Well, that’s nice. I was told recently by a client (a producer with years of experience) that he’d sent a script out to a few readers and script consultant’s he’d found online, including the large faceless reader farms etc. He sent the script which is due for production soon out in an incognito fashion (without revealing who he was or his standing in the industry).
His feedback was that my coverage of the script was ‘…the most detailed, useful and professional he’d got back…’
I looked back at the report – it was a feature film script, and the report I delivered back to the producer was over 20 pages long and it included a detailed page by page read – which highlighted problems with the first act. My report then offered very detailed suggestions of how to fix the first act ‘problems’.
Little did I know that the screenplay in question was written by a pretty experienced professional screenwriter. The producer confirmed that while other readers had given similar feedback about the first act, I was the only script reader who included very detailed explanation of why it didn’t work, and I was also the only script consultant who gave advice and practical suggestions how to fix the first act problems.
To be honest, the advice I gave back was easy to implement and included moving around a few scenes in the script, from the second act to the first act. Moving a few scenes from later in the script I felt would clarify and fix the story problems without changing too much. It was a good easy fix.
While other readers gave similar feedback, I was the only one able to fix the problems with a few suggestions. I guess that comes from years of experience as professional script writer for hire
The script was very good, and I’m looking forward to seeing my little tweak help make the first act work. The film will be in production very soon I understand.
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.