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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Best Adapted and Best Original Screenplays - posted by Don

Best Adapted Screenplay (and best acceptance speech) – Graham Moore

The Imitation Game – undated, unspecified draft script by Graham Moore (based on “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges) – hosted by: The Weinstein Company – in pdf format

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Information courtesy of

Best Original ScreenplayAlejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Birdman – undated, unspecified draft script by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new retelling of a classic Broadway dramatic play called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night …

Information courtesy of

If course, read other Nominated Screenplays.

2015 Oscar Nominated Screenplays - posted by Don

Final WB has come through and posted Inherent Vice and American Sniper.

Below are the scripts to the nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay posted by the studios. All scripts posted by the studios for award consideration can be found here.

Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – undated, unspecified draft by Jason Hall (based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) – hosted by: Warner Bros – in pdf format

The Imitation Game – undated, unspecified draft script by Graham Moore (based on “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges) – hosted by: The Weinstein Company – in pdf format

Inherent Vice – August 7, 2013 final shooting draft script by Paul Thomas Anderson (based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon – hosted by: Warner Bros – in pdf format

The Theory of Everything – November 2013, shooting script script by Anthony McCarten – hosted by: FocusGuilds – in pdf format

Whiplash – undated, unspecified draft script by Damien Chazelle – hosted by: Sony Classics – in pdf format

Original Screenplay

Birdman – undated, unspecified draft script by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Boyhood – undated, unspecified draft script by Richard Linklater – hosted by: IFC Films – in pdf format

Foxcatcher – undated, unspecified draft script by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Story by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman and Bennett Miller) – hosted by: Sony Classics – in pdf format

The Grand Budapest Hotel – undated, unspecified draft script by Wes Anderson (story by Wes Anderson and Gugo guinness) – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Nightcrawler – November 27, 2012 unspecified draft script by Dan Gilroy – hosted by: The Wrap – in pdf format

– Don

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sham’s The Doll got made and is an official selection for NY Scary Film - posted by Don

Sham’s script The Doll (4 pages, pdf format) has been made.

Some presents don’t like to be wrapped.

And, it is an official selection for the NY Scary Film Award. Check it out! You will have to register, but it is quick and easy.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Scripts of the February One Week Challenge - posted by Don

Wherein writers were challenge to write a scripts between 1 and 12 pages on the theme Urban Legend. The genre was open. Thirty writers took the challenge. Check them out on the Unproduced Scripts page.

– Don

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How the Crazy Lady at CVS Can Help Write Character and Dialogue – Repost from CHIPSTREET - posted by wonkavite

How the Crazy Lady at CVS Can Help Write Character and Dialogue

You wanna write screenplays?  Seriously?  Hopefully for a living?  Well, one thing you’ve got to do is perfect your art. Write. Rewrite.  And keep plugging away… nonstop. Keep polishing your craft until it shines!

…and be open to lessons learned from those who’ve been in the trenches, and blazed the same trail that you seek.  STS is happy to be reposting a series of articles from ChipStreet.  Folks, this is a terrific website – we recommend that you check it out in more depth!  (Original article available here)

About Chip: Chip Street is an IMDB credited indie screenwriter, director, and art director. His short films have screened at festivals, and his feature screenplays have been optioned and sold. He is a screenplay analyst, competition finalist, screenplay judge for a major industry competition, screener for an International film festival, founder of Write Club Screenplay Challenge, and a respected blogger on the art and business of screenwriting. He’s been published or cited by The BlueCat Competition Newsletter, Script Magazine,, Bleeding Cool, NoFilmSchool, ScriptTips and


Originally Posted on June 24, 2011 by Chip Street

People watching may be the best way to hone those sub-textual writing skills.

So I was standing in CVS looking for a father’s day card for my son (note to self: There are no father’s day cards from dad to son-who-is-a-dad) and of course I wasn’t the only person who’d put it off perilously late.

To my right, a woman and her teen daughter scanning the rows of leftovers.

Enter screen right: A third woman, tension radiating from her clenched up little form like heat waves on a hot tarmac.

She ingratiated her way between the mom and daughter team, in that way that Obi Wan assured the Storm Trooper that these were not the droids he was looking for, by standing behind them making furtive little half-steps toward the space-between-that-was-not-large-enough-for-her, audibly huffing little puffs of what I was sure must be steam from between her pursed lips, until they realized that they must part for her just to get some of the sticky tension she was exuding off their person. She never said “excuse me”. She never addressed them directly. She just “made them want to step aside”.

Then she spoke. “Bobby. Suzy. Come here.”

No one came.

“Bobby, Suzy, now.”

Still no one came.

“Bobby, Suzy, come here now! Over here! Agh!”

I looked to my left, and there were two sweet kids I assumed were Bobby and Suzy, calmly looking through a row of “Father’s Day for Grampas” cards, guided by a man I assumed was Bobby and Suzy’s father. He pointed out options, the kids read (or looked at pictures at least).

“Grk! Come here, now! Bobby! Suzy!”

She stomped over to them, and I half expected her to grab both their wrists and drag them back to the (now very uncomfortable) mom and daughter duo. “Will you come here?”

Finally dad replied. “They’re looking here.

She tried to melt his face with eyes that, in another universe, would have been two lumps of burning brimstone. “The Grampa cards are down there,” she hissed.

Dad didn’t say anything. He just indicated the section the kids were already rummaging through. It said “Father’s Day for Grampa”.

She seemed to shrink, just a little. “Oh.”

I thought that was it. Tension defused. “I didn’t know,” she fumed. Then: “Well, hurry up.”

Dad exhaled. Inside, I knew, he had just counted to ten. “They’re looking.”

“Just hurry up! Pick one!” She paced. She paced uncomfortably close to their backs. She made those same little half-steps, from one end of her tiny invisible cage to the other. I think her knuckles were white.

Apparently, they didn’t move quickly enough. She huffed again. “God! Will you just hurry? Never mind. Forget it. I can’t stand this. I’m going outside.”

Dad turned, and put a hand on her shoulder. He kind of guided her away a step. “Just calm down, will you? Wait over here.”

“No!” She stamped back to position one. Mom and daughter had beat feet. She had her section to herself. I’m not sure why the cards didn’t burst into flame.

Dad saw the kids hadn’t found what they were looking for, and crossed behind me, guiding them gently toward mom. I don’t know how much pushing he had to do.

I’ve never been so tempted to stop someone and say “Is she always like that?” Or “You’re a saint.” Or, to her, “Do you have any idea how fucking unpleasant you are?”

But I didn’t. Because, of course, I don’t know if he’s a saint. I don’t know what came before the drugstore. I don’t know her relationship with the Grampa, how late they were to get somewhere else, or what hellions the kids had been in the car. None of which, of course, should excuse her terrible behavior. But all of which, very possibly, very likely, informed it.

What I did know was, in all likelihood, this exchange was not at all about the cards.

And therein lies the point.

It’s the subtext, stupid

Most arguments, and many conversations, are not really about the subject at hand. That’s what subtext is all about. Writing dialogue that in fact reflects the true nature of the dynamic between characters is “on the nose”. It is “exposition”. It is (almost without fail) suboptimal.

In the first Write Club Challenge, script analyst John Rainey stated that “Rarely do characters say what their objective is. They speak around it in an effort to persuade the other character to give him/her what he/she wants. A guy on a date would never say ‘Let’s go to my place and have sex.’ … To say that would be ‘on-the-nose.’” (read more of John Rainey’s screenwriting advice here…)

We don’t know what the crazy lady at CVS was really angry about. She didn’t tell us.

It’s possible they were running late, but she never said “We’re going to miss dinner at Grampa’s if you don’t hurry and pick out a card.”

It’s possible she hates Grampa, but she never said “I don’t know why we’re wasting money on an emotionally abusive old man who never gave me a birthday card my whole life.”

Real people, at least the interesting ones, don’t do that. They talk around the problem. They project their anger elsewhere, perhaps (usually) inappropriately. They often don’t even know themselves what they’re actually angry about.

They don’t explain their anger. They are just angry.

This scene, with this woman, was fascinating in its intensity, its impropriety, its inference that there was much more to the story to learn. More than I would probably ever know. And, it was fascinating in its organic realism.

As writers, it’s our job to hone our observation skills, to people-watch, to make mental notes, to become keen spectators of human communication … and to see the truth of just how imprecise, and woefully inadequate, it really is.

As writers, it’s our job to know what’s going on in the character’s mind (even if they don’t); to know how much the character does know; to know what the character wants out of the scene (or the scene needs out of the character); and then to find ways for the character to express what they want without ever letting them say what they want.

In a perfect world.

Are you doing enough people-watching? Has it made you a better writer?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Shout out to Tommy Draper - posted by Don

Shout out to Tommy Draper who was recently interviewed by Neil Oseman about his recent projects (recent as of 2012). One of those recent projects was Pro Kopf where he was the screenwriter.

Tommy has been a member of the discussion board for over ten years and sometimes I lose track of successes. Check out Tommy’s Facebook page and his web site.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Original Script Sunday for February 8th - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are Thirty two original scripts for your reading pleasure.

Please note that script submissions are closed for the week whilst the February, 2015 One Week Challenge is going on. Give it a go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Movie Poet – The Final Curtain - posted by Don is proud to announce the winners of our December 2014 short script competition.

“Christmas Cards” by David M Troop ~ First Place
An elderly man spends Christmas with his friends and family.

“Fair Share” by Pete Barry ~ Second Place
Fay and Eddie find out their relationship is built on lies, damned lies, and statistics.

“Side Scroller” by T. James DeStein ~ Third Place
A video game sprite must overcome the obstacles faced by its predecessors in order to move the world forward.

I am very sad to report that this is the last Movie Poet winner announcement. It is a sad day for the screenwriting community. A lot of screenwriters got his or her start at Movie Poet honing skills with short scripts and a supportive community. I was very lucky to have a supportive relationship with Chris and there are many aspects of Movie Poet that I strived to emulate.

Chris is going to focus on NJ Film School. I hope that those of you in the New Providence, NJ area can support the en devour.

– Don

Monday, February 2, 2015

Clone Wife – Feature Length Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Clone Wife

A lovesick scientist clones his estranged wife, but when she unexpectedly comes out nine years younger, his broken marriage gets a magical reboot.

Remember when movies were fresh and fun? Big colorful premises that mixed comedy with drama and that needed touch of soul? Classic films like Splash and Big – such tales don’t grow old; they still charm and entertain today. Let’s face it, folks: gross out comedy like The Interview has a (very) limited shelf life. But Honey I Shrunk the Kids? That stuff stands the test of time…

And speaking of goofy scientists… There’s always room for one more. Especially when they’re wrapped in a warm n’ heartfelt rom-com, with action and drama on the side. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, timing doesn’t get better than this.

Readers, meet Travis Wonders. A classic inventor type with his nose buried in textbooks and computer screens… his head perpetually in the clouds. For ten years, he’s been hard at work in his basement lab, attempting to clone woodpecker DNA. Assisting in the process: a little fluffy white dog named Algernon, and a pair of robotic arms nicknamed Eli and Emma. Then there’s Travis’ wife of nine years, Renee. Though she’s gone the corporate route, Travis can always depend on her support.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

Unbeknownst to the poor professor, marital trouble’s a-brewing. Tired of Travis’ never-ending tinkering, Renee’s accepted a position in Japan. An extended separation. Probably divorce. She just… hasn’t quite told her husband yet.

The couple heads to dinner at Montana Tony’s, a restaurant owned by Renee’s flamboyant brother Stig. Renee’s whole family’s there. Her acerbic mother Astrid throws barbs at Travis and sips martinis. And mentions Renee’s ex-boyfriend – Guy Ducharme. The successful author of Marry Your Prom Queen (hint, hint), Guy’s in town for a book signing. Not to mention the upcoming high school class reunion. Wouldn’t Renee just love to see him again? After a tense exchange, Renee’s secret spills. She’s leaving Travis. And there’s nothing he can say.

Not that Travis doesn’t try. He does: epically. But the day of Renee’s fateful departure arrives all too soon. Despite her husband’s pathetic pleas, her mind hasn’t changed. Renee drives off to the airport with Stigs, leaving a forlorn Travis with Algernon. Struck by a sudden misgiving, she forces a promise out of her brother. Check up on Travis. Make sure he’s okay?

Left alone, the professor falls into a funk. And far deeper into his research. Until an accident results in breakthrough! Doggy Algernon is cloned. Voila: Clone Al (dubbed “Alfredo.”). But what good is success without someone you love to share it? Renee still won’t return Travis’ calls. A drunken Travis extracts a lock of Renee’s hair from an anniversary photo album. It’ll take years to sequence her DNA – but he vows to start over again, rambling into a video to record his thoughts. Leaving the lab, he heads upstairs to sleep.

But a storm’s abrewing. Literally. As Travis slumbers, a bolt of lightning hits the backyard… supercharging robot arms Eli and Emma. And resulting in – Clone Wife.

A nine years younger model. With all of Renee’s memories up to that time (including a still unsullied love for Travis). And – thanks to the video – Clone Wife’s quite aware of who she is.

Needless to say, Travis receives a rude awakening… and one hell of a dilemma. A second chance – with a younger woman. Who in the world wouldn’t want that? But is Clone Wife really Renee? Where does Travis’ love and alliance really lie?

And the equation’s about to get more complex. Struck by unexplainable twinges, Renee boards a flight to the States to see Travis again. Then there’s the upcoming reunion. And slippery, sleazy Guy Ducharme, who’s coming home to claim his ex-prom queen. And nothing’s gonna stop him this time….

Chock full of over-the-top comedy and colorful characters, Clone Wife is the kind of classic comedy ride that audiences crave. But – like all true clones – CW is more than a sum of its parts. Because under the gloss and slapstick, there beats a far more poignant theme, embodied in the characters of Renee and Clone Wife: learning to face yourself (literally) – all your choices and mistakes. And blazing your own path in life and love… no matter who you’ve been “programmed” to be.*

* And speaking of the titular character – that’s a major strength to this script as well.  *TWO* strong, meaty female roles in one?  Get Jennifer Aniston on the phone!  🙂 Orphan Black ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

About the writer: (story by Brett Martin and Ben Liska) Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles.  He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Entertainment, which is associated with Zack Snyder. Once optioned by Destiny Pictures, his comedy feature, CLONE WIFE, just underwent a major face lift. He’s also developing a tentpole action feature & cartoon web series as he continues his quest to be a professional screenwriter.

Pages: 103

Budget: Mid-range. Yes, there’s the lab to create – but most of the scenes are set in simple locations. Houses, school auditoriums, a restaurant. Locations that can be obtained easily. The most important factor – getting a crew of actors with terrific comedic timing.

About the writer: (story by Brett Martin and Ben Liska) Brett Martin is an unrepped screenwriter and freelance reader living in Los Angeles.  He sold an action/thriller to Quixotic Productions, which is owned by Brett Stimely (Watchmen, Transformers 3). He’s also developing a tentpole action feature & cartoon web series as he continues his quest to be a professional writer.

Pages: 103

Budget: Mid-range. Yes, there’s the lab to create – but most of the scenes are set in simple locations. Houses, school auditoriums, a restaurant. Locations that can be obtained easily. The most important factor – getting a crew of actors with great comedic timing.





All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.



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