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Monday, December 7, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 280: What exactly is a spec script?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A spec script is a "speculative" screenplay, one that the Variety slanguage dictionary defines as being "shopped or sold on the open market, as opposed to one commissioned by a studio or production company."[1]

Spec scripts are written for various reasons:[citation needed]

  • by writers who hope to have a script optioned and eventually purchased by producers or studios;
  • by writer/directors who want to direct a film themselves;
  • by amateur writers hoping to convince a literary agent to represent them or a producer to hire them.

I would like to add that spec scripts are also written for television to show that the writer can write for other people's characters. In television you usually need multiple sample scripts from various shows to prove that if you write one great spec, it wasn't a fluke.

If you want to write a spec, and have no idea how to start, I highly recommend the UCLA extension program. If you live in Los Angeles, nothing beats the class atmosphere where you get help form your teacher and create relationships with the students as well. However, if you're not, you can take online classes and have a spec done in one semester.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com