How to write a sympathetic protagonist

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Free Script Feedback

Regarding all your exposition, see if you can let your exposition “walk and chew gum at the same time,” so to speak. That is, if a scene is only designed to provide exposition on X, see if you can make the scene do double duty, or triple duty, and provide exposition on Y and Z as well.

Script Formatting – Do Script Readers Even Care?

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Screenwriting

the Anal Retentive Chef talks script formatting

A recent client of Screenplay Readers expressed concern over a script formatting issue. In her case, she had a phone conversation scene, a few “V.O.”‘s were missing under some of the characters’ names. So she was a bit worried because she’d already … Read More

5 Quick Ways to Get a Script Reader to Love Your Script

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Screenwriting

magician saying "Presto! You're an awesome screenwriter"

As Sun Tzu once said, “There are good screenwriters, and there are bad screenwriters.”  And while much of the difference between the two can only be measured with abstract criteria (such as “talent,” and “chutzpah,” and “originality,”)  the fact is, there are several key criteria good … Read More

How to tell you’re reading a terrible screenplay

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Script Coverage 101

6 clues a screenplay is bad

Sometimes, we script readers get lucky. That is, when we dig into a screenplay to give script notes or provide script coverage, sometimes we know right away that the script we’re reading is gonna be a painful read.
Most times, that takes us a few pages. But sometimes, right off the bat, we get some really great clues that let us know “Hey, this screenwriter isn’t professional.”

Free Script Feedback: When CUT TO isn’t needed in action text

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Free Script Feedback

The script has texture and realism. Now it just needs presentability. There’s a good conflict being set up. I’m aboard. Honestly, I like the story so far. Now I want to trust the writer more though. The pages can’t be such a chore do digest. Fix the typos which means less typos, more professional presentation. Don’t give them an excuse to put it down.

Top 9 Most Common Script Formatting Mistakes

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Screenwriting

Basic script formatting mistakes

Straight up: Your awesome script might be the next Oscar sweeper, but if it smells like the work of an amateur, you’re hosed, because it’s likely not getting past the first few people who read it. My company Screenplay Readers … Read More

Free Script Feedback: Don’t confuse (OS) with (VO)

B. O'MalleyLast updated: Free Script Feedback

OS is for OFF SCREEN. That’s what you have here. But even OS might be a bit confusing for us readers diving into your script and trying to orient ourselves. Strategically speaking, you may want to just write it all as one scene without starting on the panties/basement thing with the OS, just to get past readers.