Dreams on Spec -- A Documentary About Screenwriters for Dreamers Everywhere
Neo Flix // Unrated // $19.95 // November 2, 2007
Review by Nick Lyons | posted November 6, 2007
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The Movie:
As the WGA strike went into effect today, it seems fitting that I review a documentary titled "Dreams On Spec," which shows the various trials and tribulations that screenwriters go through.

The documentary follows 3 screenwriters looking to sell their script and break into the business. Joe Aaron is perfecting his script titled "Rattled," Deborah Goodwin is trying to get her film "When You're Not There" made, and David Stieve is on the verge of selling his script called "Behind The Mask." Scattered throughout the docu are interviews with veterans screenwriters like Paul Guay ("The Little Rascals") and Gary Ross ("Seabiscuit").

Unlike the life of an actor, a screenwriter's life isn't at all glamorous, which the film clearly demonstrates. Often times a writer's hard work goes to waste as most will find that their script will never make it to the big or small screen. Additionally, relationships often suffer when a writer puts his life and his family on the line by trying to follow a dream. However, not all is dark and gloomy in the world of a writer as the story of David Stieve shows. Without giving away too much, David finds success as his dreams are finally realized, even if he encounters a few complications along the way. Whether he's a one hit wonder or if he can repeat his success is entirely up in the air. Regardless, he is proof that writers CAN make it. You just have to have the RIGHT script.

My only complaint with the film is that director Daniel Snyder never shows us what Joe, Deborah, and David's scripts are about. It would help the viewer invest in these people's lives if we knew what they were writing about.

The DVD

Video:
The widescreen picture quality has a few grainy spots, but overall the transfer looked sharp.

Sound: The audio specifications were not listed, but the audio sounded well above average for a documentary. I never had any trouble hearing what was being said.

Extras: A theatrical trailer and 31 minutes of interviews with professional screenwriters such as James L. Brooks, Carrie Fisher, Nora Ephron, etc. Highlights include advice to screenwriters, discussions about script doctoring, the benefits of havifn writers on set, etc.

Final Thoughts:
"Dreams On Spec" is a thoughtful inside-look into the life of screenwriters. Well worth checking out.



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