Script coverage and feedback by screenwriters and film industry professionals
Your screenplay might have just one chance to wow an agent, producer, or contest.
Make it count.
Script coverage from Screenplay Readers consists of 6-8 pages of expert critical feedback on your screenplay that helps you pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Our script coverage is jam-packed with honest critical analysis and constructive insight and suggestions, and gives you a good idea of how an real-world agent, producer, film investor, or name actor might react, before you send it out…
Our script readers have worked for some of the film industry’s biggest and best companies
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 readers has been hand-picked for extensive experience in writing script coverage and analyzing screenplays. That experience and our fierce dedication to the screenwriter’s craft are what have kept our clients coming back for over 18 years and have made us the #1 choice for honest script coverage and feedback.
Script Coverage Definition:
Film studios, movie producers, and agents are often overwhelmed with spec script submissions. To find good screenplays and talented screenwriters amidst the piles of submissions, they commonly employ script readers, who read the submitted screenplays and write brief memos, called “script coverage.” which allows the producer or agent to know which screenplays they should read themselves and which screenplays they should skip. Read more on Wikipedia.
Our Script Coverage includes:
Your screenplay, summed up in one or two sentences. If your logline ends up much longer than that, your screenplay might be too “soft concept” and more difficult to sell, market, or land an agent or manager with.
Your story, squeezed down to the essentials. This 1-2 page “brief” is a sort of bird’s-eye view that helps you see how well a stranger would understand your key plot points and throughlines. Keep in mind: if our reader misses an important beat, it’s likely that an agent or producer will too.
Our comments section (AKA analysis or critical notes) makes up the bulk of your coverage, and it’s brimming with specific, insightful critique (as well as a few suggestions for fixes). We write our script analysis as straightforward and as objective as possible because it’s not only screenwriters that rely on us for brutal honesty – it’s also agents and producers. Our smart clients use that honesty to their advantage.
We score your screenplay numerically in 25 key categories, such as character, conflict, dialogue, readability, pacing, presentation, and more. Helpful data for the mathematically-minded screenwriter, or for those who prefer hard numbers to go with their critique.
The Bechdel Test
A quick, informal indicator of a script’s female representation, many “gatekeepers” in Hollywood apply this test to scripts when considering them for development, so we’d be remiss in not including it for our strategic-minded clients. Your score here has no bearing on your critique, Analysis Grid score, or overall Recommendation, and the test may not even be applicable to your script.
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. Since we opened our service in 1999, right around 95% of screenplays have received a PASS, while 4% received a CONSIDER, and only 1% or less received a RECOMMEND.
Reader Follow-Up Questions
Our script coverage service comes with THREE “Reader Follow-Up questions” per reader ordered. Ask to clarify points the reader made in your coverage, dive deeper into their suggestions for specific fixes, or run an idea or two by them. We’re here to help.
11 Reasons Why Screenplay Readers is #1 with Writers, Producers, and Filmmakers
Years in business
18+ (Founded in 1999)
2 months – 2 years
Quality of Analysts
A full staff of well-paid, experienced script analysts who are screenwriters themselves. Each is vetted for at least 5 years development, screenplay analysis, and/or film industry experience and must have razor-sharp critical writing chops. (Not to mention that some of our readers have been with us for over 10 years.)
Mostly college interns or newbies who have little screenwriting or development experience and work for free or extremely low pay.
Quality of Coverage
Specific, expert, constructive, brutally honest, detailed, objective, and insightful.
General, vague advice from popular books like Save The Cat and critiques which often read like movie reviews
6-8 pages (1800+ words), single-spaced, all-original insights and notes
1-2 pages, double-spaced, and text recycled from previous coverages
Immediate, fast, friendly response times.
They do their best.
$115 for features, $69 for shorts
$60 – $375 and up
Ask follow-up questions of your reader?
You get 3 questions to ask of every reader you order.
No follow-ups allowed.
~ 24-72 hours
From 5-10 days to 3-4 weeks
No. Read the names and bios of our script readers, including their favorite films and genres.
Yes. So you won’t know who’s reading your script or that person’s qualifications.
Improving the script.
Selling “film industry access,” seminars, training courses, and other fun stuff.
“I find Screenplay Readers’ summaries and comments to be a notch above the pack. They’re extremely thorough. Screenplay Readers clearly reads the entire script, looks for subplots and subtext, and recognizes themes, setups, and key pieces of dialogue.”Richard Botto - Founder of Stage 32 and Writer of Rockets Red Glare
“The value I received from Screenplay Readers far surpasses value for other coverage I’ve received and I’m grateful I was pointed to your site. I found this last batch of notes, synopsis and even logline to be the most creative and insightful I have yet received on this project. (and yours was not the only company I’ve tried my hand at coverage with.) You obviously have some creative filmmakers in their own right working with you.”Lance Mungia - Writer-director of The Crow: Wicked Prayer and Six-String Samurai
Click here to read 240+more testimonials from real customers
8 Ways Our Clients Strategically Use Our Script Coverage:
Screenwriters who use our feedback to improve their scripts prior to entering script contests (such as the Nicholl Fellowship, which several of our clients have been accepted to as finalists and quarter-finalists)
Screenwriters who are about to send their screenplays to agents, name talent, or producers and who rely on our readers to point out potentially “ass-saving” tweaks and improvements
Major producers who send us screenplays to cover find out if they’re worth pursuing, either because their own staff is overwhelmed or because they need to get feedback from outside the “echo chamber”
Agents and managers who get coverage on a script or two when looking for that hot new writer or project, and who may not have the time to add another “weekend read” to the pile
Screenwriters and television writers who need fast, hard-hitting feedback before pitching at major studios and production companies
Producers who use our script coverage to help determine which films to finance or to give their script that “one last look” prior to sending it out to name talent when putting together a package
Writers groups and script contests who hire us to screen entries and/or judge their finalists
Two Questions We’re Asked All The Time…
Q: “How qualified are the script readers reading my screenplay?”
A: Our readers come from all sorts of film industry backgrounds: development, production, post-production – you name it. Each script reader is brought aboard the Screenplay Readers team only if they have 5+ years of comprehensive experience and a track record of screenplay feedback. In addition, their writing style and critical “voice” is vetted for several key traits: fastidiousness, mastery of syntax, grammar, and vocabulary, and the ability to synthesize solutions and suggestions. As a result, only 1 out of every 300 people who apply are ever invited to join our team. Feel free to check out our reader roster for their photos, bios, and favorite genres and films.
Q: “What if I don’t agree with the coverage?”
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 producers, us it to nudge that screenwriter you’re working with) or cherry pick the notes you think will help your project the most.
Click here for our full list of Frequently Asked Questions.
… and Two Big Script Coverage Myths We Like to Debunk:
Myth #1: “A screenwriter must get script coverage in order to get her script sold or represented”
You absolutely do not need any coverage service to get your script sold or represented. It’s our opinion, however, that without blunt feedback, from any source, screenwriters would never get better at their craft and producers would spend their careers taking on bad projects that can’t seem to find an audience.
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 it’s our opinion that notes from non-industry friends aren’t always as helpful or as critical as they need to be.