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"Bigly" by Justin Shady.

I write at least one spec feature script for myself every year. In 2016, I wrote Saving Charlie Chaplin, which obviously got some love and attention.

Unfortunately, I finished 2017’s script far too late in the year for it to get any real traction or make any lists. But that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of it.

I released my ninth spec on November 8th, 2017, one year to the day that Donald Trump shockingly (and appallingly) won the presidency. That date was consciously chosen because the script, titled Bigly, is a humorous account of Trump’s inauguration. Or at least how I had hoped his inauguration had turned out.

For the holidays, I thought it might be fun to share my script. Consider it a present from me to you. Of course, feel free to share it with friends and family. Especially friends and family who voted for Trump. It will be a fun conversation starter around the dinner table this coming weekend.

Download your copy of Bigly here.

Now on to number ten… and eleven,



And that is the big news, folks!

“But what does that mean,” you ask? Well, let me explain.

You may remember that my recent spec script, Saving Charlie Chaplin, made it on the Black List last December. That was a huge honor for me, and I felt humbled just being included on the list.

A few weeks ago, the Black List reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in turning my script into a live event. Uh… yeah? The result of that initial conversation will take place live on stage in Hollywood on June 10th.

Every year, the Black List chooses a handful of scripts from its list and turns them into a live-read event. A live-read is an event where actors are cast in roles, and then, instead of acting out their parts, they do a full read-through of a script in front of an audience. Last year, the Black List produced seven of these events. This year, Saving Charlie Chaplin will be their third event.

What this means, in a practical sense, is that on the evening of June 10th, eight actors and one narrator will take to the stage and read my script out loud to an audience. Since I wrote the script, I will be directing the read/evening.

I also have a say in casting talent, which has been a remarkable journey so far. We already have a couple people cast, but we’ll be officially announcing them as we get closer to June 10th, so be sure to keep checking back for updates.

Trust me when I say this, though: It’s not often that a guy gets to work with both childhood idols and talent he holds in high regard. On June 10th, I will be fortunate enough to do both of those things.

Unfortunately, this event will not be streamed or recorded, so you have to be in Los Angeles to witness this live, one-time event. If you’re able to make it, awesome. If not, I totally understand.

For those of you who are interested, here are the details:

The Black List & Warby Parker
Black List Live!

Saving Charlie Chaplin
Written & Directed by Justin Shady

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 @ 8PM
The Montalban Theater
1615 Vine Street, Hollywood

You can reserve your tickets here.

Learn more about the Black List and their live events here, more about the Montalban Theater here, and more about Warby Parker here.

There will be a ton of updates in the next couple weeks—cast announcements, poster reveal, etc.—so be sure to keep checking back.

Until then,


Mind. Blown.

This is not a joke,


If you know me, you know I try not to talk about upcoming projects until they become more… structurally sound. One of said projects is The Roberts, which will be the film adaptation of the graphic novel I wrote (and Erik Rose illustrated) that was first published in 2008.

Bringing The Roberts to the silver screen is what initially brought us to L.A. seven years ago. Since then, the project has gone through a lot of ups and downs, but a couple years ago The Roberts fell into a groove with producing team (and husband and wife) Elliott Lewitt and Julie Kirkham.

Julie had a long history of working with up-and-coming writers, helping them hone their voice and develop their scripts to their maximum potential. And so, when The Roberts got underway with Elliott and Julie producing, we started by looking at the first draft of my adapted script… and then going through a series of rewrites. While Elliott was also involved in this process early on, I worked primarily with Julie in those days, rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting again each new draft of the script.

Writers are a divisive, highly opinionated lot, but there is one thing we can all agree on: booze. Oh, and one other thing: that the current draft of a script is the best draft that will ever exist.

Julie knew otherwise, doing what she did best: pushing me to pen a sharper and smarter version of The Roberts. After months of meetings, rewrites, more meetings and rewrites, the script finally got to a place where we all felt confident in sending it out to talent.

Sadly, Julie passed away last week. The details of this are unimportant. What is important, however, is that I got to know her, work with her, and develop The Roberts alongside her.

When the movie finally gets made, which it will, both her name and her fingerprint will be on it. And now, more than ever, I hope to make her proud of that final outcome.

She is, and will forever be, missed.


…and here are a few notes I scribbled down as reminders to myself:

Try and figure out what it’s about,


Old Poop!