For Your Consideration: Studios Post Oscar Hopeful Screenplays

It is no secret that in recent years, studios have embraced the internet as a way to promote their movies. (We’ll put aside the fact that they also excoriate the internet when information about their films leaks early or digital copies of films are available for download before they’re even in theaters.)

But potential ticket-buying audiences aren’t the sole online target of the studios. They’re also using the web to promote their films as potential Academy Award nominees to those in the business who are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and who get to vote on such things.

The last couple of years have seen a sharp rise in studios with specific websites touting their films for Oscar gold. While most of these sites are simply variations of the “For Your Consideration” advertisments that have appeared in print publications for decades, there is a boon for those film fans who like to read screenplays. Rather than go to the expense of printing up hundreds of copies of the scripts they hope to get nominated for the Academy Awards’ two screenplay categories, many studios have taken to posting them on line as downloadable PDF files, available for anyone who wants a copy.

Here is a breakdown of what you can find to read where-

Fornearly a year up until its release this past summer, the screenplay for Christopher Nolan’s epic comic book adaptation The Dark Knight was the unobtainable Holy Grail among script traders. But now, Warner Brothers has posted it on their Oscar promotion site. Warners is also promoting the upcoming Clint Eastwood vehicle Gran Torino for Academy Award consideration, but probably are withholding from posting the screenplay until after the movie is released in December.

Meanwhile, Paramount Vantage has placed the screenplays for two of their three nomination hopefuls The Duchess, Defiance and Revolutionary Road on line. Unfortunately, the studio has decided against posting them as downloadable PDF files, instead opting to make them readable only on the site. Currently only the scripts for The Duchess and Defiance are available to read, with Revolutionary Road‘s screenplay is being held back until after the film’s theatrical release. I guess no one at Paramount Vantage realizes that anyone who has ever traded a script at the IMDb already has a copy of it.

Universal has posted the scripts for a pair of true-story stories- Changeling and Frost/Nixon.

Walt Disney is promoting five contenders for Oscar gold, three of which – Bolt, High School Musical 3 and WALL-E – the studio hopes will make the Best Screenplay shortlists. However, only the WALL-E screenplay is available to read at this time.

Although Paramount Studios is pimping The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Kung Fu Panda, Tropic Thunder and Madagascar: Back 2 Africa for nominations in several categories, including the screenplay categories, the studio has not posted any of the screenplays they would like Academy voters to consider on their site this year. Other studios that have posted screenplays in the past, but have not done so as of yet include Lionsgate, Miramax, Fox Searchlight and Focus Features.

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About Rich Drees 7192 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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