Beauty and the Beast
Scripts and Transcription Project

A fascinating glimpse into how the writers and producers crafted an episode

THE Beauty and the Beast SCRIPTS?

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We think it's fascinating to see how scripts evolved from the writer's first conception to the final shooting script. As an example, look at the opening and closing scenes of The Watcher in the original script. Scenes and characters are added or dropped, plots are changed - there's a lot to learn about how an episode evolved by reading the incremental changes found in the various versions of just one episode's scripts.

Virtually all Beauty and the Beast scripts in circulation now are xeroxed copies of a version of an episode script, thus they are usually printed on white copy paper. However, this is not how the scripts looked that the actors, production staff or writers used during the filming of an episode. When you look at a script, you will note various dates on the front page - the latest date is the date of the script version you are looking at. Each date listed on that script represents a slightly (or greatly) different version of the "same" script. Usually the writers began with a "first draft" or "house draft" or otherwise named first draft of a script. Many changes subsequently were made to the scripts prior to filming. Each version had a new (later) date, with colors attached to the dates (e.g., blue, pink, yellow). These colors had significance, because pages which contained changes from the previous version of a script were actually printed on that color paper. [Pages with no changes were on the original white paper.] Also, the colors were in a certain order: first white, then blue, pink, yellow, green, goldenrod, grey, then often repeating (if there were many iterations of a script).

The "new" colors of later versions replaced the "old" colors or white pages whenever changes were made to specific pages of the script. Thus, by the time filming began, Jay Acovone held in his hand a script with various colors of pages (some white, some pink, some grey, etc.), representing all the various changes made over several re-writes. This provided him with the latest version of a script without the necessity of the writers having to completely re-print a script each time changes were made, and last-minute changes could be passed out and recognized immediately by the "color" of the pages being distributed.

As you can see, the "history" of each script becomes a fascinating glimpse into how the writers and producers crafted an episode. Ideally, we'd like to scan all versions of each script so fans can see the incremental changes leading to the final version. This is where fandom can help - check our list of scripts against any copies of scripts you may have in your collection. If you have a dated version which is not on our list, that means we don't have it. If you could scan your script and send it to us, or if you could lend it to us for scanning, you could contribute to the growing library of scripts which are available for fans to study.

Even if you don't have scripts, there are other ways you can help with this project. We need volunteers to scan scripts, to edit scanned scripts as needed, to watch and transcribe episodes, and to edit transcriptions. Also, if you have episode-specific memorabilia (costumes, director's notes, designer drafts of costumes or sets, or any other information about each episode to make our final product more accurate), we'd love to have a scan of it. We would appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

Contact us if you have scripts to share or to volunteer, or if you have other material to add to the site.

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