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Spec Script

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What is a Spec Script?

A spec script is a non-commissioned and unsolicited screenplay written by a screenwriter on their own time with the intention of selling it. It is not written under a prior attachment or deal with a studio, showcasing the writer’s talent, vision, and creativity.

Spec scripts can be for movies or TV shows, but there are differences between them in terms of format and purpose.

A spec script is a unique kind of screenplay. It’s not asked for or paid for ahead of time. A writer makes it without a promise from any movie studio to buy it. This means the writer spends their own hours on the job, hoping to sell their work later on.

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No prior attachment or deal with a studio

A spec script is a screenplay written by a screenwriter who doesn’t have any connection or agreement with a studio. It’s an original script created on the writer’s own time and without being asked to write it.

The purpose of writing a spec script is for the writer to showcase their talent and creativity in hopes of selling it to a producer, production company, or studio in the future. It gives aspiring screenwriters an opportunity to break into the film or TV industry by demonstrating their storytelling abilities through their own independent work.

Written on the writer’s own time

spec script is a screenplay that a writer creates on their ownwithout being hired or asked to do so. They write it whenever they have free time and hope to sell it in the future.

The writer does not have a deal or agreement with anyone when they start writing the script. Their goal is to showcase their talent and creativity, hoping that someone in the film or TV industry will like it enough to buy it.

It’s a way for writers to get noticed and enter the industry.

Spec scripts can be for movies or TV shows

Spec scripts are not limited to just movies or TV shows. They can be written for both mediums. For movies, spec scripts are standalone screenplays that tell a complete story from beginning to end.

On the other hand, TV specs are speculative episodes of existing TV series. These scripts allow writers to develop their own ideas for an episode within a show they love. Whether it’s a movie or a TV show, spec scripts provide opportunities for screenwriters to showcase their talent and creativity in the industry.

Differences Between Movie Specs and TV Specs

Movie specs are written for standalone films, while TV specs are speculative episodes of existing TV series. Want to know more about the benefits and opportunities of writing a spec script? Keep reading!

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Movie specs are written for standalone films

Movie specs are spec scripts that are specifically written for standalone films. This means that the script is not based on an existing TV show or part of a series. Screenwriters who write movie specs come up with their own unique ideas and develop them into full-length screenplays.

These scripts can showcase a writer’s storytelling skills, character development, and ability to create compelling plots. Movie specs are often used as writing samples to attract the attention of producers, production companies, and studios in the film industry.

If a movie spec is well-received, it may lead to opportunities for the writer to be hired for writing assignments or even see their script produced into a film.

TV specs are speculative episodes of existing TV series

TV specs are like fan fiction versions of TV shows. Instead of writing a whole new episode for a show, screenwriters create their own storylines that fit within the existing show. It’s like a “what-if” scenario where they imagine what could happen next in the series.

These spec scripts are used to demonstrate the writer’s skills and creativity to producers and studios who might be interested in hiring them. Some well-known TV shows started as spec scripts before they became popular series on television.

Writers choose a show they love and develop an idea for an episode

Screenwriters often choose a TV show they enjoy and come up with their own idea for an episode. They might think about what could happen next in the story or create a new storyline altogether.

This allows them to showcase their creativity and understanding of the characters and tone of the show. By developing an idea for an episode, writers can demonstrate their ability to write engaging dialoguecreate compelling plots, and capture the essence of the show’s storytelling style.

It’s a way for writers to put their own unique spin on an existing series while still staying true to its core elements.

Benefits and Opportunities of Writing a Spec Script

Writing a spec script can showcase a screenwriter’s talent, vision, and creativity, opening doors to writing assignments and opportunities in the film or TV industry.

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Showcases a screenwriter’s talent, vision, and creativity

A spec script is a great way for screenwriters to show off their skills and creativity. When writing a spec script, the screenwriter has the freedom to choose any concept or existing TV show they love.

By developing strong characters and creating an engaging story, they can truly showcase their talent and vision as a storyteller. This gives them the opportunity to impress producers, production companies, or studios who may be interested in optioning or purchasing their script.

Famous movies like “Good Will Hunting” and “Juno” started out as successful spec scripts that highlighted the writer’s unique voice and storytelling abilities.

Can lead to writing assignments and opportunities in the industry

Writing a spec script can open up exciting opportunities in the film and TV industry. By showcasing your talent, vision, and creativity through your script, you can catch the attention of producers and production companies.

They might be impressed by your work and offer you writing assignments or even option or purchase your spec script. This is a fantastic way for aspiring screenwriters to break into the industry and start building their careers.

So, if you have a passion for storytelling and dream of working in film or TV, writing a spec script could be your ticket to success!

A way for screenwriters to enter the film or TV industry

A spec script is a way for screenwriters to enter the film or TV industry. It allows them to showcase their writing skills and storytelling abilities without having a prior attachment or deal with a studio.

By writing a spec script, screenwriters can demonstrate their talent, vision, and creativity in the hopes of attracting the attention of producers, production companies, or studios.

It serves as a calling card that can lead to future opportunities and writing assignments in the industry.

How to Write a Spec Script

To write a spec script, start by choosing a compelling concept or an existing show that you love. Develop strong characters and create a compelling story with industry-standard formatting guidelines.

Polish and revise the script before submitting it to producers or agents and seek feedback from trusted sources to make improvements as needed.

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Choose a compelling concept or existing show

When writing a spec script, it is important to choose a compelling concept or an existing TV show that you love. This will help capture the attention of producers and showcase your creativity.

Develop a strong idea for an episode that fits within the show’s world and characters. Make sure your concept is unique and engaging, with interesting conflicts and plot twists. By selecting a compelling concept or existing show, you have a better chance of grabbing the industry’s attention and potentially opening doors for opportunities in the film or TV industry.

Develop strong characters and a compelling story

Developing strong characters and a compelling story is essential when writing a spec script. You want your audience to be invested in the characters and their journey. Create characters that are relatable, interesting, and have clear goals and motivations.

Make sure your story has a solid plot structure with engaging conflicts and obstacles for the characters to overcome. Use unique themes or concepts to make your script stand out. Remember, having well-developed characters and an intriguing story will captivate readers and increase your chances of getting noticed by industry professionals.

Follow industry standards and formatting guidelines

To write a spec script that stands out, it’s important to follow industry standards and formatting guidelines. This means using the correct script format, including elements like scene headings, action descriptions, and dialogue.

By adhering to these standards, you show that you understand the expectations of the industry and make your script easier for producers and agents to read. Additionally, following formatting guidelines helps ensure that your story is presented in a clear and professional manner.

Remember that a well-formatted spec script can make a positive impression on potential buyers or readers. So take the time to familiarize yourself with the industry standards and apply them consistently throughout your script.

Polish and revise the script before submitting it to producers or agents

Before sending your spec script to producers or agents, it’s crucial to polish and revise it. This step ensures that your screenplay is in its best possible form and increases the chances of grabbing attention from industry professionals.

Take the time to review and edit your script for any grammatical errors, inconsistencies in plot or character development, and pacing issues. Seek feedback from trusted sources who can provide constructive criticism and make improvements based on their suggestions.

Remember, a well-polished spec script demonstrates your professionalism as a writer and enhances the likelihood of attracting interest from potential buyers or representatives in the film or TV industry.

Seek feedback from trusted sources and make improvements as needed.

After completing your spec script, it’s important to seek feedback from people you trust. This could be fellow screenwriters, mentors, or industry professionals who can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.

Take their feedback into consideration and make necessary revisions to strengthen your script. Remember that constructive criticism can help you refine your work and make it even better.

By seeking feedback and making improvements based on that feedback, you increase the chances of creating a compelling spec script that stands out in the competitive film or TV industry.


In conclusion, a spec script is a screenplay written by a screenwriter without any prior attachment or deal with a studio. It’s a way for writers to showcase their talent and creativity in the hopes of selling their script.

Whether it’s for movies or TV shows, spec scripts can open doors and lead to exciting opportunities in the film and television industry. So if you’re passionate about writing, why not give spec scripts a try?.


What is a Spec Script?

A spec script, or speculative screenplay, is a script that a writer creates without being paid or hired.

How does the format of a spec script differ?

The spec script format focuses on writing style and plot while shooting scripts include camera angles and other production notes.

Can spec scripts be sold?

Of course, a spec script can be optioned, where someone pays for the right to use it further or purchased outright by television production companies.

Do I need to follow specific rules for creating my own Spec Script?

Yes, there are common rules in scriptwriting one should follow when making a speculative screenplay.