Warner Brothers have announced that they will be releasing classic film scripts as e-books, along with extra details such as production notes, storyboards, and on-set photographs.
The announced films so far are old favourites ‘Casablanca’, ‘Ben Hur’, ‘An American in Paris’ and ‘North by Northwest’. Released under the title “Inside the Script”, each e-book will be available on Kindle, Nook, and the iBookstore for a set price of $9.99 each (£6.49 in more sensible currency). Each one includes extras specific to the film, with ‘Casablanca’, for example, including amongst its stash a telegram from producer Hal Wallis. The telegram relates to his row with studio mogul Jack Warner, providing an interesting insight to the behind-the-scenes workings of the film industry. Others include more traditional notes – ‘North by Northwest’ comes with costume designs and music notes from composer Bernard Herrmann, alongside photographs, storyboards, and notes from Hitchcock himself. You can even see reproductions of tickets to the Hollywood premiere of ‘An American in Paris’ along with that script, while ‘Ben Hur’ offers Charlton Heston’s acting and shooting journals up for persusal.
Warner Brothers have called the project an “experiment”; their president of digital distribution, Thomas Gewecke, said that “now we can give fans rarely seen details of how these stories came together, and take their enjoyment of films to a whole new level”, and they will certainly be interesting to movie buffs or film students. Although there are only four available for now, if they sell well, we could be seeing more of these script packages coming out in the future – after all, Warner Brothers have a great wealth of material to call upon.
So, what movies, classic or otherwise, would you like to see given this treatment? Would you like to flick through set designs for ‘Inception’ or read the musical scores for ‘The Sound of Music’ along with the script?