Script Coverage for serious screenwriters and producers
Your screenplay has only one chance to wow an agent, studio, or contest.
Make it count.
Script coverage from Screenplay Readers gives you a 6-8 page analysis of your screenplay which helps you pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Our script coverage not only provides critical, constructive insight; it also gives you an idea of how an agent, producer, film investor, or name actor might react, before you send it out…
Our script analysts have worked with some of the biggest and best studios and agencies in the film industry
Our team has provided script coverage for JJ Abrams, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, CAA, Sundance, ICM, SyFy, Ridley Scott, Curtis Hanson, and more. Each of our script analysts has been hand-picked for extensive script analysis and development experience, and is dedicated to helping you improve your screenplay. And that dedication is what has kept our clients coming back for over 16 years, and has made us the film industry’s #1 choice for script coverage.
Studios and agents commonly employ script readers to read submitted spec scripts and provide 1-2 page memos about the scripts called “script coverage.” Busy agents and producers rely on these script coverages to know which screenplays they should read themselves and which screenplays they should skip. Getting your hands on coverage for your own screenplay was almost always expensive and time-consuming until Screenplay Readers began providing film industry standard screenplay coverage to screenwriters, production companies, studios, agents, managers, script contests, and independent producers in 1999.
Our script coverage includes:
Your screenplay, summed up in one or two sentences. If it turns out that your logline is much longer than that, your screenplay might be too “soft concept” and more difficult to sell, market, or land an agent or manager with.
You might not agree with some, (or even any) of our feedback. Use what you agree with and discard the rest, or at the very least see how a script reader reacts to your script, which allows you tweak your draft so that there’s less chance of being misunderstood by a real-world reader at an agency, studio, or production company.
One of 3 possible recommendations: PASS (the screenplay is not a lost cause, but it needs a lot of work), CONSIDER (the screenplay still needs work, but may be considered by an agency or studio), or RECOMMEND. Don’t feel bad if you get a PASS. Right around 95% of screenplays receive a PASS, while 4% receive a CONSIDER, and only 1% or less receive a RECOMMEND.
Your story, squeezed down to the essentials. This 1-2 page “skinny” is a sort of bird’s eye view that helps you see how well a stranger would understand your key plot points and throughlines. If our reader missed an important beat, it’s likely that an agent or producer will too.
How your screenplay fares in 25 key categories, such as character, conflict, dialogue, readability, pacing, and more. Detailed criteria such as “Stakes are clear/conflict is strong and/or compelling,” “Tension builds/escalates throughout,” “Protagonist(s) is (are) likable and/or compelling,” etc.
Reader Follow-Up Questions
Our service isn’t complete if you have questions about your script coverage. That’s why each of our script coverages includes THREE “Reader Follow-Up questions,” where you have 100 words to ask any question of your reader that may help clarify points they made in your coverage.
Plus FREE ACCESS to The Script Hub
As a Screenplay Readers customer, you get FREE access to list your own logline, script, and/or and contact information on our Script Hub, a private, searchable, curated marketplace/database of writers and spec scripts that’s browsed and searched daily by dozens of producers and agents looking for new material and writers.
What our clients use our script coverage for:
Screenwriters about to mail off their screenplays to agents, name talent, or producers.
Dozens of agents and managers looking for new writers, or keeping their signed writers competitive
Several major producers who regularly send us screenplays to find out if they’re worth optioning/buying
A dozen or more screenwriters who regularly need solid script notes before pitching at major studios and production companies
Several screenwriters who use our feedback to tweak their screenplays prior to submitting for contests, including one who made it into the Nicholl Fellowship
Many overseas distributors/producers who use our script coverage to help determine which films to finance
Several hyper-competitive screenwriters who’ve gone through our entire roster of analysts to get the maximum amount of opinions on their scripts
Producers who use our service to firm up scripts and give them that “one last look” prior to sending them out to name talent when putting together packages
“How qualified are the script readers reading my screenplay?”
Our readers come from all sorts of film industry backgrounds: development, production, post-production – you name it. Each reader is brought aboard the Screenplay Readers team only if they have 5-10 or more years of comprehensive film industry experience and a presentable, hard-copy track record of critiquing screenplays. In addition, their writing style and critical voice is vetted for several key traits: fastidiousness, insight, verbal articulation, and the ability to synthesize solutions and suggestions. If they don’t have all these qualities, we simply don’t offer them a contract with Screenplay Readers. An estimated one out of 300 applicants are brought aboard our team. Feel free to check out our reader roster for their bios.
“But what if I don’t agree with the coverage you provide for my screenplay?”
We’re writers too, so we know what it feels like to receive criticism on our work, and believe me, it’s not always fun. But it’s our view that without consistent, critical feedback on our screenwriting, from a variety of sources, we don’t get very far as screenwriters. Use our script notes and coverage to guide your next draft, or cherry pick the notes you think will help your work the most.
“Do you instruct your readers to tell me my screenwriting is awesome, even when it’s not, in order to get me to come back for more?”
Ugh. No. Some services might do this, but we sure as heck don’t. We tell our readers this: be honest, be objective, be brief, be specific, and make helpful suggestions as to how to fix the bigger problems, but never lie, and never spin the coverage in a positive direction just to make a client happy. If a client requires that sort of cheeseball treatment, we ask them to go elsewhere. According to a recent survey, overwhelmingly, our clients told us they come back for our brutal honesty and our expertise first, followed by our emphasis on remaining as objective as a coverage would be from an agency or studio.
Some popular myths about screenplay coverage:
MYTH #1: “You MUST have script coverage in order to get your script sold or represented”
You absolutely do not need any coverage service to get your script sold or represented, but without blunt feedback, you can’t know what’s making producers and agents put your script down half way, or even ten pages into it.
MYTH #2: “You need a script coverage service in order to improve your script”
We always encourage clients to get as much free feedback as possible before working with us. Writers groups, forums, friends and family – all are good. But all of that takes a lot of time and energy, and notes from non-industry friends aren’t always as honest or critical as they should be.
Screenplay Readers vs. The Runners-Up
From 5 days to 3-4 weeks
$65 – $375
Style of Analysis
Expert, constructive, brutally honest, detailed, objective, and insightful
Thin, fluffy, or even repasted tips and tropes from popular books like Save The Cat
Quality of Analysts
A full staff of paid, expert script analysts, each with 5-20+ years of film industry and/or motion picture development experience
Many companies employ severely underpaid/first-time readers or even students and interns
Years in business
17+ (Established 1999)
1-2 on average. (It seems a new one pops up every week)
A full roster of readers with at least 5 years development / film industry experience and razor-sharp critical chops
Most seem to be anonymous, so it’s hard to tell.
No (See above)
Actual customer reviews (Just from the past few days)