Script coverage for serious screenwriters and producers
Your script has only one chance to wow an agent, studio, or contest. Make it count.
Our experienced script readers will read your script and provide you a 6-8 page coverage and detailed analysis grid on what’s working and what’s not. In about 72 hours.
We provide script coverage that’s both critical and constructive, pointing out where your script needs more work to give it the best possible shot, while giving you an idea of how an agent, producer, script contest, film investor, or name actor will react, before you send it out.
Our script analysts have worked for some of the biggest and best studios and agencies in the film industry
Our elite script coverage team has worked for CAA, Sundance, JJ Abrams (Bad Robot), ICM, SyFy, Ridley Scott, Curtis Hanson, Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, and more. Each and every one of our script analysts has been hand-picked for extensive script analysis and development experience, and is dedicated to helping you improve your script, not just rattle off what may be wrong with it.
And that’s the key reason that’s kept our clients coming back for over 15 years, and has made us the film industry’s #1 choice for script coverage.
Wait…What is script coverage?
Studios and agents commonly employ script readers to read submitted spec scripts and provide 1-2 page memos about the scripts called “coverage reports.” Busy agents and producers rely on these 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, festivals, contests, and independent producers in 1999.
The Screenplay Readers Difference:
We don’t sell promises or “Hollywood access”
We just help you improve your screenplay
We like to consider ourselves sort of the “story nerds” of the screenwriting industry. We’re all about the craft of good screenwriting, not the schmoozing part. That means we’re focused 100% on the nuts and bolts of your screenplay. So you won’t see famous faces or movie stars or posters from big movies on our site, implying that “you could be next.”
But, as soon as you dive into our analysis of your screenplay, it’ll be patently clear how much more care, concern, and detail our screenplay readers put into your script or teleplay than any service or consultant that promises to help you “get your foot in the door.” Because we believe improving the screenwriting and the screenwriter is the only way to do that.
So if you’re ready to improve your script so it stands a better chance of getting sold, or landing you an agent or manager, or winning a script contest, or getting produced, then click here for a list of our script coverage services.
What comes standard in our script coverage:
Your script, summed up in one or two sentences. If it turns out that your logline is much longer than that, your script 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 “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.
One of 3 possible recommendations: PASS (the script is not a lost cause, but it needs a lot of work), CONSIDER (the script still needs work, but may be considered by an agency or studio), or RECOMMEND (The script is pretty much good to go, so go ahead and get it out there.) Don’t feel bad if you get a PASS. It’s an opportunity to improve. Right around 95% of screenplays receive a PASS, while 4% receive a CONSIDER, and only 1% or less receive a RECOMMEND.
You might not agree with some, (or even any) of our feedback but you can use what you agree with and discard the rest, or at the very least see how an anonymous 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, production company, or script contest.
Reader Follow-Up Questions
Our service isn’t complete if you have questions about your coverage. That’s why each of our 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.
– Lance Mungia, Writer/Director of Six String Samurai
Examples of how writers and filmmakers use Screenplay Readers screenplay coverage to their advantage:
Screenwriters about to mail off their screenplays to agents, name talent, producers, contests, or festivals
Dozens of agents and managers looking for new writers, or keeping their signed writers competitive
Several major producers who regularly send us scripts 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 scripts prior to submitting for contests, including one who made it into the Nicholl Fellowship
Many overseas distributors/producers who use our 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 do I order? What’s the process?
|Pick which script coverage service you’d like from our script coverage services page. One reader? Two? Three? Or try 10 or more readers, all at once or spread out over several drafts.|
|Check out with any credit card or Paypal. Our shopping cart is powered by both Stripe and Paypal, two extremely secure credit card processors. Further, every single page and post of our site (not just the checkout pages) is encrypted with 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption, so you can rest assured that your transaction and your information will be 100% safe and 100% private.|
|Upload your script using our upload form. Then we’ll assign your script to your reader(s) and get your script coverage to you usually within 24-72 hours (1-3 business days).|
“How qualified are the script analysts reading my screenplay?”
Our script 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 script the most.
“Do you instruct your readers to tell me my script 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, contest, 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 script coverage 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 paid script coverage 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.
MYTH #3: “Agents don’t read a script unless it’s received script coverage first”
Agents and producers want to read anything that comes with a good recommendation, whether it’s an in-house coverage, word-of-mouth, or a favor read for a friend. That being said, if the script isn’t up to snuff, most of them have no problem putting it down.
|Screenplay Readers||The Runners-Up|
|Turnaround||24-72 hours||From 5 days to 3-4 weeks|
|Price||$97||$65 – $375|
|Style of analysis||Expert, brutally honest, and as objective as possible, and focused on your screenplay||Runs the gamut from competent and educational to fluffy and condescending|
|Analysts||A full staff of paid, expert script analysts, each with 5-20+ years of film industry and/or script development experience||1-man operations, interns, low-paid readers|
|Years in business||16+ (Established 1999)||< 1-2 on average|
|Experience||Produced screenwriter / veteran filmmaker with over 27 years of experience and a roster of experienced readers||Most seem to be anonymous|
A few of our recent happy clients:
“I know that the analyst was pretty hard on my script, I know that it was for my benefit. After I rewrite my script I will send it in for another go around with another analyst to see if it scores higher the second time around.”
Mitchell Whitaker, Screenwriter of The Duel 6/25/15
“The notes your readers provided were insightful and were exactly what I was looking for moving forward into a second draft of my script. Although one gave it a “consider” rating (yay), the other was not as convinced and gave it a pass. Regardless, the latter had some overlap comments/areas that needed improving which I will use in conjunction with the notes from the reader who was more responsive to the material. I was expecting two passes and was elated to get a consider out of the gate… this enthusiasm has really lit a spark at the keyboard to keep going. I sent it in hoping to confirm areas I thought could use improving and both sniffed them out right away. And their insight on possible changes and character issues are immensely helpful. Would highly recommend your services.”
Barbara McDonough, Screenwriter of The Reclusive Mr. Finch 5/29/2015
“The readers got to the heart of my story and reflected back sound advice to help push it forward.”
Stuart Wright, Writer of Dead Soul Music 5/27/15
“The analysis was right on target and I could tell the reader had thoroughly reviewed my script. The report included many helpful suggestions and was very encouraging. I was impressed with the quick turn-around. It’s great to find a company that lives up to its promises.”
Loy Myers, Screenwriter of Towtally Yours 5/11/2015
“I feel they did a great job and gave me a couple of important things to look at that should help me with not only this script, but with my writing in general.”
Jeff Gress, Screenwriter of Living A Lie 5/10/2015
“Your service is so wonderful. For those of us who are dabbling in screen writing rather than full force putting ourselves in it, constructive criticism is mandatory. Here in Los Angeles if I had a nickel for everyone who had a crappy script they thought was incredible… well, I’m sure you agree. In any case your readers did such a fantastic job. I know I have an interesting idea, however I really wasn’t confident about the structure, dialogue and all of it really, so their very specific critique helped me see the areas of improvement. My script was definitely a ‘Pass’ meaning I was certain it was not up to par however I wasn’t really sure what direction to go in the process of doing a second draft and they totally steered me in the right direction. I wish you all continued success, and I will definitely use you again in the future!”
N. Jones, Writer of Walk A Mile 3/30/2015
“Feedback was honest and suggestions for changes were great. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m excited about my screenplay again and how the changes will benefit the story I want to tell. Cheers!”
Rainie Ovenden, Writer of One Last Hurrah 3/28/2015
“Hi Kaci! I want to thank the reader who did the coverage for Red Raven (TV Pilot). This coverage hit the mark on every area and will be invaluable to me moving the script forward to new heights. If they were local, I’d buy him/her a cake :)”
Nineveh Shadrach, Writer of Red Raven 3/23/2015
These are just a few of the more recent testimonials. For 200 more, check out our Testimonials page
And just so you know, we stand behind our script coverage 100%
If you’re not satisfied with the quality of our work, we’ll make it right for you with a new read, a new synopsis, or new comments.
What’s holding your spec script back from landing an agent, or getting sold?
Let us tell you. We’ll be 100% brutally honest, but you have to be ready for it. Are you?
Check out all of our script services on our services page