Need To Know Basics About Script Coverage

By Cindy Mcintosh


Readers give script coverage reports to their supervisors on screenplays coming across their desk. Readers an essential part of the cycle in the studio system. They are in charge of sorting out the great quality script with potential from the poor ones. They give feedback, summaries, as well a graded system on the story's elements all to give a final assessment of the screenplay. They will either rate is as a pass, recommend, or consider.

Coverage is usually most common within production companies, although others get paid for it that work for script festivals and competitions as well as private services begin offered. Feedback serves two great purposes. The first is to quickly inform a studio executive or producer about the overall quality of a script because they do not have the time to read through everything themselves. The second is to the writer, who needs to find out how is work is being received.

Feedback is usually comprised of more than one part. First the entire screenplay is summarized. Sometimes this is done as a log line or paragraph or can very detailed in 1 or 2 pages, depending who is reviewing it and who it is for. Then the elements of the story are graded in terms of effect. This consists of dialogue, concept, style, and pacing. A reader will decide to pass, consider or recommend the work. If a writer is represented by a literary agent, then they will sit down to discuss how it was received.

To get a job as a reader, many times they go to a studio or production company for an entry level job. They may work as assistants or even in different departments until they work their way into the development department. Some studios even hire freelance readers, so there is always an opportunity to work closely with a studio as well as on a consult and offer paid services to writers that want an opinion on their work before they submit it to a company.

The writer is always wise to keep an open mind so that the feedback can be taken seriously and the areas of the script that need improvement can be attended to. It is crucial for a writer to asses what a reader's comment is, especially if it was because they passed on the script. Agents are usually in charge of addressing these concerns to their clients and will usually look over the new and revised draft before sending it back to the same studio.

Since a reader is usually the first person to read a script that is submitted to a company, it needs to make a great first impression. There are so many screenplays and material that are sent to a production company on a regular basis that a reader will quickly move on to the next work if something does not immediately catch their interest. Even if something is not amazing and ready to go, a reader that sees potential in a script will keep reading and more importantly, they may recommend the work for further consideration.

It may be tempting to send off your screenplay to anyone and everyone you can, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression on the reader. Once the feedback is out there, it's final.This is why many writers submit to contests with feedback or choose to hire a professional to look it over first before sending it out to an agent or producer. Script coverage is not a process to ignore in the film business and since reputation is everything in the industry, screenwriters often work on a couple drafts of their work before sending it out.




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