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What Does it Mean to “Slip a Script” and Why Do People Do It?

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1To ‘slip’ a script to someone means to send it to them for their eyes only and for their knowledge only. They are being sent the material with the trust that they will not share with anyone nor will they let anyone know that they are in possession of the script.

Why would this ever happen? As a writer or a producer, wouldn’t you want people to read your script and garner the most attention possible? Here are some situations where one would choose to slip a script:

1) The writer isn’t quite finished polishing the final draft of the script, but there’s an open writing assignment (OWA) or a pending job opportunity that can’t wait for the final draft to be complete. In this case, the writer (or the agent/manager) would submit the close-to-finished sample for the employer to read in the interest of time.

2) A financier, studio or production company is in the process of closing a deal to purchase the script but it hasn’t been finalized. Or maybe they’ve closed the deal but haven’t announced it in the press yet.  The writer, however, still wants to use the script as a sample to get jobs/meetings etc. So in this case, the writer (or the agent/manager) will slip the script to execs instructing them not to show anyone because the buyer of that script wouldn’t want anyone else to have the material before closing their deal.

3) Let’s say a producer wants to take out a new hot script, but there’s a select group of buyers whom he/she has a particular loyalty to over the rest of the industry. The producer will want to give them first dibs on the script before sending it to other buyers so the producer will let them know the script is being “slipped” to the them. This will also give them a sense of urgency to read the script quickly before it gets sent to others.

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