piles of scripts

Samual Dassin writes:

My wife is making me clean out the garage for the new year and I need to get rid of my script collection. I’ve already donated hundreds to the Academy and WGA libraries but there are still hundreds more. I’m thinking of maybe a garage sale and selling them for three bucks a piece. They are a great resource for writers and given the price of toner and paper it’s a steal.

For starters: your wife is right. That looks like a fire trap. You need to get rid of those scripts. If there are any you can’t stand to part with, get a good scanner and make .pdfs. (I’m crazy about the ScanSnap S1500M.)

It’s legally murky whether you could sell them. If they’re unsold spec scripts, they’re still under copyright of the original writer. If they’re from produced films, per WGA contract, the credited screenwriter retains publishing rights. 1

Rather than a garage sale, I propose you have a Saturday free-for-all. Let interested screenwriters come take whichever scripts they want. At the end of the day, whatever’s left gets recycled.

If you decide to go with my plan, email me the details and I’ll post them.

One last thought: the problem isn’t that you have too many scripts. The problem is that you have them in the wrong form. It’s an atoms vs. bits situation. Digital hoarding can waste time and energy, but it won’t waste space in the same way.

  1. Publishing rights actually come with the “story” part of the credit.