ON lOCATION – August 29, 2015
I promised this ON LOCATION episode would not be self-serving. It won’t be. Today we’ll be exploring a pressing question: Are script consultants worth the money?
Script Consultants come in all shapes and sizes. Their fees range from the very low to the unaffordable. In a perfect world the best consultant to have advise you would be an A-List Producer in LA who produces films in several genres.
One rung below the Producer level would be an active Agent in LA who represents major clients in the industry. These professionals would be at the absolute top of the ‘food chain’.
Remember, we are discussing hiring a script consultant, not trying to market a script to Producers and Agents.
Here is the most important thing for aspiring writers to know. Please read carefully.
Before sending your completed script to anyone in the industry, make sure you have a pair of objective eyes – a professional in the industry – give INPUT.
Not your friends, family or people in your writers group. I am not suggesting that you hide your script from these people. What I am saying is that a consultant or an agent (if you can have one) can help you ready the script for the market.
PLUS. They understand how the industry works and they know what it takes to prepare a script for sale.
The difference between Coverage and a Consultants Analysis.
Script coverage is beneficial and should only be purchased once your script has been vetted by a reputable consultant and the script is ready for the market. Coverage is an assessment that the major studios use. The input reads something like this:
Synopsis of your story (which you already know) and the strengths and weaknesses of the script.
What you are really buying from a coverage company is one of three words:
I have suggested to many clients that they obtain coverage from one of the coverage companies in LA. I would recommend Script Shark. They are affordable and thorough. This is their area of expertise.
Script Consultant Analysis
This kind of input and analysis deals with all aspects of your script. Concept, Structure, Character, Subtext, Action, Scenes and Situations. Dialogue, Descriptors Story Arc, Character Arc and Marketability, PLUS many consultants offer a telephone consultation.
Make sure the Consultant you use will provide Development Notes and ask what they mean by that phrase.
If you are looking for a consultant, shop around. The cheapest is not always the best. See what each consultant offers. Look at ‘turnaround time’, contact the consultant to discuss what they offer. The vast majority of us want to serve you. We want you to succeed. We will speak with you or answer an email without cost or obligation.
Check the Consultant’s qualifications and don’t be bamboozled by the number of scripts that a consultant has sold. Don’t misunderstand. If a consultant has sold scripts, great! But, why aren’t they continuing to sell scripts? Ask for a pdf of the consultant’s produced script.
One of the top names in our industry – I mean one of the ‘rock stars’ – has sold one script which was a TV episode. Most coaches in Major League Sports have never played the game professionally.
Shop around! Most often (95%) of those client testimonials are real.
Hey, thanks for checking out this ON LOCATION episode. Please check out the rest of Wayne’s Movie World site.
Next time: What Professional Screenwriters DO that you DON’T.