I've been reading a lot of screenplay and pilot scripts lately and it got me thinking, "what are my fellow jinxworld posters favorites scripts"? So what are they?
Pilot script wise I would have to say "studio 60 on the sunset strip" and the "west wing" pilot. Both scripts really blew my mind. They clearly defined who the characters were and gave a real sense what the feel of the shows were going to be.
Favorite screenplays: I know this may come as a shock but " The Social Network" is one of my favorite screenplays. The writing is fast paced and witty. The story really flows and comes to life off the pages.
Another recent favorite is the "500 days of summer" script. I read several drafts and it was interesting to see how much changed in each version. I really learned a lot from those scripts about what was important and what really can be dropped when telling a story.
so what are your favorite scripts and why? I'm always looking for new material to read!
Do you find reading scripts, especially your favorite scripts, makes you a better writer?
Re: Favorite scripts?
I'm a pretty big fan of James Cameron's screenplays, which is occasionally a frustrating experience as his directorial choices don't always mesh with his writing. You don't get much better action-on-page for you buck, though.
One of my favorites is the scriptment for Strange Days the he wrote for Kathryn Bigelow. Scriptment is his handwavey term for a mashup of script and prose that makes for a fairly compelling read that might be more familiar to comics writers in some ways.
His original screenplay for Avatar is an example of one of the times where the director should have listened more closely to the writer; the screenplay is what should have made it to the screen. It makes far better character choices and has much more depth than the final film. (Cameron's favorite ploy to cut runtime is also his Achilles' heel: He drops subplots. In Aliens it worked out ok; in The Abyss (corrected in the director's cut) and Avatar? Not so much...)
The last one is a personal favorite that I managed to get a copy of at my former employer. Back in '97/'98 when the dueling asteroid movies were being made, there was a third dark horse in the running that eventually never made it: Bright Angel Falling. Written by Cameron and Peter Hyams, it would've made a much more satisfying actioner than Armageddon, but it came in a hair too late and no one wanted to foot the bill for a third big budget asteroid/comet disaster flick. It's a fun read if you can find it. It ought to be out on the net somewhere.
Also interesting if you can get your hands on a used copy: Orson Scott Card's novelization of The Abyss. I find Card's personal opinions... lacking, but the novelization is kiped from the original script and was written on set while they filmed.
I was gonna say something about Bright Angel Falling, but it's something the board doesn't permit. Sorry, I'm new.
I'll have to look through my scripts later tonight. All that comes to mind is my dislike of the LOST house style-- too much bombast in direction, wearying to read.
MECHA SHIVA MECHA SHIVA
Re: Favorite scripts?
For comics people, this site is downright invaluable.