Why it is so important to read screenplays

Why reading screenplays is so important

The reason why it is so important to read scripts is the same reason it is important to avoid rumours.  It is second hand information with the interpretation of others applied.  If you want to know the truth go straight to the source.

Let’s start off with my favourite pastime, putting crap on gurus and experts. Let’s look at the path (death march) truth takes on its way to you via an expert.

Their claimed expertise and experience.

They read a huge number of great scripts (most haven’t) and form an opinion based on their own biases and education. Most just regurgitate the opinions of others. Reading scripts when you are trying to learn is great.  But when you are trying to make a product of it.  It is very bad. Because you are not looking to learn. You are looking for common factors, which mostly have nothing to do with quality or story telling.

Productising knowledge.

They take what they think makes these scripts great and try to productise. This means try to turn their understanding (or lack of) into a repeatable process. So it becomes a formula or checklist.  This is good for them, and so so bad for you. Why?

The evils of the writing expert.

The reason that it is a product is so it is quick and repeatable. They can fill out a checklist or apply a formula in minutes.  They are done.  They will read your script (maybe) and write up a report or give it a score.  But in reality, they are marking like a school teacher and completely ignoring any originality or artistic merit.  If you don’t fit the formula, you are a failure.

So here is a graphic that I think explains the problem with the world of the expert.

Why it is so important to read screenplays.

Why is it so important to read screenplays ,conclusion.  

You will never learn what makes a great screenplay by reading the opinions of people. You can only learn what makes a great screenplay by reading great screenplays.

How can you be unique when you are producing something via a formula.  The reason a formula exists is to guarantee consistency.  Consistency guarantees uniformity, which is the complete opposite of uniqueness.

Conmen rely on the greed of people (sorry). People that want a short cut. People that are willing to believe they can save all the effort of reading the greats and just follow a formula. If this is you, you think I am an idiot and this has not been for you.

I laughed out loud when I heard a so-called expert say “screenwriting isn’t an art, it is engineering”.  I rest my case.

You can get screenplays here. https://www.simplyscripts.com/c.html