How analysis can help
Have you ever picked up a novel and read the first sentence or paragraph and then decided you didn’t need to read anymore? The first page of your script is a promise of equal importance; it reflects your ability to not only establish the tone and genre of your story, but also your ability to fulfill your promise to producers and actors and executives’ assitants that your script will be an enjoyable, entertaining reading experience — and that it will be a film worth producing.
See also: Script coverage: A checklist to RECOMMEND
Whether you want to sell your script to Hollywood, seduce an A-list actor
for your indie film, or get your sitcom on major networks or streaming services, the harsh reality is you are competing with a very limited number of professional screenwriters who have mastered the techniques and story elements I include in my thorough script analysis.
Script coverage vs. analysis
I like to say script coverage helps producers make business decisions while screenplay analysis helps writers prepare their work for the marketplace.
- When I do coverage for producers, I use their templates and focus on the key aspects of story relevant to their production slate.
- When I analyze screenplays for writers, I use a customized template that’s based on industry templates, but far more extensive.
Identifying what’s important to producers and actors
Many industry coverage services limit their analysis to character, plot, theme and other usual suspects. But my customized ranking grid includes 19 key elements that matter to producers and actors, such as:
- Character introductions
- Setups and payoffs
- Cause and effect
- Visual elements
- First 10 pages’ effectiveness
I complete my analysis within 7 to 10 days, and am sometimes available for 48-hour turnaround rush analysis.