What Hollywood Script Readers Really Think About Your Screenplay
Getting a producer to read your script can be almost as daunting a challenge as getting beyond the blank page. But before you even think about a producer reading your script, you need to get your script past the script readers. Contrary to what you may believe, script readers want your script to be good because they want to read good scripts. Recently, Scott Myers of the Go Into the Story blog on The Black List stumbled into a late night Twitter conversation with The Bitter Script Reader, Nate Winslow, and Amanda Pendolino, three Hollywood script readers, and he captured their conversation for our educational purposes. Here are some of the highlights:
- A "Recommend" is exceedingly rare. "Strong Consider" is usually the highest ranking a script reader will give a script.
- Strong concept outweighs good structure for most production companies while agencies may put more weight on structure.
- Readers tend to read scripts twice, once for the story and once for the synopsis.
- Readers know if a script is bad by page 10 (or by page 1 if it is really bad).
- Readers don't just see characters in scripts; they see roles that A-list talent can play.
- Aspiring screenwriters should write in the genre that best showcases their voice, but know that comedy, horror, thriller and action genres sell in Hollywood, while adult dramas don't (unless they have an incredible lead role).
This Twitter conversation about script coverage reminded me of a download provided by the BlueCat Screenplay Competition newsletter in the fall that included several examples of actual script coverage from studios and production companies. You can download the PDF here to see how readers write script coverage.
- GITS: The Twitter Conversations - Script Readers (Part 1)
- GITS: The Twitter Conversations - Script Readers (Part 2)
- GITS: The Twitter Conversations - Script Readers (Part 3)
- GITS: The Twitter Conversations - Script Readers (Part 4)
- GITS: The Twitter Conversations - Script Readers (Part 5)
Are you a current script reader? If so, what are your current recommendations to aspiring screenwriters?
Are you a screenwriter with experience going through the process of getting your script read by producers? Tell us your stories.
[Screenplay photo by Flickr user Joe in DC (CC)]