As a UK script consultant and script writer for hire, I guess I’m pretty much part of the industry and have been since my first screenplay/script credit on Channel Four in 1993 (with a short film starring Ewan McGregor, and my introduction to the industry).
I’ve been around, written for ITV/BBC/CH5 and CH4 – I have credits on short films, TV soaps (Emmerdale and EastEnders for my sins), feature films, I’ve done a lot of uncredited work, I’ve worked with an agent, and without. I’ve even written scripts for corporate video, charity videos, social media campaign videos, viral videos and online YouTube serials. And my own indie films. Here are my credits on the IMDb, all genuine, paid professional script writing work.
Now, because of this website I get an awful lot of work coming straight to me, this can be to write original scripts, or requests to do rewrites, or even do script reports for writers wanting to break into the industry. After all, I now have 25 years experience as a script writer for hire.
Online, there are lot of places offering script reading services. Some even boast of 100s of positive reviews (which when you click through to the actual review sites – seem to be reviews of events or courses – not the actual ‘script report service’ that they advertise) – this may seem a touch misleading to the discerning (or maybe cynical) eye.
Maybe I am cynical – but the only people who made money out of most gold rushes were the people selling shovels and tents – scriptwriting and the film industry can be likened to a gold rush, and selling script reports can be likened to a shovel, tent (or map to where the gold is buried).
Some of these websites even advertise connections to literary agencies.
Well, all I can offer is a script analysis from an industry professional with credits across many of the UK broadcast networks, BAFTA nominations (and a Royal Television Society nomination too).
When I give script analysis or coverage, it’s from someone with a genuine industry background. With a long career, and plenty of experience (ask your reader or the company you choose for script coverage to show their credits and awards/nominations, it’s always wise to ask to see someone’s credentials before you part with hard earned cash – you’d be a fool not to).
I also don’t outsource scripts to other readers – professional readers, come in all shapes and sizes; some are brilliant at what they do. Some are students with little actual industry experience.
Of course, everyone is open to choose to who they get feedback and analysis from. But, if you contact me, it will be from me. Not a report from an industrial script reading farm worker. When I give advice, it’s from an award winning professional script writer who’s been there, and still is there – 25 years later.
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire 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. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on firstname.lastname@example.org or hire him on Peopleperhour