June 28, 2019

What is a Spec Script (and How to Write One)

Have you heard anyone say “I wrote it as a spec script” and not understood what they meant? We look to debunk speccing myths and talk about screenwriting in Hollywood.

If you’re breaking into Hollywood you’re going to do a lot of work on spec. It sucks. Trust me. I think I have broken in three times now. But before we get into why it sucks we need to answer another question.

But what does work “on spec” mean?

Today we’re going to go over one of the most common terms in the film industry, “spec,” and talk about when it makes sense for your career. We’ll also go over when you should never spec a script, and how people speccing as an opportunity to break in.

Let’s get into it!

What is a spec script?

A spec screenplay is short for “speculative screenplay” and it is one the writer does for free outside of the studio system. It’s “speculative”.

You write the spec based on the speculation that the idea is good enough to sell in the open market. The purpose is to showcase the budding screenwriter’s acumen at telling a story through action, structure, and dialogue.

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Source: NoFilmSchool