.
My favorite part of today’s post. Some of these sites were new to me and are really cool storehouses of free knowledge for screenwriters.
Need to become an expert on Crime Scene Investigation fast? Pump up that dialogue with this site, the Crime Scene Investigator Network, super cool!
Here’s a site for all things Forensics. Wow on the detail.
Writing a pilot and want a decent example of format for TV? How about the West Wing pilot, right here.
Always loved Done Deal Pro for their monster Links Page. Just found a new page on Screenplay Agreement templates that might be useful if you decide to save thousands on an Entertainment lawyer and draw up your own agreement.
Links to links, rrrrr…. but this one is too good to pass up. Thanks for compiling it, Writers Write. Here’s a link to a page with a hundred useful screenwriter resources.
Lastly, from Moviebytes.com, a great list of the most significant Screenwriting Contests out there. I personally prefer Nicholl, Austin, Sundance Lab, Page and maybe a local one in your area. Here’s the list top to bottom.