Script coverage for serious screenwriters and producers
Your script has only one chance to wow an agent, studio, or contest. Make it count.
Screenplay Readers will read your screenplay and provide experienced, honest 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 (or one of their script readers) will react, before you send it out.
We read your script, write script coverage or script notes for it, then email the notes back to you usually within about 24-72 hours (1-3 business days) so you have fast, honest, and affordable feedback on your script.
We’ve covered scripts for some of the biggest companies 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 are dedicated to helping you improve your script.
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.
Selling your script or landing an agent may be just a few drafts away…
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.
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 industry-standard screenplay coverage to screenwriters, production companies, studios, agents, managers, festivals, contests, and independent producers in 1999.
The 5 key components of 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.
– Lance Mungia, Writer/Director of Six String Samurai
Examples of how writers and filmmakers use Screenplay Readers script notes and coverage to their advantage:
Screenwriters about to mail off their screenplays to agents, name talent, producers, script contests, or script festivals
Dozens of agents and managers looking for new writers, or keeping their existing writers motivated and 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 a super-secure credit card processor so your transaction and your information will be 100% safe.|
|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).|
Some popular myths about script 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.
Some common concerns about ordering script coverage:
“What if I don’t agree with the script 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.
“How qualified is the team reading my script and providing script coverage?”
Our script analysts 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 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.
|Turnaround||Usually 1-3 business days||From 5 days to 3-4 weeks|
|Price||$79.99||$95 – $375|
|Style of analysis||Hard-hitting, expert, as objective as possible, and brief||Padded, educational, condescending|
|Analysts||A full staff of paid, expert film industry script analysts, each with 5-20 years of development experience||Many are either 1-person operations or use interns as readers|
|Years in business||16+ (Est. 1999)||Most less than a year, and a new one opens every few weeks|
|Primary focus||Making screenplays more sellable||Screenwriter encouragement, screenwriting lessons|
|Owner standing behind the business||Produced screenwriter / veteran filmmaker with over 27 years of experience||Most are anonymous|
Some happy recent clients of Screenplay Readers:
“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
“Thanks for the feedback. It provided some new insight, and ways of further developing the story and characters that I couldn’t manage to think up before, but was nevertheless very definitely searching for. The only thing I actually disagreed with was that my grammar, spelling and punctuation sucked (the dreaded “pass”)… but OK, FINE, I’ll take it! I can take it.”
C.B. Elias, Writer of Friendly Fire 3/23/2015
“Wow! Very insightful, substantive professional analysis. Though I failed miserably, I’m not giving up. Your readers have given me much direction and I will heed their words. I’ll be back to you with another draft. Please convey more appreciation to all the readers.”
Anthony Fedele, Writer of The Man With The White Cane 3/9/2015
“Hi Kaci. I just wanted to thank you and your reader for doing such a fine job reviewing my script. I can’t tell you how valuable it is for a self-taught screenwriter to have the type of feedback you deliver. After the initial bummed feeling of getting a PASS, I took my time to break down all the little issues and discovered a fundamental flaw with my other stories as well. It’s very helpful and I’d recommend you to anyone even seasoned vets that just want an extra set of eyes because sometimes we writers are too close to the material. Thanks again and best wishes.”
Ryan Clark, Writer of Heaven Help Me… Or Not 2/13/2015
And just so you know, we stand behind our script coverage and script notes 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.
Check out all of our script services on our services page