Writing a movie spec script

Professional writers get feedback early and often. Ernest Lehman describes how his original script for North by Northwest was unusual at that point in his career: You can create and structure your short pitch using this pitch development process.

But since the climax is part of the action, Yves Lavandier maintains that the second act must include the climax, which makes for a much shorter third act than is found in most screenwriting theories.

It is better to read one screenplay ten times than ten screenplays. Step 4 - Immerse Yourself To Learn Structure Every successful writer I know, at some point, has taken one produced project and analyzed it down to the atomic level. One of the worst screenwriting format and style information sources for fledgling spec scriptwriters is the plethora of script sites on the internet.

How to Write a Killer Spec Script That Sells

About midway through Act 3, the Protagonist will confront the Main Problem of the story and either overcome it, or come to a tragic end. Sometimes Plot Point 2 is the moment when the Hero has had enough and is finally going to face the Opponent.

By all means, I encourage you to create your own style and voice. Imagery is well defined in City of God. Read the script three times in a row. The spec script title page is NOT the place to be creative if a burgeoning writer wishes to be taken seriously in this business.

The script went on to win the Academy Award for Best Screenplay.


By all means, I encourage you to create your own style and voice. Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article.

Most producers are reluctant to spend money developing a project unless they know that the writer of that great first episode can keep replicating that brilliance over multiple episodes and to a very, very fast schedule. Write only what you can see and hear. If you are developing multiple projects in the same genre, executives and other decision-makers see that and think: It also makes it less likely you and your work will be mentally tossed in the proverbial round file before page one is seen.

With the availability of all the books and software on screenwriting format both online and off, there is absolutely no excuse for non-conforming, creative title pages.

How To Write A Screenplay You Can Sell

A spec script should never stray from the story or try to describe how to film the story. Choose one successful film in your genre for which you can also get the script.

Former MGM film executive Stephanie Palmer explains how to write a screenplay you can sell to movie studios and producers. So let’s talk about how to write a movie script and make your first sale. the less likely they will want to work on your project on spec (for free), though this can happen if you have cast attachments, financing.

A spec script is a screenplay written with the speculation that a production company will make the script into a movie. In many cases the spec script itself doesn't sell, but the quality of the writing can lead an agent or producers to offer the script's author a writing job on another screenplay.

Spec Script vs.

What is a “spec script?”

Shooting Script. A "spec script" literally means that you are writing a screenplay on speculation. That is, no one is paying you to write the script.


You are penning it in hopes of selling the script to a buyer. Spec scripts should stick stringently to established screenwriting rules. Put another way, a spec script’s job is primarily to show off you and your writing chops so you can build a career out of paid screenwriting gigs. Pitching your spec with the limited intention of landing an option or sale for that exact story is nearly guaranteed to be an exercise in frustration.

How to Write a Spec Script

A “spec script” is a movie written on “speculation” — without a deal or sale already in place, and without being commissioned. A writer is not paid to write a spec. She does it on her own time with the hopes of selling it to a buyer, or to use as a writing sample. Best Movie Scripts #1 – American Beauty.

Genre: Drama Writer: Alan Ball. Alan Ball graduated from Florida State University with a degree in theater arts, went on to write for the theater and then television, penning the hit comedies Grace Under Fire and Cybil.

Writing a movie spec script
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How to Write a Spec Script | Pen and the Pad