Monday, 1 September 2008

Script Reading On The Blog

Summer is over - it's back to work people! Okay so in truth writers never really stop. But with the onset of September, it's time to pick up the pace again and get down to some serious writing. And today sees the launch of the script reading service linked to this site, imaginatively titled, Script Reading On The Blog! I've mentioned this in previous posts but just as a reminder, I have been reading scripts for many years, for both individual writers and production companies. And although I get my feedback these days from my workshop group, this is not an option for a lot of screenwriters. But also not viable with any regularity are the large fees charged by the majority of those who provide feedback services. My aim is to redress that and help writers develop their work to a higher standard. Plain and simple.

This information will be on the sister site, but here are the details:

For the time being at least, my service will have only one option - Script Reading (although this will include both film and television). The coverage will take the standard form that production companies use. This will include:

  • A front page containing a logline.
  • A table of Plot, Character, Dialogue & Structure - marked either Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor.
  • Brief comments summing up the key points.
  • An overall mark of Recommend, Consider, or Pass.
  • This will be followed by a two page synopsis of the story. Why do you need a synopsis of your own story? Because it's so useful to see how someone else summarises your script. Are the key turning points there and evident, or have they got lost somehow? Plus, you will often have to write a two page synopsis for producers, which is a right pain! But this way I do it for you!
  • Finally, the coverage will conclude with a two page analysis of the script.

The thinking behind this is that writers often bemoan this type of coverage by faceless script readers reporting to company execs who then never see their work. I know because I sit on both sides of the table. As a writer I often submit my work to companies in the knowledge that a reader will be looking at it in this very context. And I will of course never get to see their report. As a script reader myself, I have written tons of these and know exactly what the execs are expecting and looking for. It's not a perfect system but complaining about it is futile. This is the reality and you have to be in tune with it. And this is hopefully where I can help. Your script will receive Production Company like treatment, only this time you will get to see the report afterwards. It will be polite, constructive and treated with respect. But it will also be honest. And of course, follow up discussion of why I have marked and written things the way I have will not only be allowed, but actively encouraged. I firmly believe this will be a massive help in getting your script past company readers.

The fee for this service will be £35 per feature film scripts or television one offs over 60 mins and £30 for television episodes (up to 60 mins).

You simply won't find it cheaper elsewhere. People can pay through Paypal and scripts and reports can be exchanged via email - thus ensuring fast delivery and no postage costs.

But there's another feature to this service. It will also run as a monthly competition. The best script I read each month will not only be given a refund, but will feature on the blog in a pitch format (logline, genre, synopsis etc) not dissimilar to Shooting People's Script Pitch bulletins. The writer will also be interviewed and receive a profile on the site and there are no problems with copyright issues or anything like that. But you will of course have the option to opt out of this feature if you so wish. However, self promotion is the name of the game in this industry so I would not recommend this. The idea behind this is that as I raise my profile and more and more people read the blog, a few other writers will also get some attention, and it all helps promote better scripts. And that can't be a bad thing.

So what are you waiting for?? Get in touch soon, the first day of September is nearly over already!

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