As one of the most in demand script consultants in the UK, I get asked ‘what does a script consultant do?’ fairly regularly. So, here’s a quick answer…
Professionally I’m a script writer for hire, and I have been for over 20 years. I’ve written for Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and worked on award-winning feature films, short films and all kinds of other shows.
As a screenwriter, I’ve won various awards and been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated. Because of my successful screenwriting career, people approach me to help them with their scripts and screenplays – this is the work of a ‘script consultant’.
A script consultant, in most cases is a successful scriptwriter, or script editor who offers their services to help improve other writers work – sometimes this work is credited, but more often than not, the script consultant remains behind the scenes, and without an official acknowledgment of what they’ve done.
I’ve helped iron out problems on major TV series for commercial broadcasters – sometimes this work is just an hour or two spent on the phone with a producer, discussing a story problem that needs to be worked through. In most cases I take no credit for this work, and sometimes, other members of the production team aren’t even aware I had any input at any point.
In some instances on some jobs, I’ve completely re-written scripts without credit, or helped to knock an existing script into shape. Sometimes I’m called on to help with storylines for shows. I’ve story lined over 200 hours of network TV in the UK – and story lining is one of the great misunderstood skills in TV. It’s a mix of good storytelling skills and understanding the logistics of how shows are filmed, scheduled and produced.
Of course, Script consultants are famous for offering script reports, script coverage, and script development services.
My script report/script coverage service is available to anyone who contacts me online and involves me personally reading and evaluating your script. My reports and coverage are some of the most detailed on the market (often over 20 pages long).
Unlike other anonymous script report services I don’t ‘do filler’. And you’ll get a genuine professional script writer’s opinion of your work – looking at plot, character, dialogue – I even assess market prospects and give script writing career advice when required – and based on ‘real world’ experience.
I don’t charge an arm or a leg for my services either, my script consultant rates and fees are reasonable.
Short film script report £50
TV drama up to one hour script report £80
Feature film script report £120
As a script consultant, another service I offer is ‘after the fact’. So, when a film or TV show has been shot and edited I’m sometimes called in to look at the show and assess areas where a re-shoot or two might help improve the overall finished product.
There’s no shame in reshooting or adding new material to existing films or TV shows. It’s common practice to fix problems and recall actors or crew to help improve material before it’s released. I can help identify areas where reshoots might help clarify or improve shows that are near the final edit.
As a script consultant my work isn’t strictly film and TV either, I’ve worked on marketing videos, adverts, online film and video, even helped write drama for training courses, live comedy shows, and ‘reality TV’ or secret camera filming (which was in fact scripted–by me!). A script consultant is useful in any area that requires ‘story’ or ‘drama’.
If you’re interested in any of my services, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award-winning episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. His UK script coverage service, Script reading service and script development service are highly sought after.
You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.
You can contact Matthew directly to purchase his ebook The UK Soap Opera Script Writers Handbook.