The 5 funniest negative responses to our script coverage

B. O'Malley

blog_negative-response-to-script-coverage

blog_negative-response-to-script-coverageThey say a company is never supposed to publish its negative testimonials.  Well, they may be right, but some of these are just too hard to resist posting.

We’ve been reading scripts and providing script coverage at Screenplay Readers since 1999, and have had a ton of awesome feedback and glowingly positive testimonials from happy writers, happy agents, and happy producers who really love our script feedback.

But we’ve also had a few responses which, well…. aren’t exactly “positive,” in any sense of the word.

And some are even downright hie-liarious!

Here, for your viewing enjoyment, (or so you can get an idea of the negative aspects of the business you can expect if you should ever jump into the script coverage business), are my company Screenplay Readers’ top 5 negative responses we’ve received from angry clients.

These folks have all received script coverage and were miffed.  Please know that these guys are collected over the period of 12 years.  Bon appetit!

“Your reader hasn’t had sex in quite a while.”

“I made all of the changes suggested by reader XX then resubmitted my script back to you. While I appreciate different views, the second reader XZ must have been a man that does not like family friendly films at all or has not had sex in quite a while.”

Yep.  You figured it out.  Your script received a PASS rating from our script analyst because, well, they just haven’t had sex in a long time.

See, unlike other script reading companies, we keep our script readers in cages below the Screenplay Readers compound.  They’re all dressed in loincloths and bikinis, so they see each other across the room, but aren’t allowed to touch each other.

And every day, we haul down a wheelbarrow full of raw meat and a stack of spec scripts. They go nuts.

“We meet at sundown. Bring your sixgun.”

In response to receiving the Comments-Only Coverage she ordered, which is very clear about not including a synopsis, hence the name “Comments-Only Coverage:”

“Why didn’t he write a synopsis? We didn’t get what we paid for. We gave you a chance to make it right. You did not.  You had your chance.”

Uh-oh.  Calmly explaining to this client the details of what she ordered didn’t work.  She’s still fightin’ mad!  I reckon we have to draw pistols at ten paces.

“I’m sorry for torturing you.”

“I submitted the same screenplay that your reader commented on to Script Savvy and they loved it, giving it a 57 out of a possible 60 points (two of those lost points were easily fixed).  But your reader gave it a grade of PASS.  When I questioned Script Savvy about the disparity, she couldn’t explain it.  Now I’m out $60 and have only this negative coverage to show for it.  Sounds like reading it was pure torture for you. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make his face shine upon you and give you peace.”

And may the Lord make you realize that receiving a Pass rating doesn’t mean your screenwriting career is over, or that one script reader at one coverage company is the final arbiter of your talent.

When our customers take our script coverage personally, that’s when things get really, really awkward.

Because they reveal themselves as folks who don’t really know what the heck they ordered, despite the pages and pages of description on our site.

I want to reach out through the internet wires and give them a big hug and say “Listen!  If our calm, objective script coverage hurts your feelings, you might want to reconsider this whole screenwriting thing, because there’s folks out there who are gonna read your script, or produce your script, or force you to accept a crappy deal, who will rip your heart out, burn down your house, and kick your dog in the nuts just to make sure they make an extra net point and you don’t.”

But hugs don’t work that way.  And now that I think of it, I’m not really a “huggy” kinda guy anyway.

“My script Is a fabulous souffle!” 

“My script has been called ‘outstanding’ and ‘a souffle of charm and energy’. (It’s clear why I remember those praises). I appreciate that Script Title won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but to label it a ‘PASS’, is laughable.”

I get it.  Me and my reader team can’t appreciate your genius.  That’s our bad.  I’m totally apologizing for all that right here, right now.

But our business model is not that of masseuse.

We’re friendly, calm, and as objective as we can be within such a subjective profession, but we don’t really care if forty other people read the script and loved it.  We only know what we think of your script.  And if we think it needs work in certain areas, we’ll tell you.

Feel free to live in a bubble and flatter yourself with your genius.  That’s every screenwriter’s right.  As a matter of fact, it’s something every screenwriter does at some point in her career.

But the good ones don’t last long in that bubble. They challenge themselves; they listen to all feedback on their scripts because they know that feedback of any kind is a rare mineral.

Pure, unbridled eloquence (NSFW)

And finally, while most of the negative responses we’ve received have been somewhere within the realm of human decency, there are others that don’t exactly fit in such constraining a mold.  Such as our #1 favorite negative response(s) below.

From two fellows who just didn’t like our script coverage, and felt they needed to say as much.

“How bout you take your coverage and go f*ck yourself  Sorry your a d*ck j*cker.”

Runner-Up:

“suck d*ck, you suck, your readers are the stupidest dumbasses around.   When your car is repossessed, all you have to do to get your car back is go to the towing company that repossessed your car.  Wow!  That’s all you have to do?  Thanks for the advice!  I’m going to get my old {PT cruiser right now!  Thanks guys!  Yo U suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Alas, the searing wit puts Mark Twain to shame.  We stand humbled, and pray that our cars don’t get repossessed.  Or something.

6 Comments on “The 5 funniest negative responses to our script coverage”

  1. Brian and staff

    I just received Script Coverage from you (thanks for the 24 hr turn around by the way) and have digested it like a teaching tool.
    I have re-focused my script and funny enough I actually didn’t like your log line, so instead of shooting you a sh@#*y e-mail, i WORKED on it for 3 solid days….

    Thanks for sharing these responses- I have to guess the angry writers you posted are still just that – angry writers….

    Alex M (Johari Window)

    1. Alex! Thanks for the feedback! Glad we could help. And SO GLAD that you held off on that sh*#%$y email! (We get enough of those)

      Brian

  2. It may appears to me that the reason you guys are so cheap, with so many pass grades is because you need volume. By passing so many weak considers, writers tend to reuse you. By so doing your volume will be high, and thus your revenue higher. One thing your readers need to do is mention whats great about any script. I know a script you gave a pass that got sold. D’uh! Constructive criticism is always appreciated…rather than plain bullying.

    1. Hi George – I’m sorry you felt “bullied” by receiving a PASS on your script from us.

      With all due respect, I’m afraid you’ve got it 100% wrong about our business model.

      Anyhow, thanks for the feedback, and sorry for making you feel bullied by our reader giving your script a Pass.

  3. I have to say that after reading these comments I couldn’t disagree more. I have submitted several scripts to Screenplay Readers and NEVER received a PASS, despite errors in the script. If you’re getting a PASS from a reader then your script probably has awful dialogue, bad structuring, a rehashed premise or a combination of these three. Even scripts with decent dialogue and bad structuring can get a CONSIDER WITH REVISIONS. Do your homework and learn how to write in 3 Act structure. You should also consider the fact that bad formatting automatically goes to a PASS with a lot of readers.

  4. Have just recommend your coverage service to a friend of mine.
    In response to George’s response (above) I’ve received PASS a few times. I’ve also received CONSIDER WITH REVISIONS and STRONG CONSIDER, NEEDS POLISH. All on different scripts at different stages of development. Guess what, the PASS mark has always been on rough drafts I have sent in, and the one that needed only a polish had already made the quarterfinals of the Nicholl. Seems to me your readers are right where they need to be.
    Thanks for your work. I’ll be sending another shortly.
    Ricki Holmes

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