Have you ever tried to search for screenwriting material online? Or A website dedicated to learning screenwriting? If you have, you probably got confused with many results. Some of them are awesome while some are really not worth reading. And whether you are using any screenwriting software, research on writing certain types of screenplays is critical. That’s why I have put together a list of the best screenwriting websites which contain many resources on writing movie scripts.
Let’s go through them one by one.
- The Black List
- Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDB)
- John August
- No Film School
- The Script Lab
- Script Reader Pro
- Creative Screenwriting
- Reddit Screenwriting Community
- Syd Field
- Freshmen Screenplay
- Virtual Pitch Fest
The Black List was named the Best Screenwriting Website by the Writer’s Digest. Into The Story is the official blog of The Black List where Scott Myers, shares his writing tips and script recommendations. However, that’s not just why it was named the best.
The Black List lists dozens of great screenplays which have not yet been produced, written by amateurs. Even after applying to screenwriting contests, many scripts go unnoticed. The Imitation Game movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch was on the top of the black list in 2011. Over 50 writers have said that they got a platform to showcase their craft because of the black list and it made a huge difference by opening doors into Hollywood.
If you go to the Reader’s Section, there are over 20,000 posts on every subject in screenwriting. And that is why it is on the top of my list here.
The best way to learn screenwriting is by reading scripts. And there is no better way to do it than by downloading free scripts of blockbuster and award winning movies on IMSDB. It is the largest resource on the internet where you can download most of the scripts. The first script that I read was Indiana Jones: raiders of the Lost Ark which I downloaded from this site over 10 years ago.
It has all types of Genre & includes TV Scripts also. It’s really simple to use. Search, Click & Download.
3. John August
John August started this website in 2003. He had earlier written more than 100 articles for IMDb which he then published on here. He was nominated for a BAFTA Award in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for the film Big Fish. The website has innumerable tips & articles along with analysis of his own scripts including Charlie’s Angels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Go & some more. He shares his experience in the industry on his blog in a very simple, straightforward manner.
John also started the website screenwriting.io which answers basic questions related scriptwriting & filmmaking. I have found it extremely useful so far in clearing my doubts.
Not everyone can afford to learn filmmaking in a prestigious University or Academy. That’s why Ryan Koo started No Film School in 2010 as a full fledged website on every aspect related to Films. And it has grown to over 4.5 Million page views a month since then.
The Screenwriting category posts unique topics like How to write a ’contained’ screenplay, How professional writer’s beat writer’s block, etc. These are the specific questions that writer’s are asking on google. There is a lot to learn from this website without going to any film academy.
Founded in 2010, The Script Lab offers a wide range of articles from screenwriting, filmmaking, directing and deep analysis of various films. The writers for this website are well recognized in Hollywood. It also hosts a Screenplay Contest for which there is no entry fee. You have to just go to the main page and start reading their posts.
The Script Magazine has numerous categories related to filmmaking. All of us make writing mistakes, however the tips they have on improving screenwriting skills are wonderful. Easy to navigate between categories, I always find this site useful for writing tips. An example would be the post on character development which gives examples of various scenes in movies like Cast Away, Erin Brockovich.
Script Reader Pro has a team of writers from Hollywood. Notable are Peter Briggs (who wrote Hellboy, with Guillermo Del Toro), Dash Finley (The Bourne Identity) and more. This website has Books on formatting screenplays, writing dialogues & screenplay structure. Apart from their paid resources, it has various topics like Best Screenplays to read, How to get a screenwriting Agent, etc. These are massive articles written in simple terms.
Creative Screenwriting was founded in 1995 and existed as a print magazine back then. Now you can imagine the number of writers they know in the industry. Their newsletters include a lot of information and articles form screenwriters not just from Hollywood but from around the world.
Most of the categories have tons of tips on the craft of screenwriting. Try reading the review of the film “The Irishman” by Martin Scorsese.
The screenwriting community at reddit has over 700,000 members worldwide. Everyone can share their knowledge about scriptwriting over here. You can read the information for free.
The topics range from logline formatting, videos, books, screenplay formats, etc. If you have a query, just post it in the community and you’ll receive at least 10 answers for it within a week. It is one of the quickest ways to resolve doubts. Reviews about scripts, screenplay software, specific scenes in a particular movie are mostly popular here.
Founded by John Rhodes & Cameron Cubbison ScreenCraft launched many screenwriters over the years. They have represented and held meetings for clients to land deals at Netflix, 20th Century Fox, NBS, Paramount, Lionsgate.etc.
The ScreenCraft‘s writing competition organized each year has launched writers deals with Steel Spring Pictures (John Wick, Spotlight), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Their blog contains unique topics written by well known writers in the industry.
11. Syd Field
As a leading author and speaker on screenwriting, Syd Field was well regarded as a pioneer in the field of screenplay structure. The link to the 9 books that he wrote are on the website. There are screenwriting resources, essays, and interviews of Syd on the blog. The Three-Act Structure written by Syd is widely followed by screenwriters in Hollywood.
This blog was founded by Khadeem Wilson who is a young writer and has worked with Discovery on 2 documentaries. He has assisted in 25 movies with many Hollywood producers.
The main thing about his blog is the structure of his website. You can find topics on How to write a subtext in a screenplay to guidelines on formatting. He shares industry knowledge from his own experience and also has links to his own scripts. This is a must read blog to follow for screenwriters who wish to learn online.
This magazine started in 1993 in Seattle. Moviemaker covers all the topics of filmmaking like directing, editing, cinematography, etc. It mostly includes interviews on various writers, latest film trends, reviews. But it is a nice website to follow nonetheless.
The reason Virtual Pitch Fest makes this list is because it is about helping amateur screenwriters to improve their writing skills. The way this website works is, you pay for a membership of $50, $90 or $189. And then you can have 5, 10 or 25 pitches depending on your membership plan. You can choose those people in Hollywood who you specifically wish to pitch to. There are over 475+ professionals ready to ready your script for a minimum amount. So, if you have your screenplay ready, I certainly recommend taking this membership to pitch it.