You know, it’s funny. When the New York Times e-mailed to say they were doing a piece on Scriptshadow, I wasn’t as thrilled as someone being contacted by the New York Times should probably be. I knew an article meant more exposure. Which is usually a good thing. But I also knew that every time the site gained awareness, detractors used it as an opportunity to preach their dislike of the blog. Which was never a fun thing to deal with! So I was reluctant. But the implication was the Times was going to do the article anyway, so I at least wanted to give my side of the story.

Unfortunately, as I anticipated, the chirping about Scriptshadow grew louder after the article, with the usual suspects saying the site was hurting writers. This is something I never agreed with. At worst, Scriptshadow was a minor inconvenience to writers I didn’t give a favorable review to. At best, it was teaching thousands of screenwriters via the dissection of the latest script sales/assignments, and helping numerous writers get into the business. It may have operated in a gray area, but the site was doing a lot more good for writers than it was doing bad.

But I also recognize that the growth of the site has changed things. Scriptshadow used to be this little underground blog. And when you’re that guy, it’s easier to take chances, to do and say things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to say or do. I think people see the site as more “official” now, and that’s an issue they have with its current iteration. If it’s “official,” I shouldn’t be operating in this gray area anymore. But I believed so strongly in what could be learned from professional writing, I tried to keep it going as long as I could. I’m just not sure it’s worth taking the risk anymore. My life is pretty great at the moment, and I’d like to keep the headaches to a minimum.

So what does this mean for the site? Well, depending on how you look at it, some potentially good things. New spec reviews won’t disappear completely, but they’ll be pretty sparse, as there will be more of a process involved in reviewing them. I might review stuff that’s been produced but not yet released. We’ll see about that. I have a lot of ideas for posts, and I’m looking forward to experimenting and seeing what clicks with you guys. I want to try and dust off the occasional older spec sale and see if we can revive a few scripts that way. We’ll be delving into recent movies, popular movies, classics, and more amateur screenplays. We’ll also be doing more theme weeks.

But what actually excites me about this change is that I’ll be able to focus more on Scriptshadow Labs and The Scriptshadow Social Experiment. I’ve got about 20 amateur writers I’ve found over the years here at the site who I really believe in. They just haven’t written the right script yet. I want to develop a community with these writers where not only am I helping them where I can, but they’re helping each other. Kind of like the best writer’s group in Hollywood. My goal is to review multiple versions of their scripts on the site, using all of the great Scriptshadow readers to crowd-source suggestions and help these scripts become better. We’d then review the new drafts as they come in, so we can see “in real time” how scripts are developed and how good notes (or bad notes) can affect the improvement of a draft. Hopefully, we’ll get the best of these scripts either purchased, produced, or both, and you guys will learn a lot more about the process in the interim.

The Social Experiment is a much bigger project, something I’ve been saving up for. The idea behind it is similar to the Labs, just on a larger scale, with writers interacting and learning from each other. It will also feed writers into the Labs. I know that sounds similar to some stuff out there, but I don’t want to reveal all my ideas for it just yet, as I’d like to keep some secrets until it’s released. Almost every penny I’ve made has gone back into the site. And I’m going to need a lot of pennies to get this going. But when I do, I expect it to be a game changer.

In other words, I want to restructure Scriptshadow into the best site on the web for amateur screenwriters to learn the craft of screenwriting, while ALSO giving them a chance to BECOME professional screenwriters. To that end, I think change is good. I still don’t think there’s any learning tool better than reading current spec sales, but I’ll try to provide the best backup plan I can.

In closing, I’d just like to say that everybody is entitled to their opinion on the reading and reviewing of professional screenplays. It’s not a black and white issue so I try and listen when someone comes to me with an opposing viewpoint (like e-mails me. Not yells at me on Twitter). What bums me out is that I started this site to promote that amazing tool, and I still think reading and discussing professional scripts is the best way to learn screenwriting outside of writing itself. But at a certain point, it was irritating too many people, and that wasn’t fun to deal with. I still plan to incorporate recent spec sales into the site in some capacity. It just won’t be as reviews.

I guess this means the transition starts now. It’ll probably be a rocky one until I figure out what works, but hopefully something better comes of it on the other side. Thanks for all of your support guys!  2013’s going to be fun.  :)

  • ThomasBrownen

    This sounds really exciting! One of this blog’s strengths is its ability to adapt and become stronger than ever. Should be fun to see what happens!

  • Lisa Aldin

    A good move. I’d be excited to see more amateur scripts being reviewed and looked at here.

  • gonzorama

    Good luck, Carson. I think this is a good move for the site. I’ve seen a lot of changes to ScriptShadow over the years, and I have learned a hell of a lot about writing. The opportunity to read scripts I wouldn’t otherwise have access to have been wonderful – both entertaining and educational. And I guess a little disappointing – like reading a script I had high hopes for and it wasn’t as great as I’d wanted it to be.

    I know there was some backlash when you were reviewing only professional scripts, and I guess some people just didn’t want negative publicity before their film was out. That’s okay, but some of them sure were babies about it.

    But I don’t think you ran into a lot of anger until you started reviewing amateur scripts. That’s when you caught hell for telling people their dreams weren’t going to happen – at least from what you were able to read.

    But I’m excited with the direction you’re going in. I wish you, and the site, the best of luck.

  • DanDollar

    Great start – please, for the love of God, stop reviewing scripts without the writer or studio’s permission first, and stop taking advantage of amateur writers. That is where the majority of your criticisms stem from, especially the first point. It would solve a lot of problems.

    • Brainiac138

      Not this again…

    • Cuesta

      Of course your criticism come from the first point, you pros don’t give a shit about the amateurs, it’s just some rant to use against Carson.

      • DanDollar

        No one likes to see anyone taken advantage of. But if you’re saying I care more about the first issue I mentioned which could directly affect me, as opposed to second one which would affect people I do or don’t know, I mean…of course.

  • The Mulberry Tree

    First off, sorry you have to deal with those types of people. No good deed goes unpunished I guess.

    Second, I’m excited that there’ll be more amateur scripts…more chances for us to be one of your success stories!

    I am a little sad about the slight step back that you’ll be taking with professional scripts and their reviews…those are the times when I learn the most.

    Either way, still looking forward to the changes you have in store for us. SS Will Endure! Cheers.

    Oh yeah, when’s the SS swag coming?! Or the Hardcover?! Come on…Daddy’s ready to represent!

    • carsonreeves1

      Nothing will replace what we learned from recent spec sale and top tier assignments, but I still have some fun stuff in store.

      • Crazdwrtr

        More contests perhaps — although I’m sure Twit-Pitch was beyond brutal for you! LOL

      • Bella_Lugossi

        300 years? ;]

        First screenplay that moved me to tears in the first ten pages.

        • carsonreeves1

          I know!

          • Bella_Lugossi

            That guy Belvedere… I would adopt him in a second.

  • Crazdwrtr

    You sound like a man with a plan. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us Script Shadow readers. Keep doing all you do to support amateurs trying to break into the business. You may not hear this enough, among the whining, but it is appreciated.

  • ElliotMaguire

    I am very excited about this! This us a fantastic move for amateurs like me. I’ve done reviews for scripts before, but never been invited to openly give advice as to the direction and creation of certain elements. And I ALWAYS want to, obviously. Not for any kind if credit, but to know that I can think of some good stuff, and to receive that sort if help myself.

    I look forward to see how this differentiates from other sites, as a lot of the time feedback is met with defensiveness.

    Can’t wait to see things happen, hope it works out Carson, good luck.

  • Rob B.

    Dammit Monday comment section! You ruined it for the rest of us! I just hope we don’t only see positive reviews. Seeing both good and bad reviews made this site the best on what to do and what to avoid to grow as a writer.

    • Poe_Serling

      And to think, I was just this close ‘ – ‘ to submitting my horror script to Carson:

      Logline: Commenters on a popular screenwriting go insane after a negative review contaminates their brain pans. Now the host of the site finds himself battling for survival against those descending into madness around him.

      Oh well, back to the drawing board. ;-)

      • crazedwritr

        It’s probably for the best, you’d have to pay the owner of the screenwriting website a pretty penny for his life rights. And getting Ryan Gosling, or whoever the hot stud of the moment is, to play him in the movie, won’t be cheap!

        • Poe_Serling

          I definitely could see Ryan Gosling pulling off the mysterious, veiled hoodie look.

          • crazedwritr

            lol or just a serious of hand shots.

          • crazedwritr

            meant series

  • Poe_Serling

    It’s a brave new world, baby…

    From my perspective the reviews of the really good and really bad amateur scripts are the ones that have generated the most buzz and pumped up those comment totals. And, of course, the twit-pitch contest, logline contest, etc. are always going to be catnip for aspiring screenwriters.

    ” To that end, I think change is good.”

    Personally, I think it often leads to even greater opportunities and richer experiences.

    • Mb

      One of my favorite quotes about change was in an episode of the TV show “Monk”, from the lead character, Adrian Monk:

      “I don’t have a problem with change, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

      (Although, probably not a quote that applies here…..because I think most of us want to see how things unfold)

      • Poe_Serling

        My favorite change quote comes from Anchorman:

        ‘Bob Dylan once wrote… The times, they are a-changin. Ron Burgundy had never heard that song.’

        Can’t wait for the upcoming sequel.

    • Poe_Serling

      If the Changing Gears article was a Carson Reeves film production, it would be bofo box office.

  • Dan Sarf

    Best of luck with the new format, Carson. If it’s half as good as the old one, it’ll be great.

  • Kay Bryen

    Looks like the terrorists have won :-(

    On a separate note, Carson says: “In other words, I want to restructure Scriptshadow into the best site on the web for amateur screenwriters to learn the craft of screenwriting.” Well…

    Our protag already achieved his goal in the First Act…

    • Keith Popely

      How did you go back in time to steal my post? Are you a looper? Guess I should, like, read stuff before I post.

      • Kay Bryen

        Keith not only am I a looper, I am YOU, baby…

        • Poe_Serling

          lol. Keith/Kay, that Alaskan weather does wonders for your complexion.

        • Keith Popely

          Holy crap. In the future, it’s going to take me three times as long to get ready?

          • Kevin Lenihan


          • guest


    • John Bradley

      haha I like it…this is the dark “all is lost” point before he comes roaring back

  • Cedric Little Crow

    – Insight friend! Can’t wait to see what Labs has in store for us. Sorry Disq messed up on my last comment.

  • carsonreeves1

    Inclusion into the Labs will be ongoing. If I find someone with a great amateur script, I’ll definitely want them in the labs.

    • BennyPickles

      I’m confused. You mean it’s going to be like a little club? But the Social thing would be public, right?

      • carsonreeves1

        Yeah, social thing would be public.

  • carsonreeves1

    Amateur Friday will still be intact. There may be another amateur review during the week as well. I’m still trying to decide.

    • Bella_Lugossi

      Is the shorts contest still ongoing and upcoming, open or closed and extended, maybe?

      • ripleyy

        I heard it’s been extended to 3016

  • Malibo Jackk

    I will have no comment at this time.
    (Too busy chewing my nails.)

  • Bella_Lugossi

    The best thing about Scriptshadow for me always was the Amateur Friday. Great notes from total strangers, interesting discussions and writers joining in.

    I understand that you get flack for reviewing scripts that have money and power attached to it. If you want to be a producer, you have to play by ‘the rules’, I guess.

    I would love to receive a stack of amateur screenplays, with permission from the writer, and go on about it all week. Or month. Or year.

    You can learn a lot from great screenplays, but sometimes even more from people at your own level who are in the process of making the same ‘mistakes’.

    Happy going in the new year!

    • Crazdwrtr

      Agreed. I enjoy amateur friday the most for this same reason. We are all pretty much at the same level, making the same mistakes. Plus, when a fellow newbie is discovered it makes the dream seem that much more attainable for the rest of us!

  • Keith Popely

    The terrorists have won.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Car bomb???

    • New_E

      Stop it.

      There are no “terrorists” to speak of. Just people as worried about their livelihood as you are. Granted, some of them are loudmouths, but this crowd is a tough crowd too.


      • Keith Popely

        Apparently rather thin-skinned people.

        • New_E

          I’ll agree to that. Some of them really seem to be rather thin-skinned.


  • Nawab

    Carson, nooooooo!!!!! Do not give in to those NRA-type bullies. If your review of professional and amateur scripts is so unethical, someone should have taken legal action by now.

    The fact that your site has grown to become very successful doesn’t mean you have to concede to critics and feel the need to act ‘responsibly.’

    I’m penning my sixth screenplay right now and for the first time, I actually feel like I understand structure much better. All because of those valuable lessons learned and gleaned from ScriptShadow.

    You only hurt writers who produce sub-par material, who, perhaps, don’t even realize it’s below standard in the first place, due to the amount of mediocre movies being churned out by Hollywood per annum. Bear in mind the reason you founded SS. To effect a lasting positive change in Hollywood. And that was never going to be an easy road. You’re facing obstacles now because you’ve become a force to be reckoned with.
    While you could certainly add a few new things to SS, there’s nothing about it that requires being taken out. SS is superb in its present state. I log on every 2pm (Nigerian time) to read that next fully detailed spec review, be it pro or am. So whatever way there is to go from here with SS, I strongly doubt that ‘sparse’ is it.
    Do your thing, my man. Do not cave in or compromise. Peace.

  • salad_fingers

    As happy as I am to hear about any new ideas… what the hell happened on monday?

  • blogwalker


    This is the overwhelming feeling after being an avid SS reader for 3+ years.

  • carsonreeves1

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • blogwalker

      And also remember that there are lots of us who have a tremendous appreciation for the site but avoid getting into the politics of everything.

      Here’s to keeping 2013 focused on screenwriting. And a big thank you to Carson because you have changed the game for a lot of us. I personally would’ve struggled through the dark an extra five years if not for Scriptshadow.

      • DD

        WELL SAID. Honestly, at this point, after reading countless scripts from all genres that vary in quality from goddawful to slightly engaging to amazing, I am kind of READY for a changing of gears. Let’s see how this develops. I’m ready to get more involved in the social aspect of this site and get my writing in the hands of fellow Scriptshadow readers (and reading their unfinished, unpolished nuggets of gold as well — for help.) Let’s see how far we can take this site. Trust that Carson will make this a great place to be a part of!

  • Avishai

    Small side question- so the review for today was cancelled?

    • carsonreeves1

      lol. yeah.

  • MWire

    All things must pass.

    Maybe the haters will go somewhere else now and we can get back to learning how to write a decent script.

  • Crazdwrtr

    I reviewed your short. It was really good. In just that short piece, my heart went out to the lead. Can’t wait to read your script tonight.

  • Bella_Lugossi

    Terrorists draw?

  • Brainiac138

    I concur with this post completely. I don’t know if I will be all that interested in the Labs or Social Experiment, what I was interested in was the scripts, both pro and amateur. I’ve been coming here since 2009ish and I have been coming every day. If you look at my bookmarks on my iPad, Scriptshadow holds the number one spot because this is just about the only site I go to every day. I am sure I will still be around, but man, I will miss everything I could be learning from reading what Carson has to say about the scripts themselves.

  • JEPoley

    Would it be possible to extract tips from recently sold spec scripts not unlike you did in your book without comprising the IP of the writer? There is tons of value in all the other activities you have planned…but it is still nice to have some insight into what has been recently selling.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’m exploring this. I still want to at least report on sold specs. Maybe get some lessons in there too.

  • carsonreeves1

    I’ve considered the idea of only reviewing amateur scripts all week for awhile. The problem with that, frankly, is that it might get kind of depressing. Almost every review is going to be a “not for me” or worse. I’m not sure that’s exactly encouraging to writers. But I do have some ideas to hopefully up the quality of the amateur scripts I review, however, I probably won’t be doing more than 2 amateur reviews a week.

    • klmn

      You could always balance the reviews of amateur scripts with reviews of scripts from old movies, both classics and turkeys. Scripts that date from before Al Gore invented the internet.

    • jae kim

      I agree with big C. Besides, I thought one of the most effective tools of this website was learning what the pros were doing with their scripts and learning from that.

    • Zadora

      I’m totally okay with reviewing older scripts. A good story is always a good story. Styles of writing screenplays might have changed, but a good story is timeless.

    • Kevin Lenihan

      It won’t work to just review amateur scripts. For exactly the reasons you said. If you can’t get pro scripts, I would rather see it substituted with film reviews in the same format as your book.

    • Guest

      Maybe instead of giving the amateur scripts a ranking from your traditional scale you could use the approach “how can we help this script get better.” As a result, the comments for bad amateur scripts would focus on suggestions for improvement and general feedback, and the comments for better amateur scripts would probably side towards general feedback and praise. This would allow the community to help each other, and learn what worked and didn’t work for certain scripts.

  • Brainiac138

    One quick question, how is it a conflict to find a writer and attempt to go on as a producer? Every manager I know or have worked with does that.

  • carsonreeves1

    wow, this was a nice post. thanks Jeb. :)

  • BennyPickles

    I certainly think a good route to take would be lots more of those themed weeks. I love the idea of the upcoming ‘shorts week’, and think that it can keep going towards TV Pilot Week and even Treatment Week, because the industry it’s not just about feature-length sci-fi dramas. And it would also give the more casual readers something to look forward to.

    Something I’ve always found really great about Amateur entries is that the writer is here to defend him/herself. Something you don’t get with pro scripts. If something doesn’t make sense, rather than criticizing it, we can ask the writer and collaboratively come up with a solution. However, the big problem with increasing the number of amateur scripts would be that the number of ‘impressives’ will go down. But, seeing as you currently review 5x more pro scripts than amateur scripts, the numbers are pretty rigged to begin with.

    • LV-426

      I also like the idea of theme weeks. Not that it would need to be every week… maybe one theme week per month would be a nice balance.

      Now I’m trying to think of some theme week ideas that haven’t been done yet. Obviously there could be ones for the various genres we all know and love, but how about something like Remake Week, or Sequel/Prequel Week? Trilogy Week? Those kinds of discussions could be very practical for any of us writing sci-fi, action, or horror scripts due to those being very franchise heavy genres.

    • tom8883

      Yes, especially to the TV Pilot Week.

  • The Mulberry Tree


  • Kevin Lenihan

    Man, this stinks. But I totally understand, and kind of thought this would happen after that article. I can say that I would welcome it if you did more of what you did in the book, where you review movies from a screenwriters perspective. What was unique about your approach is the focus on practical story tips.

    Do you remember the idea we talked about last spring, where I suggested you break amateur groups into teams? Teams that develop select scripts together and compete? Maybe you could pursue something like that.

    Anyway, I am grateful for having found the site a couple years ago not long after I began writing. It’s been a great influence. Thank you for the time you put in. You’ve already left a mark on many writers which will be felt in the coming years.

  • K__David

    No matter what you do, you’re going to have haters. They’re out there. They have nothing better to do. I’m sure they feel they have good intentions, but its more attention then intentions that they’re seeking.

    Just thankful I had the chance to follow this blog in its old form these past few years. I’ve learned plenty.

    It sucks for the writers that missed out though. On the plus side, you do have this amazing archive that can be referenced at any time. Unless you plan on getting rid of that too. Which would really suck.

  • max

    I wasn’t expecting that…

    To all the detractors out there…you guys suck.

    SS will always be awesome, no matter what.

    Even today’s post is more educational than John August’s blog and all the likes of him and bla bla bla… they pale in comparison.

  • Shaun Snyder

    I discovered ScriptShadow last July, and in my free time since then, I have read every post that has been written in the site’s history. I also purchased Carson’s book (it’s the first book I ever purchased on my Kindle) and I reference it constantly. ScriptShadow has helped me become a better screenwriter in so many ways, and I am eternally grateful for its existence. No matter how it changes or what the haters say, I will continue to be a loyal follower and fan.

  • carsonreeves1

    I sent scripts out privately on my e-mail list, which people had a problem with. But I never saw the merit in their issues. If passing along screenplays that weren’t yours was illegal, everyone in Hollywood dating as far back as 1920 would’ve broken the law. I didn’t see it as fair that that circle was so tight. I wanted to expand it to the guy in Iowa who would never have an opportunity to read professional scripts otherwise. Some people saw that as a bad thing. I just don’t believe that.

    • Keith Popely

      It’s the same old b.s. of people who are in the club trying to keep everyone else out. It’s not good for John August to have more competition. He doesn’t want the guy in Iowa to write a great script and he damn sure doesn’t want that guy to have access to the same producers to whom he’s trying to sell scripts. Funny that most everyone in Hollywood will tell you he or she is a liberal, but when it comes to helping out amateur writers, they suddenly change sides. They are the greedy and exclusionary “machine” that the rest of us are raging against.

      • carsonreeves1

        there’s a lot of truth to this. they don’t like when the little guy gets access.

        • Danny Gordon

          I mostly agree with Carson’s position, but the idea that John August has a problem with this site because he’s worried about competition is completely ridiculous. Writers like August are aggravated because they believe that reviewing scripts for public consumption BEFORE they’re put into production is detrimental to the process of moviemaking itself.

          I don’t agree, but I understand their point. Just like musicians don’t want their demos leaking because they’re incomplete and still being refined, established screenwriters feel the same way. Scripts, technically, are meant to be treated as a blueprint rather than as a separate piece of storytelling. The movie is supposed to the product that’s judged. Again, I don’t agree, but that is the argument August and other established writers have communicated.

    • Guest

      That’s just it, you want to expand the circle to the guy in Iowa. But other professional writers don’t. That means more competition to them. They want to keep it down to their tight group of writers — the “In” crowd. Your critics were doing nothing more than trying to protect their turf and ensure their subpar scripts didnt get shreded sometime in the future on your site. And when one of their friends’ scripts did just that, all hell broke loose. In their little minds, they deemed that you weren’t worthy of having the increasingly powerful position you created for yourself and they were/are determined to destroy it all costs. It went beyond busines, it was obviously personal, but phuck ‘em! Upward and onward!

    • Ambrose*

      Yeah, hundreds of agency underlings and development people, many just out of film school and/or college (no disrespect meant), can get access to and read the pro scripts but if someone who’s not in L.A. gets ahold of a copy then it’s as if someone’s found a hole in the tomb and they’re stealing the Holy Grail.

      It’s ridiculous. Where do they think new writers come from? One central location?
      Not everyone goes to film school. Not everyone moves to Hollywood while they’re still learning.

      One of the positive aspects of the internet is that a neophyte can get a pro script from a contact in Hollywood (for example, through an email list) and, along with many hours applying words to paper or laptop, learn how to improve his own writing.

      Reading pro scripts doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a pro writer but it can help prime the pump.
      And if you’re like me, you don’t always want to wait until the movie’s been released to read the script.

  • maleficedark

    If it is fun for you , there is a good chance that it will be fun for us too!
    Happy new year!

  • Angie

    Bravo. Great idea. I’m sure it will be successful. Thank you for your hard word teaching us what works and what does not.

  • ThomasBrownen

    Great post.

  • carsonreeves1

    I’m running around town today so sorry if your comment gets stuck in moderation. I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

    • Avishai

      You’re moderating every post? That’s a bit difficult, isn’t it.

      • carsonreeves1

        lol. No, posts from guests just get stuck in moderation. If you’ve commented before, it should just show up.

        • AdamG

          Should I be worried if my comment doesn’t show up?

  • Colenicks83

    Sadness. Here is to hoping the new site is bigger and better.

  • TGivens

    Sounds great! And all the haters out there must realize it’s not about them and their precious scripts, it’s about the craft, about learning and improving our work. Scriptshadow rocks!

  • Acarl

    I’m not going to paint this with my pretty colors – Thanks to
    all of the provincial minded jackasses that seemed to live and die for railing
    against Carson and SS for being borderline criminal and devious in his/its
    intent. At least you were few and far
    between as most others in the SS community are blessings to be able to interact

    This was a homegrown blog that developed into something more….for
    the better, you moronic, jealous a**holes.
    The wealth of knowledge that myself and countless others have culled
    from this site, by the structure from which it operated, has been
    priceless. The fact that because of (
    and in many cases—only because of) Carson, writer’s became even a blip on the
    radar screen of this incestuous, walled off industry tells the true story of
    Carson’s intentions. These absurd claims
    that he’s derailed projects from happening and scripts from being sold is just
    fiction. Bad fiction at that.

    Carson will modify his site so he’ll not have to be bludgeoned
    with mindless drivel and the ilk it drivels forth from. The ones who bitched loudest will boast of
    how they slayed the feared beast known as Script Shadow until their friends/co-workers
    get sick of hearing about it. Then, I suppose
    they’ll have to get down to a more serious matter such as—do I have what it
    takes to make it in this biz.

    So in the end I’m sure whatever Carson creates going forward
    will prove very rewarding for any and all that are involved. I just hope he doesn’t start handing out Greg
    Focker-esque, 7th place ribbons for the good tryers – nobody
    improves from that.

    Thank you, Carson

    • The Mulberry Tree

      Woot woot!

      • Berringer

        Er…not really. If you stepped outside of the Scripshadow cult, er, world, for a moment and calmed down you will find a more realistic view of this site and what’s it’s done both good and bad.

        • Berringer

          Sorry — that reply was meant for Acarl, not Mulberry…

          • Acarl

            Yes… really. I am crystal clear of the “realistic view”. Trust me.

          • Berringer

            Oh I’m sure you are, at least in your own head. That’s why the only thing I can liken SS to is a cult. It’s comprised largely of naive newbies who are very impressionable. Also, when a cult is threatened from the outside they are quick to dismiss them via labels — hence, as in this comments section, the comparison to Nazis and terrorists (not to mention, “trolls” and “haters”). And now I’m sure Carson will start blocking my comments the way he’s done with previous members who have become disillusioned/awakened, which, crap, come to think of it, is what cult leaders do! They point their finger at the imposter and banish him. Alas…

  • jae kim

    the most frustrating thing about the reviews here was the fact that most of us could not read the professional scripts being reviewed.

    In that note, I think scriptshadow labs is a brilliant idea. it can help all of us amateur writers improve our craft, not just those who wrote the scripts.

    I hope amateur fridays stays in tact for those of us not included in the labs circle. Although I think/hope the social experiment part might replace amateur fridays in a better way that can expose more writers to one another.

    some of us have started doing this already I think. I’d sometimes see a request for someone’s script to be read (by anyone) in the comments section with an email address, and I’d email them to get their script and offer feedback.

  • CaptnChris

    Start over under a psuedonym.

  • DrMatt

    The first thing that hooked me to this site was the article on Raiders of the Lost Ark. And then I kept finding all these other great articles that dissected things that worked (or didn’t work) in films that I love.

    That was something I never got in film school. In film school we watched a handful of a classics, studied the techniques of filmmaking and writing, but never learned how to apply them to MAKE A LIVING. This site taught me that as well. I still have yet to actually apply myself beyond a certain point, but I like to think I’m getting there.

    But most importantly it was the emphasis on storytelling that got me reading this site every day. I’d read it and agree with most everything that was written, especially the articles. It was an excellent learning tool to have bullet points of great storytelling technique in Die Hard, or Aliens.

    While I appreciate the occasional review of a recently sold spec-script, or a blacklist script, and the insight that gives into what’s hot in the market right now, those are the days I tend to skim the most. Because what’s hot right now won’t be hot in three months, or six months, or whatever the time is from when I start writing a script about what’s hot to when I finish it. That was a long-winded way of saying I don’t find those days as helpful as the rest of the content. I won’t miss those reviews all that much.

    Something I always wished the site had more of was reviews of older films, and subsequent dissections of those films. I realize that was a big part of the Scriptshadow Secrets book, but it’s still something I’d like to see more of. Those were the articles that got me inspired and motivated. I miss them.

    And the risk of doing more amateur reviews is worthwhile, I think. I like the process of including multiple amateur scripts in the newsletter and seeing what people like or don’t like. To me, that’s essentially the same as sending out a script to a production or talent company, except the chances of it being read by somebody who knows what’s good and what’s bad is much higher. So I say keep doing that.

    In the end, I just hope this continues to remain as open a forum as it has been. I’d hate to see this become the kind of site where the only way to get your stuff read is to fork over a week’s pay or be part of the “in” crowd.

  • Citizen M

    Damn. Disqus ate my comment. Briefly, ScriptShadow was a good thing, a pox on the haters, and best of luck going forward.

    • ChristianSavage

      I tried to reply to your earlier comment, so it’s probably my fault. :-) Just wanted to say that I completely agreed with your thoughts.

  • rosemary

    Agreed. Congrats Reeves.

  • Guest

    I think Deep Coverage is a woman

  • Avishai

    I think it depends on the script. I’ve learned so much from terrible, terrible scripts.

    • Steex

      I think I’ve learned more from bad writers than the good ones. It’s easy to watch something that works and wish you could write like that. But when you see someone doing it badly, the reasons for its “shittiness” really stand out. It makes it much easier to understand how you should be doing something.

  • ChristianSavage

    I honestly think it’s a bit of both. Learning from your own mistakes is essential, of course. But I think it’s also important to see what the professional standard is. Without examples as a guide, the gap widens between what you think professional writing looks like, and what actually sells. I’d be nowhere as a writer, if I wasn’t a reader first.

    • The Mulberry Tree

      I agree with Christian. You won’t know what the mistakes are that you need to learn from if you don’t have a trustworthy source to compare it to.

  • ThomasBrownen

    “Carson will be vindicated when the winner of the screenwriting Oscar
    starts his acceptance speech, “I want to thank Carson Reeves and
    ScriptShadow and all the people who contributed who helped to make me a
    better writer.” It will happen one day, I’m sure.”


  • jae kim

    I just don’t see how this is exploitative. maybe I don’t understand the difference between a manager and a producer.

  • New_E

    I applaud the new move.

    I agree that as part of the Scriptshadow Labs/Social experiment, reviewing more Amateur scripts can only be a good thing.

    I don’t think you should forget what made your blog so attractive to the Amateur screenwriting community though. I say keep on reviewing Pro scripts, but don’t do it “in a way that harms working writers” as your detractors claim.

    According to IMDB, the following is scheduled to release this week:



    Your movie reviews (TDKR, PROMETHEUS, THE MASTER, LOOPER, etc…) have been just as polarizing as your your script reviews. Why not review movies that are already out or about to be released and analyze the script (& distribute said script if you have it) and analyze the resulting film? A script-to-film analysis is always useful,

    Whereas, say Manhola Dargis or Stephen Holden of the NYTimes just review the film, you would review the script & the film & open the discussion with your readers.


    • blogwalker

      I think this is a great idea!

  • 21BelowZero


    I understand both sides, but as an amateur trying to break in I’m obviously on that side. Always enjoyed reading a script and then seeing it get broken down, reading your opinion why it did/didn’t work and seeing what dozens of other people thought about the script too. VERY INSIGHTFUL!

    Curious to see how the new site goes.

    From a selfish standpoint, I hope you keep your newsletter going. I read 1-3 scripts from it every week. “How To” books are great, but for every one of those type books you should be reading 20 screenplays.

    • The Mulberry Tree

      I too hope the newsletter doesn’t stop. But I completely disagree on lowering the rating system for amateur scripts! Why would anyone want their script to be sub par? As amateurs we should be striving for our stories to be the best…we should be agonizing for our work to mirror those of professionals(if not trying to surpass). We are the future of screenwriting; let’s let our work set a new and better standard for Hollywood…which is and has always been the point of SS.

      Sorry to have posted so many times today but Carson has done so much for us that I cannot sit idle while he takes the brute force of those trying to detract what he has created and done, especially for the writers that have found representation through his efforts; where are you guys in all this?

      • 21BelowZero

        Lower it b/c Amateurs AREN’T Professionals.

        Reviewing some guy from Idaho’s 1st screenplay about the trials and tribulations of dog grooming in Pocatello vs Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network using the same grading system is ridiculous.

        I would imagine/want a strict scale, but one for Amateurs only. Amateurs, IMO, can’t be held up to the same standards as Professionals — YET. Like Carson said, doing so is too “depressing.”

        Everyone’s always talking and bragging about The Disciple Program (and RIGHTFULLY so), but EVERY 10 pages was reviewed and given notes by a Professional tutor — hardly a full-scale “solo” project.

        Yes, there are a few Amateurs scripts out there that can be graded on the Pro scale, but those are FAR and FEW between. But the other 99.9% are too “depressing.”

        • The Mulberry Tree

          Again, I’d have to disagree.

          If written well, a script about someone dealing with the trials and tribulations of dog grooming in Idaho could be an interesting story…it would all depend on the writing and the choices made. And I agree with what you said about “The Disciple Program”, it was hardly a solo project, but that aside, Tyler wrote a great first 15 pages which got him into the contest to be allowed the tutor.

          The fact that Carson already has a 6 point rating system: What the hell did I just read, Wasn’t for me, Worth the read, etc…is already pretty lenient compared to the coverage agencies and studios give: Pass, Consider, Recommend. And for most readers out there, Pass is the most given by a huge margin…Why? Because saying Consider or Recommend to a script means we are willing to move the script hire up, which puts our jobs and our bosses understanding of us on the line. Screwing up once in this business could be your end.

          Now, as an amateur, if a chance came along for your script to be read by someone with the power to get it to the right people, wouldn’t you have rather had the “[XX] Worth the read”, than some tailor made rating like “[XX] Worth the read…for an amateur script”? It just doesn’t have the same weight. In the end, it doesn’t matter what the story is about, or who is writing it(amateur or professional); what IS written is what makes the most impact! Readers, and especially Assistants, are always hoping that in their hands is an AMAZING amateur script…Why? Because we want to read something that we can move up the ladder with! Something we hope, since no one has heard of them before, we can sign and start our client list with.

          Yes, it is depressing to see so many amateur scripts get such a low rating…but that’s the business. Mediocre ratings will only lead to mediocre films.

          Perhaps I’m an elitist, but I still believe the best way to break into Hollywood is by writing a GREAT screenplay…and GREAT, means better than most, cause most, get a PASS.

          • Malibo Jackk

            Totally agree.
            PRO is the standard.

            You don’t want to kick the football below the goal posts.
            (sports metaphor)

  • Rodney92

    This is such a shame. I got so much out of reading professional scripts. It’s true that reading pro scripts can actually make you a better writer. This is a real shame.

  • garrett_h

    I’m gonna miss the reviews, and the discussion of the scripts and how they tackled the craft in the comments. But I’m also excited about the new direction of ScriptShadow. Can’t wait until everything gets into full swing. Thanks for all your hard work Carson, now and to come!

  • garrett_h

    The studios and pro writers have shut down several script resources over the past couple of years. Some didn’t even deal in specs, only finished films. And one source in particular only posted material that the writers themselves approved of being posted, only to have the studio turn around and make them remove it.

    War has been declared on spec script sharing.

    ScriptShadow shutting it’s doors to spec scripts is a major victory for them. I’m just wondering, is this signalling the end of spec script sharing completely? There are a couple of more websites still out there to get specs, but I don’t know how much longer they’ll be around. I’ve heard rumors that they’re next…

  • LV-426

    Carson, I’m glad to hear that more amateur screenplays will get a chance to be featured. I like the idea of 2-3 amateur script review days per week, with the remaning days being craft related articles or interviews.

    It was definitely fun and a bit exciting to read in-development scripts, but at the same time I can understand where working screenwriters and the studios were coming from. This change could make things much better and let us all focus on more productive things like learning the craft and helping up and coming writers without all the controversy that has built up lately. It was getting distracting in general. I think you have a great basis to take the site into an area that could be an amazing resource for amateur writers.

    Another idea for positive change could be to feature short scripts more often. I know you plan on doing a short scripts week sometime soon. What if you did one short script review per week? Perhaps Amateur Friday could be that day every week? Doesn’t every working stiff in the world feel like getting done with things a bit earlier on Fridays and heading out for a night on the town? Short scripts could be a bit easier to tackle later in the week for most of the readers who I would guess work a day job whilst also tackling the art of screenwriting. I also think that short script Friday or something like that would be a bit more fun and light and the perfect thing to lead into the weekend so we all come back the next week a bit more recharged and ready for action.

    Perhaps doing one short script review per week, could help bring some new aspects to the site in that it will attract more writer/director types than those purely devoted to screenwriting. The community here could help make these short scripts better via reviews and comments. Then as things go along I’m sure these shorts that get produced will be put online, and of course we’d all want to see them. Encourage the filmmakers to contact you and send you a link to the short film. It could be a fun thing to feature and would add more variety to the site. It would also be cool for readers to see the end results of the scripts they helped improv by discussion in the comments. Not that you should become a short film site, or try to be Amazon Studios. Obviously the primary focus should still be the craft of feature film screenwriting.

    Hopefully these ideas are helpful. I’m sure you can come up with some interesting ways to implement these notions into your site better than I can. Either way, I look forward to seeing things develop.

    Now, take a deep breath and have a beer and a burger. Or in my case, it looks like lunch is going to be tacos and a beer. I can’t take anymore holiday leftovers!

    • Danny Gordon

      Reviewing short scripts would be completely worthless if the goal is to be a professional screenwriter. There’s no monetary value in short scripts and no one cares about shorts, let alone short scripts (with the exception of a very very select few that are extremely well-funded/marketable that happen to get the filmmaker reps or a possible sale to turn short into feature or pilot). But that is VERY rare when compared with the number of feature spec sales/interest that turns into assignments

      • LV-426

        Well, the notion I was going for with short scripts being featured here at Scriptshadow would be to help get more aspiring screenwriters to be able to connect with filmmakers looking to direct and produce some films. Maybe short scripts is too broad of an idea. How about Low Budget Friday? This way Carson could still keep feature scripts as the focus of the site, but have a day to focus on low budget conscious scripts which might help get more writers out there a chance at seeing their work produced.

        Something like that would most likely bring attention from filmmakers out there in the indie markets. Of course, certain genres like contained thrillers or low budget horror are also popular with Hollywood. So there could still be interest that develops from that angle too.

        I guess for me, the idea of the big Hollywood spec sale or assignment is one that seems to feel more and more illusive as time goes on and the entertainment industry becomes more splintered (video games, internet, and social media siphoning people’s attention away from traditional cinema and TV). Maybe opening up a channel or discussion via a day for low budget type fare would open up another pathway for writers to break in or get their careers jump started by having a better chance of their work actually produced?

        I also thought it might be a notion that Carson would consider, seeing as he hinted that he might do a short script theme week sometime soon. Maybe a short script week would be better if done once every 2-3 months instead of once every week?

        • Danny Gordon

          Yeah, it’s not that I don’t like the short form, I just think setting aside one post a week dedicated to discussing shorts would be a waste of time. Your suggestion for a low-budget/micro-budget focused post every week sounds great to me though.

        • Malibo Jackk

          Keep in mind that writing a great novel is another way to break in.
          Or working as a producer’s assistant.
          Writing for television.

          There are a number of ways to break in.

          But I agree with DG, that SS should keep its focus on features.

  • SeekingSolace

    Why is reviewing 1st draft of a script considered so evil? Phone companies spend way more money on their endeavors and reputable websites review phones with beta software, glitches and all. Nokia, Sony, Apple, etc. don’t threaten to sue these websites, many of which get hundreds of thousands of views a day. The same types of reviews exists with multi-million dollar software like Windows 8. The reviews are always meant to help make the product more suitable for consumption.

    Have you heard some of the things that were said about Window Vista when it was in beta? They were less than friendly, but helpful. It gave Microsoft the chance to better the product and fix the things people didn’t like as well as add some new stuff to Windows 7.

    So why does some writer/producer/production company aiming to pedal the same uninspired ideas off as being original, or worth millions, goes ape when someone says “Hey, you know what, I don’t like this draft of this material?” If the scripts for “Conan,””Dredd,””John Carter,” and “Total Recall” were reviewed in the early stages perhaps they wouldn’t have sucked so much.

    The Hollywood film model is broken. How long can these studios survive on franchise films, remakes, reboots, and re-imaging, especially when they won’t accept feedback from not only aspiring writers, but potential consumers? I’ve always been grateful for Carson’s help, and to be honest, I’ve neglected to say so for far too long.

    Thank you, Carson.

  • Ambrose*

    Wow, this isn’t exactly what I was hoping for but I understand your position, Carson.

    Reading current spec scripts, having you review them and then having a spirited discussion of the script’s merits by the Scriptshadow community is why I’ve been drawn to this site for the last few years.

    The draw is that those scripts, which are written by professionals (for the most part), some of them in varied stages of production or preproduction, others languishing in limbo or development hell, have something of an imprimatur. Many in the industry have read them and they’re in the pipeline, to varying degrees.

    I know it’s important to search out and help new, amateur writers (isn’t that why we all come here? We want that new writer to be us) and I commend you, Carson, for being active in that way.

    But I hope that the pro specs and adaptations won’t go the way of the ten cent cup of coffee here at Scriptshadow.

    I realize you may be under some pressure from certain quarters and the negative comments both here and on Twitter probably weigh on you but, damn, I’ve grown so accustomed to the pro specs that it just wouldn’t be the same Scriptshadow without them. Even if that meant one pro spec every week or two, with the rest of the time filled with amateur scripts.

    I know change is inevitable in virtually everything in life but I hope you’ll still give us a good, consistent helping of the pro spec scripts and adaptations that we’ve come to know and expect here at Scriptshadow.

    However it turns out, it’s been a fun ride for the last few years. I’ve learned a lot. At least I hope I have.

    I’ve waded through the many negative comments directed at you personally rather than at your reviews, Carson, and I can understand how it would wear a person down.

    But there’s been a lot of good that’s come out of this site and I sincerely hope it keeps motoring on, relatively unchanged, the place I come to read ‘em before they appear on the big screen.

  • AJMockler

    Firstly congrats for growing your blog and your own profile to the point where this change is a sensible career decision. On the downside I have loved reading the spec script reviews and seeing how your learned view tallies (or not) with my own. But on the plus side, anything that increases the number of amateur scripts reviewed and improved, with the help of Carson and the community, can only be good news for us all.

    Whatever 2013 brings to the blog, I’m sure we’ll all finish the year as better writers.

  • garrett_h

    I too have reservations with an all-Amateur Review site…

    First, the overall quality of the amateur scripts is pretty poor. Not trying to be mean, just being honest.

    Second, how do we know that these amateur reviews aren’t killing careers as well? Just like a bad review can kill the pro writers careers, a bad amateur script review will kill that amateur’s career as well. They will not even get a foot in the door.

    That’s still doing more harm than good, except you’re harming amateur writers in stead of pros. And the amateurs are the ones that need the help more.

    Perhaps ScriptShadow should be mostly articles on topics such as theme, characterization, etc. And maybe some script-to-screen reviews. I’ve always enjoyed those, and they seem to be in the realm of “fair play” as far as the studios and pro writers are concerned.

  • garrett_h

    “two separate repped writers warned me offline that I was too closely associated with you, and I might be damaging my own prospects.”

    Darn, I KNEW I should have used an alias as my Disqus name!

    Oh well, back to rickshaw driving I go… *picks up rickshaw and kisses screenwriting career goodbye*

    • Poe_Serling

      “Darn, I KNEW I should have used an alias as my Disqus name!’

      Just tell producers and such it’s your brother Jarrett that they’re thinking of. ;-)’

      • garrett_h

        Won’t work lol. His name will be on the title page next to mine. :(

        • Jarrett_H

          Dude, we’re screwed. And I don’t even OWN a rickshaw. What am I supposed to do?

  • garrett_h

    But if public script reviews are damaging to PRO careers, wouldn’t that apply double to amateurs?

    You to send a script to a manager or prodco, they remember your terrible SS Amateur review, and off to the circular file your script goes…

    I agree with the detractors. Projects in development should be protected. And early drafts should not be available for public consumption. But everyone is trying to protect the Pros while no one wants to discuss the ramifications for Amateurs.

    I guess the moral of the story is, “Don’t send your script in for Amateur Friday” lol.

    • gazrow

      “I guess the moral of the story is, “Don’t send your script in for Amateur Friday” lol.”

      You’ve got to be in it to win it!

      Getting read is arguably the toughest battle of all. Amateur Friday provides a fantastic opportunity for writers with zero contacts to get their work out there.

      That said, any amateur who submits a first draft to Amateur Friday is likely going to get hammered! And deservedly so!

      Get some feedback. Rewrite. Feedback. Rewrite…

      Only when it’s truly ready should a writer submit it for AF. Then if they’re really lucky they might just get in the game!

      • garrett_h

        Or they might get blackballed from Hollywood lol

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Why blackballed ? Is EVERY single script that Hollywood producers receive PERFECT ? Not a SINGLE ONE of them ever gets rewritten ? Isn’t the purpose to make scripts better so they’ll (hopefully) make the best movie ? Ok, that’s not always the case but if a producer just dismisses a script from an amateur for the only reason that the poor guy got a bad review on his first effort, is that producer really worth his name and status ?

          • garrett_h

            Hey, I’m just going off what I’m hearing. And according to the Pros, SS is ruining careers. So if that’s the case for a Pro writer with reps, contacts, credits, etc., what would happen to an Amateur? They’ll never even get their career off the ground before it’s ruined.

  • Keith Popely

    Found an old photo of Carson:

    • New_E

      “Terrorists” and now Nazis… wow. I’m sure there has to be a middle ground somewhere.


      • Keith Popely

        It’s the machine, man. I always thought that pic should be some band’s album cover. It’s not meant to be taken literally. Rather, it’s just a guy who refuses to do what everyone around him is doing.
        I love getting those thumbs down. Cracks me up.

    • Poe_Serling

      No wonder Carson has a fondness for scripts featuring Nazis and the possibility of time travel.

      • Keith Popely

        Reeves is Landmesser! Landmesser is Reeves!

        • carsonreeves1

          Ironically, I’m reading In The Garden Of Beasts right now.

          • Poe_Serling

            I see where Natalie Portman and Tom Hanks are attached to star in the film version of the novel.

  • thescreenplayman

    What a shocker. Did not expect this, right out of the blue!

    So, does this mean all past reviews (e.g. gangster squad, dogs of babel) will be taken off the site?

    I’ve been a fan of this site for two and a half years now and I would come to this site every weekday. A lot of knowledge and advice gleaned from this and I’m sorry it had to turn out like this (especially after working for a new site). However, life is not without reason.So, maybe this is a new chapter for Carson. As much as he likes reviewing screenplays, is that enough to sustain a living. Maybe life, or God, is telling you to do something else: manager, producer, screenwriter, whatever.

    I want to thank Carson for all that he did and all the work didn’t go unappreciated.


    Joe Eszterhas fan

    Synecdoche, New York

  • Guest

    ESPN drives traffic to their site by covering sports leagues and teams they do not own!

    Someone shut them down! Now!

  • bruckey

    ‘I want to try and dust off the occasional older spec sale…’ is my favourite.
    It’s how we discovered Endurance

  • Somersby

    I’m sad about this. This is one sight I’ve frequented daily for the past couple of years. I’ve enjoyed it immensely – particularly the access to interesting scripts and the spirited discussion by the Scriptshadow community.

    The irony is this would likely not have transpired if Monday’s script had received a rave review (yeah, as if that could have happened!)

    There are a few screenwriters out there who would benefit from growing a pair.

    Will wait to see how the transition unfolds. Good luck, Carson. Your enthusiasm and tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.

  • Victional

    Well said as always, Karl. Good to see you back.

    For the benefit of some of the newer lurkers and posters, Karl used to make a lot of impressive, insightful contributions to this site, particularly with the Amateur Friday scripts. Not so much anymore, and the reasons appear to be personal, moral and pragmatic. However, a number of contributors of some distinction and merit – Jackafka, Jaco, Dan Dollar, Bodhicat (???), among many others – no longer appear to post on this site.

    I can’t and won’t speak for all of them, but I’ve read posts on other sites from some of these guys citing the ethical issues and direction of this site as why they no longer air their views. That’s not good, and I think it’s inarguable – and I mean this with no disrespect intended towards anyone else – that the quality of the Scriptshadow comments is no longer what it was. And that’s a great shame, because a lot of amateur writers could use this kind of help.

    Personally, I hope that the proposed changes encourage more helpful, focused analysis and insight, because I learned a lot about screenwriting from commenters who clearly knew a lot more about this game than I did.

    • garrett_h

      You forgot about Grendl.

    • Steve

      And who are you? What’s YOUR contribution been to this site apart from sitting in judgment and lecturing others?

      Oh, wait. It’s that peculiar mix of whining and desperation.

      I do know who you are.

    • Keith Popely

      I agree that the quality of the comments has gone down precipitously. This blog used to feel like writing class in college: people really getting into breaking down scripts and constructively analyzing what worked, what didn’t and how the writer could make improvements. You’re right about one thing: we’ve lost some very educated writers in recent months.

      • seanfast

        You had some great commentary on scripts Keith, miss your feedback too

    • Spitgag

      I miss bodhicat. Good luck Carson. Thx.

    • seanfast

      I used to regularly converse with a lot of the guys you listed on here, miss those days…

  • James Inez

    Wow! Thanks for letting me be a part of this group. It was a great experience. Here’s to the new beginning!

  • MarkH707

    Thanks Carson, I’ve learned an enormous amount from Scriptshadow, from you and from everyone on the forum.

    The discussion can be spirited, but the people who contribute to this site have made me think so much about what makes a good script. But plus le change, things evolve, and I look forward to finding out how you put all your new ideas into action.

  • Ambrose*

    Pro scripts aren’t “perfect”, as you categorized them.
    If they were, then there wouldn’t be such spirited debate about the merits of each one reviewed here at Scriptshadow.
    Art is subjective. There’s not going to be 100% agreement on any script, whether it was written by a pro or an amateur.

  • Guest

    It’s so wonderful that you have figured out what Carson should do with his life. Look, the bottom line is, most everyone that gives notes takes money from their clients and tells them if the script is any good they will pass it on to people they know. Carson is not the first person to do this, and he is not the last. I got notes from him last year (before the rate increase), and from the time I made the purchase until the time I got his notes, with several extended emails of followup, nothing was mentioned about passing on anything at any time to anyone. And for those of you who don’t think he could possibly give good notes, think again. He told me things other professional screenwriters and teachers have told me but that I chose to ignore, His notes significantly improved my second act and the character flaw idea and third act goal idea he gave me for my script helped take the script in a whole different, wonderful direction.

    Fact is, You can only exploit people who allow themselves to be exploited. Nothing is guaranteed. Most people that come to him know their scripts are not up to par and don’t expect for their scripts to be passed on to anyone. And it’s totally up to them to decide how they want to spend their money. If they don’t feel exploited, why should you feel exploited for them? Concentrate on running your own life/career instead of telling others how to run theirs.

  • jeaux

    Sad to see the spec reviews go away or get paired down but i agree with a lot of folks on here that i’m excited for what’s in store. thanks carson and keep on truckin!

  • Thunk24

    Damn the torpedoes! However the site develops, I’m in. Scriptshadow has helped improve my writing, but more importantly made me feel like part of a community – even if they are a group of masochists who live in their heads and are addicted to Final Draft. I only hope I’m fortunate enough to be one of the chosen few invited to participate in Carson’s Lab (insert evil laugh here).

  • Murphy

    Hugely disappointing Carson. Understandable but disappointing.

    I don’t know. I come here to read spec scripts and hear peoples thoughts on them. There are plenty of sites out there who think they are the ultimate site for helping people write scripts. You need to try not to become just another one of them.

    I will miss not having some great spec scripts to read in my quiet moments.

    I will support whatever direction the site takes and give it a chance at least.

  • Rocky8

    That’s the spirit Carson! Keep up the hard work and thanks for helping us out in the process! :)

  • Hem

    Think you’ll find in the end, Karl, it wasn’t worth stabbing in the back the man who tried to
    help you.

    I read your dull missionary in Africa script on this site’s Amateur Friday and several years later the confused first ten pages of a story about God knows what set during WWII.

    Believe me, being associated with Carson should be the least of your worries about damaging your prospects in Hollywood.

    • New_E

      “I read your dull missionary in Africa script on this site’s Amateur Friday and several years later the confused first ten pages of a story about God knows what set during WWII.

      Believe me, being associated with Carson should be the least of your worries about damaging your prospects in Hollywood.”



      • Crazdwrtr

        that so didnt need to be repeated

        • New_E

          Yes it did.

          Just in case whoever wrote that crap deletes it, it’s still there for all to see. Such a stupid comment deserves to be recorded for posterity.


    • BennyPickles

      And how is that helpful?

    • Hector Enzo Moran

      Wow. What an asshole, is this what the Scriptshadow comment board has become?

    • Justin

      What a ridiculously classless comment. Karl was respectful and honest. And this is how you respond. Nice…

  • Graham

    Wow – lots to take in here [been a regular – though sometimes irregular due to work committments – SS fan for going on 3 years (I think the badge of honour for us oldies was acquired when ‘Trajent-Gate’ unfolded post-by-post in front of our disbelieving eyes, like chaos given form…. *wipes nostalgic tear away*]

    Still digesting, but I reckon I’ll still be around for the ride and whatever the aherrm ‘Future’ brings….

    Best of luck Carson.

  • Scots Chris

    Carson, is there any possibility that a focus on amateur reviews and released script reviews (also comparisons between script and screen etc) might not come at the total loss of unproduced/new spec script distribution? If the material is distributed but not publically reviewed, people are still getting the benefit of knowing what sells, reading it and at the same time honing the craft with amateur entries and picking apart movies that work well/poorly without any flak from studios or working writers.

  • New_E

    “Just for the record, Carson asked me a little while ago to stop posting on the site.”

    Really? Wow.


    • JanePlain

      Yes, true.

      But it’s his site. We didn’t see eye to eye on anything. I wasn’t shy in any way about expressing what I truly thought about him. He got tired of it. So did his followers. He had every right to ask me to go away.

      My opinion of him hasn’t changed much, so there’s no point in saying the same thing over and over.

      That said, there are great resources out there to teach oneself about screenwriting and film making (beyond the sort of thing that’s specifically labelled as “how to write a screenplay/make a film” type stuff.)

      Making use of them requires a greater amount of time, self direction, and the ability to vanquish self-doubt. But in the long run, there’s a lot more to be gained from them than reading a blog.

      • New_E

        Well, yeah, it did get redundant and at least, Carson asked you instead of banning you outright. He’s been quite tolerant with naysayers on his blog.

        More than I could ever be.

        I’m glad you found other outlets to help you grow as a writer.


  • Writer451

    Who’s the selfish jerk at the New York Times who had to try and advance their career by writing a piece that’s shutting down our attempts to start a screenwriting career (via lessons learned from Scriptshadow)? Let’s write a script about that person.

  • carsonreeves1

    25% of my clientele are professional screenwriters. 50% have written over 3 screenplays. Rarely do I get a first-timer. Either way, that’s not how I represent my notes at all, as I point out in the link above. I make it clear that only 7% of scripts get referrals. And I make it clear it’s a notes service first. The value of something is determined by the demand and the quality. Quality is relative but I’ve been told I do a good job. And demand for the notes has been high. It’s only natural that if I find something good, I pass it on to my contacts. I’d be doing a disservice to the writer if that wasn’t the case.

    • Victional

      Fair enough. My comment was a little cheap, apologies. I’m glad you’re willing to engage people and discuss these issues though, so I’d be curious to hear whether you believe your notes service and producing aspirations represent a conflict of interest.

      • carsonreeves1

        Here’s the way I see it. Producing is something I’m interested in. I want to dip my toes in it to see if it’s something I want to pursue full time. So I’ve started attaching myself as an Executive Producer (which basically just means I found the script) to stuff I like. My hope is to then learn from the more established producers who come onto those projects so I can then start producing my own projects I find through the site. If I’m still giving notes to writers through my consultation service, I don’t know how that hurts anyone. I mean, if I could hire a producer to give me notes on my material, I’d do it. Now you can say, “Yeah, but normal production companies don’t do that.” Well, yeah, but normal production companies didn’t evolve from a website with a consultation service. Normal production companies won’t read your script period unless you have a manager or an agent who’s submitted it to them. Unfortunately, a lot of writers aren’t in that position, so they need help. I’m one avenue for that help and as much as I’d like to read every script and give notes for free, I’m at a point where my time is worth something to people. So I charge for it. Do I overcharge? My rates previously were determined by demand, which was really high. But I’ve brought those prices down quite a bit. Personally, I think people are still stuck inside this old Hollywood structure. Things are changing. I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong.

        • Jaco

          Follow up questions, if you are taking them:

          Percentage-wise, how many industry insiders (major players, not your property manager) would you say agree with you charging for notes and working as a Producer?

          Yes or No – it would be a good thing for amateur writers if agencies and management companies in town started charging for coverage in exchange for offering potential representation?

          With regard to working, established producers in town, what would you say the general response has been to you being an Executive Producer (or PINO) on a project: positive, negative, or neutral?

          “Unfortunately, a lot of writers aren’t in [a position of having a manager or agent or access to prodcos], so they need help” – so you provide that help in exchange for a fee? Is that what your are trying to say?

          Right or wrong – doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day – but maybe answers to my follow up questions will help people understand your motives and methods better.

          Thanks for any transparency.

          • carsonreeves1

            1) I guess I would have to take a poll on this. But I meet with agents, development people and producers all the time who don’t seem to think it’s a big deal (at least to my face).

            2) I think this is starting to happen already. Sites like the Black List and Tracking Board are doing iterations of this (I know they aren’t offering representation – but they’re offering potential contacts through a coverage investment). I approach the question from, “Okay, would I pay for this service myself?” I think that as long as a) you’re getting something out of it even if they say no (valuable notes as to why your script didn’t make the cut and what you can do to improve it) and b) they’re upfront about everything, that it’s a fair practice. I say this because one of the most difficult parts of being an amateur writer is sending your stuff out there, being given a pass, and literally having NO idea why. I myself would pay to understand why my script was rejected.

            3) The site has always been polarizing. There are people who hate it and people who love it. The people who aren’t fans, I suppose, don’t call me. The guys who do, do. So from my personal experience, it’s been very positive. But that may only be because Steven Spielberg doesn’t call me to say, “Dude, Carson, I hate your site.”

            4) I provide notes for a fee. That’s the service I’m charging for. If I like something though, I’ll help the person get an agent/manager and get a foothold in the business. If there’s something I really respond to, I ask them if I can come on as producer. I will help them regardless of what their answer is.

          • Jaco

            Thanks for the responses.

            I offer my own for better or worse:

            (1) No comment – not unless you are willing to divulge names – which I’m not asking for – but hope you understand how credibility could be increased with public support from those who matter.

            (2) You’ve put yourself on a very slippery slope. One that, unfortunately, has been tread by ill-intentioned slime before you. While your intentions may be nothing but rose petals and jesus cards – I can see how even the best of intentions can’t make what you are doing float on candy coated clouds for some people. But good luck – just because it hasn’t been done correctly in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be done the right way in the future.

            (3) Fair enough – maybe I should have been more specific. With “300” – what type of feedback are you getting when people find out you are attached as a producer – good, negative, or none?

            (4) Again, fair enough. I guess the delineation you have in your head is enough of a Chinese Wall to keep going forward. Hope you have talked with a lawyer about it – and, as a lawyer, I mean that genuinely.

            I appreciate your candor and willingness to answer hard questions. It seems to have worked for Franklin and the BL – so hopefully it will work for you as well.


  • carsonreeves1

    Thanks to everyone who’s e-mailed. You’ve all had some really nice things to say. Still haven’t received an e-mail from John August yet though.

  • guest

    He will get flack then for doing something someone else is doing. He will never be able to please everyone — so he needs to just work on pleasing himself.
    Ewww, that sounds dirty.

  • Jaco

    Censorship? Come on, man.

    You want to point a finger at the current debate being bandied about between ill-informed pro-writers and equally ill-informed amateurs that has resulted in an overflow of myopic opinions that seems to have had some sway with the decision announced here today? Blame the current archaic statutory intellectual property laws that were never intended to deal with the digital revolution. Add to that a common law that has developed not necessarily based on reason but by the winds of change blown by a sometimes ignorant judiciary.

    The easy early solution to this quandary would have been for Carson to have sought out prior permission from writers/studios/prodcos before reviewing scripts.

    But it is what it is. Moving on.

    • Keith Popely

      Yep. Agreed. Moving on.

  • JakeBarnes12


    The barbarians are at the gate.

    Where do we go from here?

    I’d like to take a second to reflect on ScriptShadow Phase I. The formula was simple. Monday through Wednesday, the discussion of professional scripts. Thursday, an article on the craft of screenwriting. Friday, providing feedback for somebody from our ranks.

    What was so powerful about Phase I was we had a chance to discuss technique once a week, to analyze how professionals applied those techniques three times a week, and to, well, give something back to the community on Fridays.

    This was for me, and I know for many others, an incredibly valuable and inspiring learning experience. The fact is, setting aside ethical issues that have been discussed to death and looking at them purely as teaching tools, we can learn more from reading unproduced professional scripts than from almost any other source because on the one hand we can clearly see the level we need to be writing at today to be successful, and on the other, we can experience the script as producers experience it; without the set design and music and special effects and editing and performances of actual movies getting in the way.

    The experience is purely focused on the effect of the professional words on the page.

    But it’s pointless crying over spilt milk. Now that this central element of ScriptShadow has been taken away from us, what’s the best way to proceed into Phase II?

    I’d certainly vote for the continuation of Article Thursday; discussion of technique is important. And Amateur Friday? Carson’s suggested he’s considering expanding that from one to two days a week and I’m fine with that.

    But no more than two days.

    We’ve had some very good amateur scripts recently, thanks mainly to us having a choice of amateur scripts to look over beforehand so that better scripts get chosen. And it’s good for us to have a community where we can try to help with comments. But you can only learn so much from the mistakes of others. And mistakes can’t inspire us to better things the way great writing can.

    So that leaves two days each week. My vote is for the next best thing to a discussion of unproduced professional scripts and that is the discussion of produced professional scripts. Yes, the problems of playing the movie in our heads as we read is present, but, still, there’s a lot to learn from considering that translation from page to screen.

    I’m lukewarm on this writing lab idea. There’s a number of web sites that are doing basically the same thing. What it sounds like is a good Amateur Friday script gets notes, the writer goes off and incorporates the notes, then we read the next draft and so on. I’m okay with this if it takes up one of the Amateur script days, but if it eats into a professional script day, that’s the point where I think we’re being asked to do too much with too little reward. Translating good notes into meaningful global revisions is a difficult task and I suspect all too often we’d find ourselves reading barely altered scripts. Reading a so-so script once is tiring. Reading that script again when the writer hasn’t made meaningful changes is highly frustrating.

    There needs to be a balance similar to Phase I between what we’re giving and what we’re getting.

    What I’m suggesting here is hardly revolutionary. I’m just trying to envision a Phase II which minimizes the damage and still gives us a great learning experience.

    For me that’s still first and foremost reading and discussing pro scripts.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’m working on this balance as we speak, Jake. Thanks for the support. :)

      • JakeBarnes12

        You’re welcome, man. Thank you for all the insights over the last few years.

        Good luck with the evolution of the site!

    • the monster

      I think you’re all still in the denial phase frankly. Turn out the lights. The party is over.

    • Citizen M

      Your Phase 1 is actually Phase 2. ScriptShadow started with reviews of professional scripts that Hollywood outsiders had no access to. There were several other sites doing the same thing at the time, including posting links to scripts collected by people like LIMAMA, but they stopped when the studios started ceasing-and-desisting. Carson continued, kudos to him. He occasionally did an amateur review in the early days. These reviews proved so popular he decided to make them a regular feature.

  • Tim Miller

    Carson Reeves is Dead. Long Live Carson Reeves!

  • SS Fan

    Carson dove into the deep end for us. Took the bumps, lumps and dumps from opposing parties so that we could learn and grow as aspiring screenwriters. It sounds like he has successfully swam back to shore. Now he has an opportunity to raise his level of help for the SS Nation (whatever that turns out to be).

    You deserve a shot at the “Producer” title…take it. Nothing but the best to you, Carson.

    • Crazdwrtr

      You guys make him sound like the MLK for amateur scriptwriters. lol Avoid balconies, Carson.

  • carsonreeves1

    I’m going to be honest. But still, these scripts I review will be in developmental stages, so I’m not expecting all of them, especially the early drafts, to be great. It’s very likely these will get low scores.

  • Danny Gordon

    Exactly. If anything, Craig and John want to help amateur writers just as much as Carson does but they simply don’t have the time to do so. It bothers me that so many amateur writers (or film enthusiasts outside the film industry) think that the established professionals want to keep others out. The reason it’s so hard to get anyone to read your material/listen to your pitch/watch your short is because the natural assumption is that it won’t be any good. And in 99% of cases, that’s true. I know for a fact that Craig, who regularly posts on DDP, found a writer looking for some minor help on a spec, Craig happened to read it and thought the writer had real potential, so he passed the script on to a well-established manager and now that writer is working professionally.

  • Robert

    A bit confused. Are you saying you won’t put up new screenplays each week? Both pro and amateur? If so, I’ll be very disappointed.

  • mark11

    I for one have championed your site and work from day 1, and really know where you’re coming from as far as dealing with detractors, when you’re doing nothing more than pursuing the American Dream through hard work, great sacrifice and sweat of believing in yourself without taking others down to get ahead. Only mine was in film school and crewing on indie features, while working many construction jobs and always writing on the side no matter how many rejections came my way. I’ve never believed that this so called Hollywood Industry or System is the reason for failure or success in it. The pot shots people in this system take at you Cars, is because they choose to do so. No one puts a gun to their head. They are simply jealous and envious of you because you pose a threat to them and their system…because you are simply outside their system. The same stuff you’re accused of doing to them and their livelihood…so many of themselves do to each other on a minute -minute basis; competitor to competitor, friend to so called friend. If Hollywood was truly about the American Dream operating at its fullest and most truthful potential; the education and knowledge that you provide through SCRIPT SHADOW, would be an open system starting with Hollywood itself. Every so called A-List writer on that same A list is one of us…who, yes — through a lot of hard work — but also through many favors granted to them by industry insiders (who you know more than what you can do sometimes) got into the system itself. And once that door is open…it’s really hard for the system to purposefully slam the door shut on you again, especially if you can make them money. Which comes back full circle: SCRIPTSHADOW is simply about providing knowledge and tools for those wanting to achieve the American Dream of success in a business known as Hollywood. Detractors should really be openly wanting us outside the system to take our best shots and hit them as hard as we can with our hard work and talent, instead of bitching and whining about us ruining them by simply…writing.

    • carsonreeves1

      unfortunately, bitching and whining has become a part of the American dram as well.

      • scartacus

        Hey Carson

        I’m a huge fan of Scriptshadow and I don’t mind telling anyone. I’ve been writing features and TV since the mid 90s. My co writer and I live in the UK. When we started, we had to import scripts via mail from the US at $30 a shot. We still have them — only about 20 in total. If only scriptshadow had been around back then, we would have read 200 screenplays before even writing a word, and as a result our writing would have been so much better.

        I came late to the scriptshadow party in 2010, devoured everything in sight and consequently my writing, and knowledge, has gone up a significant knotch. I even managed to get a worth a read from you on our script the Bridge, which went out as a spec. The feedback from everyone here was really useful. It’s a tough crowd. Everyone’s got an opinion, but there are always some gems amongst the chatter. Mckee, Truby etc are good reference points but they can’t touch you for delivering quality, easily digestible advice, script by script. Regarding your script consulting service, I consider the $200 I spent on hiring on a project money well spent. For the record, that’s the maximum I would pay to any script consultant. I’m paying for the quality of your professional advice, not your industry access.

        Now regarding all the controversy and flak you’ve been taking…

        Here’s my take.

        If a spec script has already gone wide to the town, then exposing and dissecting it on Scriptshadow is an extension of what’s already happened in Hollywood. It’s already gone out. It’s been covered and assessed by the people who matter. However, there is a big difference between that and reviewing scripts that have not been fully exposed and are in development hell. I was recently reading an article on Go In the Story about Pixar’s development process with its writers. Pixar acknowledges that during development it is highly likely that the writers will turn in several ROCKY DRAFTS. But they prefer to stick with the writers until they reach the finish line. I think most pro writers would hate to have one of their “rocky drafts” reviewed without their permission, hence the grief you’ve been getting.

        Where for Scripshadow now? I really hope you can find a way to keep up all the good work, and achieve the right balance between disseminating genius advice and respecting the demands of writers stuck in the Hollywood trenches.


        best wishes


  • New_E

    “Three if they’re jerking off to Game of Thrones with the other hand…”

    Guilty as charged. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The show is quite pleasurable.


  • Jake Gott

    I tended to enjoy the Amateur Fridays and articles more, actually. I’d like to see more of each. Still, I like seeing what’s being worked on by the pros. I’ll still be visiting the site :)

  • MrTibbsLive

    What Carson did when he started Scriptshadow in 2009 was predict the future. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but in time, there will be plenty of websites that review Hollywood specs that are in pre-production (on a regular basis). And even further down the line I can see it being known as the norm. But sadly it’s the predecessor that usually gets scutinized…

    I found SS in early September of 2010 as a result of, like many, trying to get my hands on “The Social Network” script. And in the 2 1/2 years since I’ve become a much better writer. The credit for my improved writing goes to time of course, everything gets better with time except hairlines and erections, but also because of my daily visits to SS. There’s no book, classroom, or industry friend that has helped me more AS A WRITER than the Scriptshadow community.

    And no matter how much success, script that are sold, and 5’9 Czech models I fornicate with (okay, I know the Czech model thing is a complete pipe dream :), I’ll still make time for Scriptshadow. Because this is not a eulogy.


    • carsonreeves1


    • Xarkoprime

      Funny, I stumbled upon ScriptShadow trying to get the screenplay for Thor and it wasn’t even reviewed on the website I don’t think. I hadn’t posted here until just recently though, always just a wallflower. It’s kool to hear how people found out about it in the early days.

      • BennyPickles

        I remember looking for any information I could find about the film “Mute” after watching Moon. And then I saw that some reviewer had given the script a negative review, so I thought “Who does this guy think he is, giving Duncan Jones a poor review!?”. Then I started looking through the site and realised that this ‘Carson’ guy actually knew what he was talking about.

        And, to this day, I still haven’t read Mute.

  • Chris Mulligan

    Wow. I started writing scripts because I found this blog. I’m on a strong career path right now, again, because I found this blog. To think other folks won’t have the same opportunity to learn as quickly as I did sucks.
    The critics never understood this was an educational site not an entertainment site. I read Roger Ebert if I want a movie review, I came here to learn script craft, and that’s what I did.
    Frustrating. I’ll have a drink for you tonight, Carson.

  • kidbaron


  • Hem

    You write your missionary script, you don’t know how to tell a story, fair enough, everyone needs to learn, but you get dozens of notes, including from Carson, pointing out that fact.

    Cut forward a couple of years and you’re posting online for public consumption another messy unfocused first ten pages that show you still don’t know how to set up a protagonist, villain, and plot. Only thing that’s clear is that it’s set during WWII.

    You know how to give good notes but you can’t do it yourself, pal.

    No shame in that. Irony is, Carson, the guy you’ve attacked all over the internet, knows that about himself and he’s chosen a different path. He’s more honest than you are but you’re on here being a sanctimonious prat telling him everything he’s doing wrong.

    Guy tried to help you. Not his fault he couldn’t. Get over it.

  • Nicolas Simonin

    Change is always for the Best. I think Carson you have created a really smart community tool and that tool is growing in the right direction. Just keep your head focused and get as much help as you can from the community.

    I remember a while ago you were thinking about doing your site on WordPress. WP offers such great tools for Social media management. You should go for it.

    I think this ScriptShadow Social Experiment idea is cleaver. This is actually the best time to go with this and create a useful and creative space to create Great Script.

    Anyway, any help/advices you need i am in!

    I am happy and proud to be part of such great community of writers concern with the idea of writing the best stories possible. Long life to the Script Shadow Social Experiment!

    I will send you an email for some suggestions about how to expand/explore Social community tools.

    • carsonreeves1

      This would be really helpful. Thanks, Nicolas.

  • JNave

    I’ve gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from this site and will continue to follow it. While the format change seems like I bummer at first, I have confidence in Carson that he’s going to do exactly what he says he will and continue to produce a high-quality, educational, and fun site. I look forward to the changes and the opportunities that come with it. Thanks for all you’ve done, Carson!

  • Busy Writing

    Hey Carson,
    Good on ya for finding a way to move forward. At the least, I think you’ll have a career as a producer or manager. I probably didn’t comment enough, but I benefited and enjoyed the blog very much.
    John V.

  • jared111

    I’m reading a book right now called Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science, which is about how crowdsourcing of scientific problems is leading to new breakthroughs in math and science. To me, Scriptshadow will be, at its best, something similar – a way for the crowd to help people develop their screenplays. It’s too bad that the educational resource of spec scripts won’t be available to us.

    Is there any way, Carson, that you could send out these scripts and just not review them, so that we could read them on our own? That seems to be your purpose – to give the guy in Iowa a chance to read spec scripts. The problem that people seem to have with the site isn’t the distribution of spec scripts but with your reviewing them without permission.

    I don’t know if this would work, either, but you could send your reviews of spec scripts to your mailing list and not publish it on the internet.

    Whatever you decide to do, thanks for all the great info on your site. I look forward to see what comes next. Good luck.

    • carsonreeves1

      I’ve thought about this. Curious what others think of it.

      • JNave

        I love the idea. I appreciate the access to these scripts and reviews. It’s your bread and butter, Carson.

      • Wes Mantooth

        I agree, that’s an excellent idea.

      • JakeBarnes12

        That sounds like a great idea, Carson! It’d really help to level the playing field between repped and unrepped writers.

        I don’t know how this would work, but it seems like the mailing list really needs to be tightened to where it’s only real friends of the site who are getting this access. There’s gotta be somebody from NSA who could help with that. :)

      • Vladimir P

        I think that’s a great idea. It would be very helpful to read prfessional specs. In addition the distribution of scripts via mailing list won’t be on the radar of studios’ lawyers (as opposed to what happened when the blacklist scripts were placed in mediafire and the link was placed in every screenwriting forum over the net).

      • M Fisher

        I would like this too. That email is so helpful.

      • Howie428

        You could also have an area of this site that requires people to log in and restricts access to people who are on your mailing list. Within that area reviews and discussions could happen, but it would be private rather than published.

      • salad_fingers

        I think one thing you’ve learned us so far is to think for ourselves, so we can tell the difference between a hot script and a stinker. I am sure that reading what’s hot without being able to hear what you guys have to say about this wouldn’t be the same, but it’s as helpful as it gets.

      • Citizen M

        Yes please. Scripts always welcome.

        Here’s an idea. Change the titles and writers’ names, and post your review. I bet half the writers in Hollywood think you’re talking about their script.

        (People on the list get to read the real thing.)

      • Petra Quilitz

        Yes please. Being able to read new scripts is half of the story, but the other half are your reviews of them.

        Like the others said there are some options for restricting access rights to content on the web. Emailing reviews is probably the safest option, but lacks the benefit of a discussion board.

        I wonder if it wouldn’t work to have a password protected area on this site containing all critical reviews, with you giving out a new password every week via email. That way you could also react instantly in an emergency by changing a password out of schedule any time day or night and sending the new one to everyone on the mailing list.

        Or, better yet, keep the blog as is with critical reviews, “harmless” reviews and general advice posts in one stream, but have a script (the coded version that is) that only displays the first couple of lines of the critical review posts in your post stream, then a button to be able to read more if you sign up and log in. That way, the reviews stay within the format of the site, but get “hidden” for people not logged in.

        Because, I think what’s important is to keep the campfire the way it is now. As a single blog with one continuous post stream at one memorable URL. Not move it or split it up into different smaller ones. That would distract the wolves, but it would also split up the group. And I think we’d all like to stay huddled together here at the main campfire site.

    • bucky strangelove

      this is very necessary

      i know you’re main goal is to help the amateur screenwriter and nothing helps more — like you said in your post — than reading what is trending in the market place right now

  • Steve

    Never seen your name on here apart from your insufferable moralizing over the last couple of days.

    I know all the good contributors. You’re not one of them, you’ve done nothing positive on this site, yet you have the nerve to try to suggest all the “best” people left.

    Funny thing is, you’re just one more unsuccessful dupe in the lynch mob doing the dirty work of the professionals who’ve riled you up but won’t let you in.

  • CKirich

    This has and will only continue growing into the perfect business model to “social network” yourself into a position of power, well without selling a million dollar sceenplay. This is not in any way taking away from your prior personal accomplishments and success in the business. This is more about the way this project worked where others have failed.

    You started a blog that reviews screenplays and has people add comments… There are many that do this. You took it a step forward and provided structure and eventually events. You provided scripts that others couldn’t or had a hard time finding. You varied in both genre, produced, unproduced and the cue da gras – the Amateur script posting. In all businesses
    there quickly becomes a cutoff point, where those who didn’t get the immediate gold
    metal, give up and fade away. Those who rise up and keep growing, remaining steady,
    well as steady as humanly possible, win the gold with spite from the others. One thing that people always forget is that it’s the internet, you can say anything you want but it doesn’t make it true. Spiteful people will put in more time trying to bash those that succeeded, than they did on their own work.

    Never being dull… A big thing, articles on specific screenwriting points, quest reviewers, twit pitch and the 10 page were awesome, both in concept and more importantly, completing what you set out to do. Give them some more, and see what happens.

    There was a ball dropped, and the recovery almost complete. Launching the new website with the long awaited book, the site should have waited until it was complete. The comment migration is still a big issue in my mind to all the new users coming to the site. Those wanting to browse what the gang had to say on scripts they’ve read, the wheelhouse of the site. My
    offer still stands to get in and fix it – owned a software company for 10 years *facepalm*

    So you built a plan, pushed it hard and did the work, now you can expect others to copy it, so keep throwing things against the wall and see what sticks. You now have the clout to bring in other professionals into the “shadow.” So far it’s working out well, for the followers, the site
    and most important your “status” in the biz. Plus putting some money in your pocket
    is always a good thing. Congrats on all your work, and the many more years and successes

    • carsonreeves1

      Thanks Craig. And definitely e-mail me.

  • carsonreeves1

    My big burning question about the site is….what happened to Bodhicat?

    • ThomasBrownen

      Last I saw him was TDP post, no?

      • carsonreeves1

        I just want to confirm he’s okay.

    • Poe_Serling

      Always enjoyed Bodhi’s posts – insightful and often bitingly funny.

    • Kay Bryen

      Really worried about him too. Last I heard, we reviewed a script about a missing cat and someone wanted to check Bodhicat’s gender. Don’t ask.

    • Spitgag


  • jger15

    Oh no…Mom and Dad are fighting — ahhh!

    Rather than everyone dogging Karlos (which took some serious cajones by the way to post that) and Carson, what are some solutions we can offer to help best foster SS into a new age?

    Carson, what if you started reviewing only the pro scripts where the writers gave you prior permission? I’m not sure how much day-to-day contact you have with these writers but I know a bunch have been more than willing to do interviews and access your audience throughout the past when given the opportunity.

    Anything we can learn from how Franklin Leonard and Scott Myer are running the Black List to maybe rejigger?

  • fragglewriter

    Everything happens for a reason. I’m new to writing, almost one year and started reading your blogs during the summer. Since I’ve been on your site, I’ve learned more about writing from you reviewing amateur scripts then specs. Why? Because Hollywood promotes the same BS storylines were anything new comes a dime a dozen.

    I really like your idea about the The Scriptshadow Social Experiment.

  • LICA

    Understandable. I’ve enjoyed and learned and a lot. We shall see what happens. But thank you for what this was and what it became. Keeping my SS bookmark. :)

  • Montana Gillis

    There’s a lot of former regular posters who’s insight and wisdom I’ve missed for quite some time (including Karl). Everything changes and that’s just the natural state of being.

    • seanfast

      hear hear

  • yeebarr

    If I was a better writer I’m sure I’d have something insightful to add to this conversation.

    Unfortunately all I have is: Good luck Carson – thanks for giving us newbies a look in, asking nothing more of us than to keep improving our craft. ScriptShadow fan for life!

  • NajlaAnn

    I truly appreciate Scriptshadow. I’m convinced my screenplay crafting has improved because of this site. Thank you!

  • Guest

    Who’s that one guy that keeps down voting everything???

  • JW

    Yo C, you know my thoughts on this because I’ve already emailed you, but I just wanted to say how fucking ridiculous these douchebags are who are so “afraid” of their script(s) being seen or read ahead of time. Suck it the fuck up and write better shit if you’re so goddamn afraid of people seeing your work and it not being good enough. Jesus. Yeah, Hollywood is really suffering from a lack of quality films because of ScriptShadow. What a joke! A fucking perfect example of people in this country wanting to look at everything other than the ACTUAL issue, which has zero to do with this blog or what happens here. Here’s an idea… write better shit and focus on yourself, rather than everyone else and maybe you wouldn’t have to worry so much.

    C – do your thing and hand the haters their fucking return flight back to pussyville! Peace.

    • DeepCoverage

      Well done for having absolutely no conception of how the business works. I don’t expect to see you in an agency or producer waiting room any time soon..

      Let me guess, you’ve been writing for about a year? Never entered a contest. Never queried an agency? Am I right?

      Because you have NO IDEA how the industry works. How exactly do you conceive of the idea that writer’s should ‘Write better shit if they’re afraid of people seeing work’?

      It’s called DRAFTS.

      No script IN HISTORY has been made exactly how it was first written. There are revisions and changes throughout. The first draft bound to require edits. It’s not a case of writing better stuff, it’s the argument that no-one should review half-finished work.

      How did you not get that?

      • FD

        Before every review Carson inserts a standard blurb explaining that the review is of a draft. We all know they are draft versions, and we all know that draft versions aren’t final ones. WE KNOW!

      • Hem

        So can we assume you’ll get lost now with your negative, condescending attitude and we can get back to learning?

        You have contributed nothing positive to this site, just more whining.

  • Michael

    This could have been avoided if you would have taped mini bottles to your hands. ;-)

    I’m excited to see what comes next. Thanks for all you’ve already done.

  • Charles Ryan

    None of this comes as a surprise.

    Personally, I love SS. I do understand why “pros” may feel the site can “hurt” their projects. Although, I don’t see how a bunch of amateur writers not liking your script would make a producer jump ship. I could see if it was the market place talking, but it’s just the laborers. I’d say only 5% of moviegoers even care to read scripts, and that’s probably a high number.

    Anyway, I’d still like to see professional scripts reviewed whether they are recent, classics or flops; I understand the sticky situation that is the “spec review”. But spec info at the very least is important, as it offers a pulse on what’s “hot”, what’s “not” and what may not be “hot” but you can build a niche there and maybe start a career.

    I think the extra Am. review is good too. I know most people say you can learn only but so much from mistakes of an amateur scripts but it’s more than that for me. I think you pick up on what is becoming cliche quicker, whether it be plot, genre or style. While also giving you a different perspective because there are always (sometimes not always) some interesting nougats of freshness and new ways of approach even if they’re against the grain.

    Basically, I look forward to this new phase of SS. A bit of destroy & rebuild; but it’s probably necessary.

  • Xarkoprime

    I hate posting/have never posted in an argument about the stance I have in regards to ScriptShadow.

    The fact that people can sit there and blame ScriptShadow for ruining writers is ridiculous. I can’t even begin to explain how much this website has helped me, yet alone break down why it doesn’t hurt anyone. Writers always get the easy way out. Directors and actors mostly always take the fall for a movie gone wrong. This website doesn’t even criticize writers, it criticizes certain drafts of their work for analytical purposes only. If people read SLAUGHTER on Monday and thought to themselves: “I’m going to write these writer’s names down and never hire them/never read from them again”, then they’re seriously misunderstanding what ScriptShadow stands for.

    As far as spoiling films before they get to theatres, I mean, it hasn’t stopped me once from going to theatres to see something. I didn’t like Gangster Squad when I read it and I’m going to see it this weekend to get my final thoughts on it. People should understand that writing, although a very important aspect, is one one of many things that can make/break a movie. I didn’t like End of Watch when I read it, but the directing and acting made it pretty decent.

    Directed to Carson now,

    1) I like the idea of reviewing screenplays that are already in production. That way we still get to read from material we haven’t seen yet and we are able to see what it turns out to be on the big screen when it is released. I think it’d also generate more hits to the website as well considering people could attach stars to the characters they are reading. That always helps.

    2) I like the social experiment concept, but will that be for experienced writers only? Only writers that you give the OK for? Or will there be different groups for different standards. Not sure, I guess we’ll hear more about it in the future.

    3) You held out through a lot of controversy and the knowledge you have allowed me to attain could potentially change my life. If I ever win an Oscar, I’ll refer you ;)

    4) Thanks for everything.

    It’s been a fun ride, but it isn’t over yet.

  • Dane Purk

    Maybe you should have “10 pages Tuesday” where you randomly pick any amateur script out of your stash, without knowing a logline or anything, and try to get to page 10. Then we discuss when/why you stopped reading, or when/why you decided to keep reading, and how far you got. :)

  • Honest Rob

    I still don’t get how they blindly target Scriptshadow and ignore Ain’t it Cool News – which has KILLED more projects in Hollywood than any blog. Fact.

  • John Bradley

    With great power comes great responsibilty, Carson. It’s never easy=)

  • John Bradley

    There are plenty of great older films to review and I don’t see the quality of the site going down. Yes, it sucks we aren’t getting direct reviews on material currently in production, but I feel the lessons I shall learn will be just as valuable with the new format.

  • garrett_h

    But that still doesn’t answer the question about all the Amateur careers derailed due to bad reviews on ScriptShadow. If SS is derailing Pro careers, certainly it’s derailing Amateur ones as well.

    Even if they are volunteering their scripts to be read, a lot of folks had problems with Carson’s note prices, the BlackList prices, and other money-making ventures that have gone out in the past that are harmful to Amateurs, the same Amateurs who are willingly paying for those services. Why isn’t anyone talking about the harm caused by Amateur reviews, whether they volunteer for them or not?

    • Citizen M

      An amateur doesn’t have a career to be harmed until he or she has sold a script. There are four possible outcomes of having an amateur script reviewed publicly:

      – The script is criticised, the writer gets discouraged and stops writing

      – The script is criticised, the writer ignores the criticism and continues writing the same old drek

      – The script is criticised, the writer learns from the criicism and writes better stuff

      – The script is praised and the writer gets a foot in the door (e.g. The Disciple Program)

      If you want a private review by a competent reader who will work with you to improve your writing and the script, you have to pay for it. And you don’t have to use Carson; there are others providing the same service.

  • garrett_h


  • GreggOC

    I recently decided to take on the challenge of screenwriting. I went out, bought final draft, and spent a few late nights typing up about 10 pages of my script. I was extatic, it was all going so well and I thought my script was pretty good.

    I then decided to look up some tips, hoping to validate what I had already put to paper. I stumbled on this site and my nights of writing we’re replaced by reading reviews on this site. I bought your book and finished it in a day. I was obsessed with learning as much as possible about my new endeavor.

    I now can’t watch a move without searching for GSU in the story and hidden exposition and backstory. I have fallen in love with screenwriting and that is due solely to what you have done with this site and your work. I can only hope I havn’t arrived too late to the party. I would hate to loose a good thing so soon after finding it.

    Thanks for your hard work. It is not unnoticed.

    • carsonreeves1

      Wow, thank you Gregg. :)

  • CyclopsRobot

    Carson’s giving up to the Hollywood Mobsters, this ain’t how it would go on the big screen. The Protagonist would fight to his last breath, taking everything and everyone down with him, or die while going out in a blaze of glory……..So CR, give us a dazzling 3rd act experience, and don’t cower and succumb to what the HollyNazi’s want. This ending, as you’ve written it, wouldn’t sell…..

  • EZ

    I guess this change was expected for a while now, still saddened that the ‘industry’ dictates what is legitimate and what isn’t on the web, instead of letting it be, especially when a site like this can only help legitimate up and coming writers. And yeah, I understand that some scripts were reviewed to the writer’s disdain, but seriously – if you can’t take some criticism for your work, perhaps you’re in the wrong field of business…

    Anyway, thanks Crason, and hoping for a good 2013 !

  • Steex

    I know this sucks, but honestly, I’m excited.

    Scriptshadow can take a turn and experiment with new things.

    Yes, it’s great seeing the reviews that are up, but PERSONALLY, I prefer to read the reviews of amateur scripts. I will definitely miss the professional unmade screenplays, but I see this as sort of a good thing.

    It seems like more chances for amateurs to make a name for themselves. I think this will help Carson to find even more great unknowns, like Tyler.

    I foresee in the near future, SS becoming the Mecca for amateur writers looking to take the next step.

    Good luck with it, Carson!

  • Tiar

    I just wanna say thanks for the great work you have done for us a bunch of noobie screenwriters. I learned a lot from your site. And i’m glad you are having great progress. Please keep the good work to help us.Thanks again, lets have a great 2013!!! :)

  • Guess who

    Well, Carson’s always been very nice and helpful to me. I just wanted to say thanks to Carson. This site has been very helpful for those serious about breaking into screenwriting. And, let’s be serious, only the really hardcore aspiring screenwriters would be reading a movie rather than sitting in a comfortable seat with your nice cold soft drink and passively watching the fun flick. I don’t think some of the readers realize how much what was offered here will be missed.

  • FD

    The stick you’re getting is the best compliment they could pay you. I think this site is the best one for wannabe screenwriters already, and if you didn’t make some mistakes along the way or attract detractors, something would be very suspicious.
    Onwards and upwards, Carson! Give ‘em hell.

  • jridge32

    Carson, I could not agree with you more: the best possible tool for aspiring screenwriters is to be able to read/critique/discuss what’s selling in the industry. But with that, you have to expect not always the most positive of opinions; if something isn’t great, it’s worth talking about. If it is, it’s worth talking about. You are going to ruffle the occasional feathers. Inevitable. Do people just not want less than positive feedback? I don’t get it..

    Either way, I’m a Script Shadow reader for life.

  • shaneblackfan

    If you want to become a big time player, the first thing you should do is STOP reviewing specs WITHOUT permission. I know for a fact that a lot of people are not happy with you, and in Hollywood, which is a small community, you will be shunned. Your name comes up in meetings, and it’s not for good reasons. If you want to help writers, do the social experiment thing with the amateurs. Let me reiterate, you have no right to review specs and iterations of drafts privy to development teams. It’s not for public consumption. I’m sure you understand this, but trust me, the producers and writers you are hurting will hurt you in the long run. Working with amateurs is a good thing, a forward thinking initiative that will help you come into the business with a new, positive angle. Good luck.

    • Hem

      Would these be the meetings you have at the MacDonald’s drive-through?

  • ripleyy

    I’ve been here for a while, though not longer than most, but I thought the way it worked made me better as a writer like you envisioned it to be. I’ve learned more about acts, I’ve been gearing myself up for years to the moment I can finally publish something into Scriptshadow that I’ve been proud of because wanting to improve, wanting to do better is the push that gets me there.

    But will it be sad to see the Old Scriptshadow gone? Yes, actually, because through reviewing everything that comes in, you get to understand more about the craft and hopefully be inspired to do something but if it’s in your best interest in changing, then I’m okay to change with it but I do miss the 2009 to 2010 version of Scriptshadow. While Labs and Social Experiment seem positive, it could be successful in its own way but I think we need to go back to that “grey area” again to fully understand how to be a good writer.

    As many above have said, if Professional writers have written a bad script and their bad script gets a rating they deserve, they need to learn from it not to kick the hornet’s nest. If a studio wants a script taken down, then that’s fine, but we’re not destroying anything, we’re just making the whole process better.

    While selfishly I love to read scripts before they’re even made – but will – I’ll settle for less but I just don’t want the Scriptshadow I knew to be completely gone. There is magic there, there is a real sense of community about this place but you change too much and you lose too many people. People don’t like change but you separate those who are loyal when you do and that’s a double-edged sword. Unfortunately, we can’t go back to the days when Scriptshadow was so underground you could barely find it (I can’t even remember how I stumbled across the site haha).

  • Cuesta

    You better know what you are doing Carson, your fame and popularity come from the oportunity of take a very earlier look of professional scripts, just that, and you are removing that…

    I’ll stay here because I’m here to read, and amateur scripts offers me the same, but I assure you not everybody will remain.

  • srdiction

    Excited to see new format. Thanks.

  • Citizen M

    I believe Carson could legitimately review the following scripts:

    – Specs by pro writer that have not yet sold and they have given permission to review (they may want the extra exposure)

    – Specs which have been sold but been in development for more than a year (they are unlikely to ever be made into movies)

    – Any script, spec or written on assignment, for a movie whch has been on general release more than four weeks, with a note indicating how the movie differs from the script (reviewing the script at this stage won’t hurt the movie)

    • JakeBarnes12

      Sounds good to me.

      But let’s face it. There are those with legitimate connections to Hollywood, and a much larger contingent of self-righteous wannabes, who don’t want to see Carson review scripts of any age in any way.

      If the goal is to be a public figure who gets no criticism from anybody, that’s just never going to happen.

      So I think Carson needs to decide on a script review strategy he’s happy with, stick with it, and exercise strict moderation on his own site.

  • Citizen M

    Carson’s new promo.

    • JakeBarnes12


      Carson should embrace the notoriety as Hollywood’s bad boy.

    • Crazdwrtr

      love it!

  • Somersby

    Yup. Thx.

  • Petra Quilitz

    Question is, would the script have sold BETTER (=for a higher amount, faster), if it had been more like the shooting script? I mean, if that wasn’t the case in at least a good portion of all produced movies, wouldn’t that mean that all scripts get ruined after sale?

    I get the point of needing to dissect the draft that made the sale, but what if the production draft would have made sale a lot better, because it is in fact a better script?

    For me, the criteria for wanting to read and analyze a script is not so much: is it the version that sold, but: is it the version that had everyone agree that it’s a really really great script.

    I think I’d rather like to have a list of the tricks that writers use to spice up a draft for a sale, but keep the serious analysis for the scripts that really have something good to analyze.

    At the end of the day, I want to make a sale for the quality of the work, not for pushing the right buttons just to make a sale.

    But I’m wondering: how many scripts really do get better after sale? Has anyone ever attempted an assessment of that??? They can’t all get worse after sale, can they???

  • Petra Quilitz

    me too,
    me too,
    me too.

  • ff

    Awesome Carson. Keep up the good work man!

  • sweetvita

    Hadn’t checked the site in a couple of days and BAM! An upper cut to my heart. Hey, Carson… you’re a smart and highly creative fella – and I know you know what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. It’s in times of adversity that our greatest strengths are mined, which can lead to opportunities that otherwise might have never been realized. I’m sure whatever future plans you step into will be sweet ;) Best.

  • scouter119

    great post carson & well played. cheers to the future

  • Michaelo

    Late to the party on this one. But as the screenwriting gurus advise… arrive late, leave early.

    Only skimmed the comments. No reference to Trajent Future? Those were the days.

    I do miss the old scriptshadow. There were some great contributors who have sadly moved on.

    To paraphrase the old saying… “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all the people all of the time.”

    Good luck Carson. Keep on keepin’ on.

  • Twilightlady191285

    I have always had tremendous respect and appreciation for this site and like so many others have stayed out of the politics of reading and reviewing both professional and amateur scripts. I have not only learned a lot about screenwriting from this rather awesome blog site but I also learned the kind of screenwriter I would like to be. I think if weren’t for Carson I would still be struggling with that. Thank You Carson for all that you have done for us writers and for this site.

  • bear

    With the change coming, I’d like to see a script review of a film premiering that week. Then a review of the film the next day or week.

  • yovita

    Great post. Geezzz some people are just way too sensitive for me. My advise to everyone is if you can’t handle the truth do NOT comes into this site. Carson, you being you is what makes this site work and that’s the reason I log in here everyday. You are an inspiration.

  • Griz

    I think you’ve nailed it here. I think this is the framework scriptshadow should adopt. It’d be a shame to see the heart taken out of scriptshadow and this way, I think it would remain. If the scripts have gone out wide, then they are in a state that the writer accepted and hoped, that the people in the know would see it anyway. So how can anyone complain after that? At the same time, it might help shine a light on those many scripts that are bought up as spec gold and then changed beyond recognition. That old Producer adage; “I just bought a solid gold spec, now all I need is someone to rewrite it.”

    At the same time, it can still unearth the diamonds in the rough. Obviously, the amateur angle is still important too and equally, it’d still be helpful to see the script of a recently released movie but using the framework you mentioned, scriptshadow can keep it’s heart.

    And while we’re here, I think this is a good opportunity to thank Carson. This site (being a regular since 2009) has been the single most helpful resource for screenwriting since I decided to study the craft at University in 2006, and I had to pay £25,000 for that pleasure all told. Thanks again Carson, don’t go disappearing on us now!

    Onwards indeed!

  • J.R. Kinnard

    I’ve always been somewhat baffled by the criticism that Scriptshadow gets, especially from someone inside the movie industry.

    It’s pretty obvious to any intelligent human being who actually takes the time to look at the site that it’s target audience is aspiring screenwriters. Carson isn’t some teenager trying to share his Metallica discography on P2P site. He’s providing a venue for writers to interact; to see what works and what doesn’t work in movie scripts. The best way to do this is to examine scripts that have sold in Hollywood because they, after all, are the gold standard by which we are judged.

    And to be more blunt. Who gives a shit? They’re just movie scripts. Who in their right mind would think that sharing a movie’s script would compromise the success of that movie? There are many considerations the average moviegoer might have when selecting a movie, and the quality of the script is way the hell down the list.

    I guess my point is that Hollywood should be grateful to a site like Scriptshadow because it can only increase the quality of spec scripts coming to town. That means the next Tarantino or P.T. Anderson might be reading scripts he or she finds here and honing their craft. If Hollywood wants to reclaim some of the splendor it’s lost to piracy and HDTV, it needs to invest in its infrastructure. And that starts with the writing.

    If Scriptshadow improves the quality of spec scripts even a little, that improvement far outweighs any damage done by sharing the script from some un-released movie.

    You know I will stick around, Carson. I respect what you are trying to do, and I admire your passion for screenwriting.

    • JakeBarnes12

      Great post, J.R.

      Let’s hope we get back into some form of discussing pro scripts.

  • Odogg32F

    Love the site. Stay true to your vision and dream. Ignore the haters and learn from constructive criticism. You fulfilled an important niche for those of us currently on the outside of the industry and looking to get in.

  • Spitgag

    In three years, when you sell your successful lab/trigger/incubator thingy to Blacklist for 20m, the drinks will be on you, my friend. Thanks for the memories. I will miss the old SS. It was p elfin awesome.

  • carsonreeves1

    thank you! :)

  • seanfast

    I’d love to read whatever you’re working on when you have something you’re willing to show Jaco. I always enjoyed your breakdowns and comments in the scriptshadow “golden age” lol

  • seanfast

    lol i remember lizard. he used to post the broken english right?

  • seanfast

    When this post got almost 400 comments I promised myself I’d read through them all before I posted my thoughts. It’s a month later unfortunately and I finally got around to finishing them all. Probably no one cares what I think but I promised myself I’d add my input so I keep my promises lol.

    I haven’t posted nearly as often as I used to when the site was in its heyday, when I posted daily. It became a ritual at work to read the article, read all the existing comments and join the dialogue. As people here said, you could always depend on great commentary and feedback from people like karlosd, bohdicat/filmwonk, Christian Savage, Keith Popely, Jaco, etoilebrilliant, jr kinnard, krs666, ripleyy, and many, many others. It felt like a daily/weekly meeting of a cool creative writing club, critiquing members’ works.

    I first found the site thanks to a Wired article back in 09, promptly went back and read all the existing articles to catch up, and read every day since then. EVERY. DAY. I used google reader, which was fantastic by the way, because when an article got taken down from a cease and desist request you could still read the review! That was the ORIGINAL scriptshadow “secret” lol.

    I used my full name as my disqus name, I wasn’t here to post mean things, so I didn’t care if my real name backed up my comments.

    I was around for the first cease and desist, the John August nonsense, the fox fiasco with the mediafire account and a lawsuit for $15 million bucks.

    I was here when Source Code was Carson’s best review evar and got a genius rating.

    I remember when disqus was nowhere near as remotely stable as it is now, and complaining about reformatting and missing posts was a daily occurrence.

    I remember when everyone wanted to see an Inception review, and Carson faked everyone out with a hilarious fake review of a nonexistant plot to Inception.

    I remember when Trajent Future was the most hilarious inside joke this community had.

    For a while, I remember Disqus telling me I was the most frequent commenter on the site’s community (after Carson of course).

    Anyway, enough nostalgia. I stopped posting with such frequency for many reasons. Work became increasingly busy and layoff-imminent and it was more difficult to sit on the site in the middle of the afternoon catching up on all the comments. I only had enough time to read the review, but I still did it. I have still read every single review, daily, and will continue to do so no matter what direction the site takes. I’m loyal to the site. I also stepped back to spend more time on my own writing, which I found more time for when I didn’t read 4 scripts a week like I did the first year or two. It became easier to excuse commenting less when I began to notice many of the people I considered friends on here also posted less. It felt like less of the old community was engaging in the conversation and I felt less inclined to participate as well. It also didn’t help that for every one of those people who disappeared or posted much less, they were replaced by five trolls or haters. There was a lot of vitriol on here, and I had trouble reading through all that and staying positive. Some days felt more like reading youtube comments than the old fun group we had.

    Despite all that, Carson never typed a word in anger. I respected him most for that. He never stooped to arguing with trolls and always took constructive criticism respectfully and with a smile. Most people don’t know how difficult that is.

    Like I said, I still read everyday without fail, and will continue to do so. I’ve been here since 09. Lurking the past few months in the shadows, but will continue to support the site and be here for the new SS. Good luck to Carson in the new format, whatever it turns out to be, and thank you for all the advice, guidance, content, effort, and support you’ve given to the community for years.

    I’ll probably forward this to carson in email form, seeing as this is a month old, but wanted to post this for archival purposes lol