Loglines — How To Write Bad Ones (and Good Ones)

What is a logline supposed to do, really? Wikipedia’s illustrious hive mind defines it like so: A brief (usually one-sentence) summary …that states the central conflict of the story, often providing both a synopsis of the story’s plot and an emotional “hook” to stimulate interest. Yeah, yeah, but what’s the purpose of a logline? What’s a … Read more

Is there a standard approach for doing script coverage analysis?

script coverage standards

A writer in my class the other day asked me “Is there a standard approach for doing script coverage analysis?” The short answer is no. There is absolutely no standard approach for doing script coverage analysis AKA notes AKA comments AKA evaluation AKA feedback section of a coverage that readers take when preparing their analysis. … Read more

The Script Coverage Buyer’s Guide

woman with shopping cart and title reads "script coverage buyer's guide"

Script coverage, in a nutshell, is really just a short document that offers an opinion on a screenplay. When script coverage is good, it offers helpful suggestions and pulls no punches with its critique, and the writer or filmmaker receiving it can make improvements to their material. But when it’s bad? Well, it can be … Read more

Screenwriting Gurus — Why Most of Them Suck and How to Avoid

Girl with glasses at whiteboard. Caption reads "Screenwriting gurus and other hilarious concepts."

“Screenwriting gurus.” Ick. If those two words don’t make you nauseous, you’re either not a screenwriter, or you’ve sniffed too much glue.  Over the two decades of running my script coverage service, I’ve seen a lot of self-appointed screenwriting experts come and go, and it hasn’t always been pretty. At Screenplay Readers, we’re just script readers. … Read more

3 Strategies For Making the Most out of Script Notes and Feedback

hand picking cherries, text reads "Mmmm. Cherry-pickin' my script notes."

The difference between mediocre screenwriting and solid screenwriting often comes down to the screenwriter knowing the difference between what’s working in her script and what’s not. Beyond the various euphemisms for cutting your favorite moments (e.g. “Killing your darlings, ” or its less popular counterpart, “Drowning your puppies/kittens”), there comes a time when you need … Read more

3 Big Myths Script Consultants Love to Perpetuate

Why script consultants hate script coverage

Script consultants are miffed. Some of them, at least. Because script coverage exists. And because screenwriters not only have a plethora of free feedback options (writers groups, online forums, etc.), they also have paid script coverage services like mine as a low-cost alternative to high-priced script consultant services. So many of those script consultants turn … Read more

Are script coverage services worth it?

Good news everyone - the script is not a complete clusterf*ck

Are script coverage services worth it? Paid script coverage, that is? Commonly, when screenwriters need notes, they ask their peers, their fellow writers, or their writers groups. But what about writers who don’t have a lot of access to any of those resources? That’s where paid script coverage services come in. Forking over your hard-earned … Read more

Read the script coverage for Boogie Nights

script coverage for Boogie Nights

Script coverage for Boogie Nights, which I recently found on the interwebs, thanks to a sleuthy Redditor, teaches us screenwriters and script readers some key lessons that we need to keep in mind when considering script coverage for own screenplays:   Lesson 1: Script Coverage is Extremely Subjective! Every reader has their own weird opinions on what … Read more

Inktip vs. The Black List – Should I use one, both, or neither?

Inktip and Black List: "Admission not guaranteed."

Prior to about a decade ago, whether or not to upload your screenplay to an online service like Inktip, or a forum, paid or otherwise, was a decision that no screenwriter had to make. There simply was no point to do so, other than for us to share our work via email or in discussion … Read more

Why a script coverage “budget” section probably isn’t too useful

Ham picture with caption "Estimated budget in script coverage? Seems a bit hammy to me.."

Have you ever received a coverage back from a company or private script reader and the coverage has a “budget” section? You’re not alone. Not by a long shot. Many script coverages do indeed include sections for both “Budget” and “Marketability.” But why? The answer is fairly simple, and comes in two parts. The first … Read more

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