Remember when I interned at a literary agency last year? Now I’m a Script Reader (again). I did it awhile back when I first started in film production for Goldcrest Post Productions. What’s the difference? I’m still a gatekeeper in the creative world but in another medium. I’d say a difference is I’m a barrier in providing feedback on how words can translate on the big screen. However, the difference in what I’m doing isn’t necessarily a huge one.
Why am I script reader again after all these years? I was looking for a gig that allowed me to combine my two biggest passions: films and writing. I’ve always wanted to be a film critic (click here for reference) and haven’t completely abandoned that dream, so why not write about films? Granted, I’m writing coverage (review in screenplay speak) for screenplays not necessarily movies but it’s better than nothing.
Every time I read a new script, I’m reminded why I write and why I choose to express myself through words than another form of media (like painting). Each new script that arrives in my email is met with two emotions: excitement to read a possible script that can live on celluloid after I’m gone from this planet or dread of the trite material presented for me to read. Most often, I review the script with an open mind and at times, am pleasantly surprised. Most of the time, the execution is off, the writing is awful, and I don’t see the movie receiving the “OK” to be seen on the big screen. Some things should not be made into moving pictures. Other screenplays, if only for entertainment and monetary purposes, are permissible to live on celluloid for all of eternity. But not everything.
Some advice? Write a story that matters to you (similar to writing a short story or novel) and try not to write what’s in style. Sometimes, the trends work against your favor. Good luck!
Side note: Even though I am not paid to review scripts, I have good sense as to what works, the kind of budget movies need, and do not hold back. For those aspiring screenwriters, I am open to reading your work and providing useful feedback. I would never charge writers for feedback. If I get a significant amount of requests, then I’ll reconsider. For now, it’s free.