Tough Reader, Good Advice
The PAGE International
"To be honest, the money I have spent on these reports ($50 for each one) has been some of the best money I have ever spent. "
Journey of a Screenwriter
Monday, January 4, 2010
Getting Ready PART 1
Click here for the transcript!
But there’s so much still to be said and to cover.
I’m going to pick up with something that I was only able to touch on last night. DreamsGrafter asked, “DreamsGrafter: In 140 characters, what makes a winning script?”
My answer was, “Format/typos, Concept/logline, Characters, Dialogue, Story, Structure, Pacing, Style/Tone, Theme, and Marketability”
To which mckormickastley tweeted back “That's cheating, like saying everything - what hooks a script for you?”
That’s the problem. A lot of things can grab your attention, from a piece of dialogue, to a character, to an action scene, to just the title. But hooking isn’t the same as reeling it in. If you’re strong in one area but weak in another you miss the YES pile and end up in the MAYBE pile. You land on the MAYBE pile, chances are you’re going to end up being pushed to the NO by somebody else. Somebody who took the time to work on each facet of the script. That’s called bulletproofing and you really need to bulletproof your script before you send it in.
Do other people have to do this? No, obviously. So many movie projects don’t even start with a completed screenplay. They get a hot property, a name actor and throw 250K at some writer to come up with something. They won’t be throwing it your way. At least not until you log a bulletproof script into their databases first.
That’s why it’s a good idea to get a reader. Script Department, StoryPros, and ,not to sound completely self serving, but yours truly. Contests that offer feedback are a good two for one deal. The only problem is you have to wait months to get notes back usually. After you’ve put The End on your masterpiece you need to get some objective idea of the strengths and weaknesses. What do you still have to work on? We’re a critical bunch but if you can get a RECOMMEND on your coverage you’re in good shape.
Of course that’s just part of the process. But that’s for another post.
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