I may be going a bit overboard here, but I enjoyed what I am about to reveal so much, I could not help but share. As an aspiring screenwriter, one of the best ways to learn your craft is to read hundreds and hundreds of screenplays. It’s essential to learning different formats and storytelling techniques.
Reading a screenplay before you see a film is also a phenomenal way to get better at directing. You are always going to visualize characters, settings, and story lines personally. Watching the film after you read the screenplay gives you a better understanding of the decisions made by the director. You can see how they interpreted the same characters, settings, and story.
For me, reading screenplays has always been a bit of a chore. Either I had to buy a book, or print out hundreds of pages just to make it easy to read. However, as technology has improved, so has the screenplay experience. Below is my steps to enjoying…
The Ultimate Screenplay Reading Experience
To achieve this you will need the following:
- An Ipad (using iOS 6.0.1).
- A Spotify account (subscription may be required for some soundtracks)
You can use any tablet, or even a laptop computer, instead of the Ipad, but I am going to focus on the ipad since that is what I use.
You will also need some screenplays to read. Here are some of my favorite sources for legally downloading screenplays.
- No Film School
- My PDF Scripts
- The Weekly Script
- John August’s Downloads
- Awesome Scripts & Screenplays
- The Daily Script
- Sci Fi Scripts
- Screenplays For You
- Simply Scripts
There are tons of other resources as well. A simple google search does wonders most of the time if the screenplay is legally available for download.
Once you have downloaded the script(s), follow these simple steps.
On the Ipad, open up the PDF of the script in Safari. You should see at the top right of the screen two black buttons that read “Open in IBooks…” and “Open in…”. If you do not see either, tap the screen once to bring up the buttons. Click on the “Open in IBooks” button.
This automatically downloads the screenplay to your Ibooks app. This is a cool app that easily organizes all of your ‘books’. You can view all your downloads as if they are on a bookshelf, or in list form. Either way, it is an efficient way to keep track, and read, screenplays on the Ipad.
Now that you have the screenplay ready to read, here is where Spotify comes in. For those that don’t know about one of my all time favorites….
Spotify works on your computer, your mobile, your tablet, and your home entertainment system.
You can even download your favorite music for when you’re offline.
With a premium subscription of $9.99 / month, you have access to almost any piece of music, including new releases and movie soundtracks. I’m sure you get where I’m going now. Just in case, I’m going to use the screenplay for Dreamwork’s “Lincoln” as an example.
I downloaded the screenplay for Lincoln to Ibooks. Then I found the soundtrack on Spotify. I plug in my Skull Candy ear buds to the Ipad, turn on the soundtrack, and begin reading. It is the ultimate way to enjoy a screenplay, especially if you have not seen the film yet.