Inspiration station: Download the 2018 Oscar-nominated screenplays here for free
We’re headed back to the inspiration station for another weekly instalment of the best screenplays available to download for free. Yes, you read that right. Free! As in zero, nought, nada. As we always say, the simplest way to learn about the craft is from the work of other screenwriters.
There are endless sources of inspiration that can be found by studying and analysing the traits and stylistic techniques of your favorite artists, helping you to fine-tune your script and discover new ways to make it stand out from the crowd.
Although you probably find the Academy Awards as detestable and outdated as we do, there’s no denying there were some strong indie contenders in this year’s Best Original Screenplay lineup. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the Oscar-nominated scripts available to download from the 2018 lineup so that you take your own personal masterclass and brush up on how to craft stunning stories and charismatic characters.
The Big Sick
Screenplay by Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon
Study the script of the breakout hit by real-life married couple Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon, based on the challenging start of their relationship in which Gordon was hospitalized and put into a medically induced coma. Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.
Screenplay by Jordan Peele
Another movie to go from plucky film festival hopeful to goddamn Oscar royalty was Jordan Peele’s racial satire Get Out – a prestige horror with a knife-sharp edge. When accepting his award for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars, Peele proved why no writer should give up on their story, noting how he nearly stopped writing the movie “20 times” because he thought no one would make it.
But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it. So I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie.
Screenplay by Greta Gerwig
Gerwig’s relentlessly endearing directorial debut Lady Bird proved a major hit with the critics and audiences alike, following its titular character (played by Saoirse Ronan) over the course of her senior year in high school as she navigates relationships with her mother, her best friend, and her various love interests. There’s a lot to be learned from one of the leading female screenwriting and directing talents, who pumps all of her stories with humor, originality, and charm.
The Shape of Water
Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
Apparently del Toro and Taylor didn’t speak when crafting their love story about a mute cleaning lady who falls in love with a fishlike creature. It was a mutual decision, one that involved the exchange of emails and drafts as del Toro travelled about in Toronto, Europe, and his native Mexico.
“Thus, in Taylor’s mind, they had no disagreements,” noted IndieWire, “they shared differing points of view with a more playful shorthand.” The result was the Oscar-nominated screenplay, which you can download below.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Screenplay by Martin McDonagh
The story follows a mother (played by the ever-wonderful Frances McDormand) who personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit. In line with his previous works In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, McDonagh created another strong dark comedy in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with even stronger characters at its heart.