Whether you’re a Reader just starting out, or an Executive level Producer deciding on the next greenlight, you’re going to want to read an actual screenplay properly.
Of course, maybe you have a pile on your desk or in your backpack, and you don’t truly want to spend a lot of time reading someone else’s story while actually asking yourself, “Why am I not telling my own?”
So, here’s what you do, or maybe it’s what I do, and your mileage may vary; Take a walk with your current screenplay, and read the first five pages.
Then tear them out. Throw them to the wind. If they blow back, as opposed to blowback, grab them, and tack them to the end of the rest of the screenplay.
Turn to the middle, and tear one out after you read it. If you liked what you read, then crumple it in a ball, and stuff it in your pocket.
Go back into your current domicile, and throw the screenplay to the ceiling. Read only the pages that don’t stick to it.
After that, if you still like what you’ve read, then ask for another undamaged copy from the writer.
It’s at this point he’ll probably ask, “What happened to the copy I gave you?” A terse rejoinder is required here, however telling the truth isn’t truly a good idea.
Go with one of the following:
- My reader kept it.
- I misplaced it.
- It accidentally got put in the reject pile and shredded, or
- I wanted to discuss a rewrite.
That last one should only be used if you do indeed want a rewrite.
Now I realize this is the 21st century, and these days you don’t get a hard copy, and PDF’s are the norm. This allows an additional reason; my cellphone accidentally deleted it.
Now, you always ultimately want a hard copy. Because you liked aforementioned script, and you do indeed want to discuss it with the writer.
Now, being one myself, I’m going to tell you that he doesn’t believe that he needs a rewrite. Personally, I don’t believe in rewrites, as you’re just doing more writing. Some of the original may not see the light of day, however the writing itself did in fact take place.
72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.