One of the most valuable aspects to the screenwriting process is receiving feedback on your screenplay before sending it out to a competition, manager, or studio or network executive. One great way to receive feedback on your script is through a script consultant. But… what exactly do they do?
In this article, we will demystify the role of a script consultant and give helpful insight on ways a script consultant can be most beneficial to your writing journey.
WHAT IS A SCRIPT CONSULTANT?
A script consultant highlights areas of development and provides writers with tangible steps to address them in order to make a screenplay better. If the dialogue is redundant and not moving the plot forward, a script consultant might suggest creating more dynamic dialogue by creating more subtext and nuanced language. If the inciting incident is unclear, a script consultant might suggest revisiting the outline to ensure that the screenplay is hitting all of the story beats. Script consultants give specific and extensive notes on how to develop the characters, structure, dialogue and formatting for features, pilots, shorts, and even outlines.
MORE THAN JUST COVERAGE: SCRIPT CONSULTANT VS. SCRIPT READER
Just so we are clear, let’s discuss the difference between a script consultant and a script reader. While a script consultant writes detailed page notes, a script reader gives more of a short summation in one-or-two-page script coverage. Script coverage can best be described as a synopsis with additional commentary on whether the script is worth passing along to the higher-ups at the company. Coverage is about a screenplay’s marketability.
WHY YOU NEED A SCRIPT CONSULTANT
Hiring a script consultant can be a great way to strengthen your screenplay and get tangible and practical next steps on how to take your writing to the next level as a professional writer. Below are 3 reasons why you should consider hiring a script consultant to review your next screenplay.
• A thorough read with thorough feedback. A script consultant's job is to make your screenplay better. That means they are not just reading for content but looking at elements like structure, format, and tone. Not only do script consultants tell you what is not working in your script but they also give you tangible steps and advice on how to fix it.
• Encourage you to become a better writer. The feedback from a script consultant will innately aid you in the development of not only your screenplay, but also your overall writing skills. A script consultant serves as a teacher of sorts so that hopefully, the next time you sit down to write, you are not running into the same problem areas, ultimately giving you the tools to improve as a screenwriter.
• Feedback from a trusted professional. Of course, your mom and aunties think your screenplay is great, but that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Feedback from a professional is not only valuable but insightful to not only your writing process but your overall writing career. A script consultant’s feedback should be honest, detailed, and specific, and packaged in a way that is digestible and easy to comprehend taking into consideration the format (TV or film), relative act structure, genre, and your plans for production and distribution.
Don’t get us wrong, finding and working with a script consultant can be a scary process. Not only is it an investment, but it can also be risky if you do not take the time to research who you will be working with. It can be an overwhelming process, but The Professional Pen is here to help.
LET THE PROFESSIONAL PEN TAKE YOU TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Our tagline isn’t just a writer for your writer for no reason. We are a team of experienced industry professionals that are here to support you during your writing journey. Whether you are struggling with nailing that perfect logline or you’re finding that your outline isn’t hitting all of the story beats, we are here to help! The Professional Pen is equipped with a team of professionals that are invested in making your screenplay the best it can be and making you the best writer you can be. We believe that if you develop the writer, the content will come.
The Professional Pen offers several services for writers at every stage of their writing process from idea to pitch. Check out our Development Notes service if you are looking for extensive page and script notes to take your screenplay from good to great!
While the idea of sending your screenplay off to a script consultant may feel daunting, it is a valuable step before sending it over to a producer or manager. This is a huge deal and you want to make sure your baby is in the right hands.