Motion Picture Scripts Database

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Introduction

The Motion Picture Scripts Database provides a searchable interface to the film script holdings of seven Los Angeles-area collections: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the American Film Institute; the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; the Writers Guild of America, West; and the Warner Bros. Archives at University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. This database is limited almost exclusively to the screenplays of produced films; that is, films which were actually made. The only exception is the inclusion of a few published scripts of unproduced films.

The screenplays themselves are either unpublished working scripts (or facsimiles thereof) or published screenplays. No attempt has been made to indicate which particular version a collection may hold or whether multiple versions are available. The authoritative source on any particular title is always the holding institution. As new holdings are added continuously, queries regarding the availability of titles not listed here also should be directed to the individual institutions.

Use of the materials listed here is generally restricted. Although policies vary from institution to institution, most scripts are non-circulating and must be used on the premises of the owning library. Also, photocopying of unpublished scripts is strictly prohibited.

Index

Entries include title, releasing company, Los Angeles release date (or production date), a description of film type (where applicable), screenwriter(s) and institutional holdings.

Title: The records of the Academy Library provide the foundation for the standardization of this compilation. These records are based on the Los Angeles releases of films in accordance with eligibility requirements for the Academy Awards. As such, script titles here are generally the titles of films as released in Los Angeles County. Exceptions, of course, are scripts for films which were not released in Los Angeles. These include foreign films, direct to video titles and small market films. Generally, a foreign film is listed by its translated English title, with its original title included as an alternate. Other titles are listed by their commonly known names. Provisions for films with multiple release titles are made in the alternate title field.

Whenever possible, titles are given in their official form, with punctuation, numeric characters and abbreviations as they would appear onscreen.

Releasing Company: The releasing company handling the distribution in Los Angeles is given. Records for films without a theatrical release in Los Angeles County (i.e., foreign films, direct to video films, etc.) do not include this information.

Release Date: Consistent with Academy policy, the release date refers to the first year in which a film was released in Los Angeles County. Records for films without a theatrical release in Los Angeles include the dates of first public screening (usually culled from Variety reviews, the Internet Movie Database or other sources). These dates should be considered general and not definitive. These dates are listed as “original release date”.

Occasionally a film will receive a Los Angeles release long after its original production or release elsewhere. In such cases, both dates are included.

Film Type: In an attempt to distinguish scripts for various types of films, eleven descriptors are employed: animated, animated compilation, animated short, compilation, documentary, documentary short, live action/animated, serial, short, short compilation, short series. When a film can be determined to meet one of these criteria, a descriptor is included in the record.

Screenwriters: The writing credits as presented on the screen are given. These credits were compiled and cross-checked using a number of resources. Credits here are listed alphabetically.

No attempt has been made to include uncredited writers. Actual holdings may include drafts by writers other than those who received final credit. Likewise, no attempt has been made to uncover “true” names of pseudonymous credits; for example, both P. H. Vazak and Robert Towne have films to their credit listed here.

For a handful of records no screenwriter is provided. Frequently, this is simply due to a lack of available information. In some cases, such as with documentaries, there is no screenwriter credit.

Participating Institutions

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
Margaret Herrick Library
333 South La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Core Collection: (310) 247-3020 (no appointment necessary)
Special Collections: (310) 247-3036 x2226 (by appointment only)
website: http://www.oscars.org/library/index.html

The American Film Institute (AFI)
Louis B. Mayer Library
2021 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 856-7654
website: http://www.afi.com/about/library.aspx
Holdings current through March 2006

Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library (HRL)
1623 North Ivar Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 856-8260
website: http://www.lapl.org/branches/11.html

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections
A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
website: http://www.library.ucla.edu/specialcollections/performingarts/index.cfm
Holdings current through October 2003

University of Southern California (USC)
Cinematic Arts Library
Doheny Memorial Library
G43550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0185
(213) 740-3994
website: http://www.usc.edu/libraries/locations/cinema_tv/
Holdings current through October 2003

Warner Bros Archives (USC's School of Cinematic Arts)
The Warner Bros Archives at University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts holds Story Department files up to 1967 from Warner Bros film and television. The holdings also include some First National and Triangle Films titles. The file contents vary by title and may contain literary source materials, story memos, synopses, treatments, continuities, dialogue transcripts and various versions of the script from early drafts to finals.
For additional information or to make an appointment to view files, please email wbarchives@cinema.usc.edu or fill out the online request form.
website: http://cinema.usc.edu/about/wbarchives/

Writers Guild Foundation (WGF)
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048-4329
(323) 782-4544
website: http://www.wgfoundation.org/screenwriting-library
Holdings current through February 2011