What does a script consultant do?

UK Script Writer for hire
UK Script Writer for hire

I realise there are script writers out there, sitting on the first draft of something that they’ve worked hard on, and they’re wondering what to do next.

Of course the advice is to get as much feedback as possible before you send the script anywhere – and as a script writer for hire I still do this myself. Before I send a script to a production company or to a client, I still send it to a trusted group of fellow writers who give it the once over for me.

I’ve been a professional script writer for over 20 years. So, I’ve got a lot of experience and a lot of friends in the industry who I know will give me an honest opinion. What about writers new to the game? Who can they send the script to?

Giving the script to friends and family, who have never seen a screenplay before isn’t a good idea (and they probably won’t read it). So, writers turn to script consultants. But what service do they actually provide?

As a UK script consultant I can only speak for myself, and the services that I provide. (Before you pick a script consultant – always make sure they’ve got credits as a script writer listed on the IMDB – here is a partial list of mine.)

The first thing that I do is read the script from cover to cover. While I’m doing this I’ll make a detailed page by page critique of the script. I also offer suggestions on where any problems with the script can be improved. I look in detail at;

  • Structure
  • Dialogue
  • Character
  • Writing style
  • The basic story itself

And when I say I make suggestions, sometimes this can be offering detailed advice. The writer can either take this advice or not.

But what else do I offer that sets me aside from other script consultants?

If a script has potential, but currently doesn’t work I can actually offer my services (credited or uncredited) to help get the script into the shape it needs to be to go to agents, producers, production companies or script writing competitions.

That’s correct. I’ll do the script report – pin point what needs to be done, and if you need help for a further fee I can assist you with the work required to get the script to the best place it can be. I think that’s what sets me aside from other UK script consultants. I won’t just tell you what needs fixing; I’ll help you fix it.

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 matcoop23@yahoo.co.uk or hire him on Peopleperhour