, 25 tweets, 7 min read

The promised thread from earlier about what I learned as a script reader, and what you can do to put yourself in a better position to get a “Recommend.”

Keep in mind: each company is different. Each reader is different. It’s SO SUBJECTIVE.

Ok. Here we go!
I’ll start simple: LOGLINES. Super important. More than you can imagine. The longer the logline, the greener the writer. If it can’t be boiled down to one sentence, you don’t know what it’s about. Plain and simple. What is a great logline?
A great logline is one that catches someone’s attention, while also giving us an insight into your concept, and main character. It’s hard, which is why there are amazing services on @NetworkISA that can let you know if your logline is ready before you start submitting. ISA ROCKS!
Your synopsis is also key. What your logline does for your concept, your synopsis does for your story. Each company will have different parameters for your synopsis. Mine required between 300-700 words. Can you fit your main story beats in that window?
And try to focus mostly on your main story line. If you can’t fit “everything” into this 300-700 window, you may need to redefine your story, and figure out what the focus really is. 120 pages is a lot to fit into such a small window, but hey, this isn’t easy. Speaking of length-
PAGE LENGTH. Can you hear me scoff from the east coast when I open up a script and see that it’s 130 pages? If the answer to that question is NO, then you’re lying. Are you Tarantino? Nolan? Do you have an Oscar? No? Then you have 120 pages.
It’s annoying, I know. But that translates to *roughly* a 2 hour run time, depending on genre. Usually more. If you can’t fit it into 120 pages, it may be better off as a novel. This only applies to drafts you submit. Early drafts can be as long as you want. 170? Fuck it. Why not
Here’s one that I know is small, but I can’t tell you how often this happened: I’m reading, I’m liking it, then I’m just PEPPERED with spelling errors. “But Sam! As long as the story is good, spelling doesn’t matter when recommending to an exec. For development!”
WRONG (sorry, couldn’t resist)

If I constantly have to find and write down your spelling errors, then I’m constantly being pulled out of your story, meaning the tension you worked to build is gone. The flow is interrupted. Also...
This shows a lack of attention to detail. Why would I put my neck on the line for someone who doesn’t have the work ethic to spell check? It’s fair for me to assume that if you don’t spell check a draft you send to a production company, you won’t be detail oriented in development
It’s a little bit of a leap to make, but it’s not unfair. Not good at spell checking? Contact @countmystars she’s one of the best (if not THE BEST) in the biz with this. If your scripts success is important to you, then either hire her, or read it over and over until it’s ready.
The whole “I’ll throw your script away after the first ten pages” thing is just a saying. I HAVE to read the whole thing. But I will tell you this... I can tell whether or not I’m about to read an experienced writer after the first page.
The first ten pages are seriously a huge deal, though. Would you rather me read the first 10 pages, then sigh at the thought of reading the rest? Or would you rather me read the first 10 pages, and settle into my chair with a smile?
That doesn’t mean your first page has to be action packed, or some crazy set piece. But you do have to entertain me. Whether it’s through character, voice, or an introduction to your world/concept. Word choice, and opening images are two things that separate a novice, from a pro.
Know who you’re submitting to! Production company that has produced action credits? They may not love your rom com. Horror producer? Also may not love your rom com. This sounds obvious, but it bears repeating. Do your research on who you’re submitting to. Give yourself a chance!
Most (all?) companies only read material submitted by a rep, so... sorry, unrepped writers :( however, I have seen submissions from writers without agents because their script either fared well in a comp (like @ScriptPipeline for example), or the writer knew someone.
So you’re not completely left out in the cold if you’re unrepped (like myself). My advice to get your script in front of a reader like me? WRITE. A lot. You’ll get better. You’ll have more samples. Better shot at a rep. Or, send to everyone who will read/give notes.
DM other writers for notes on your script and offer to read theirs in return! Network! Make friends! Promote yourself and your script! You never know who may read it, love it, and who they may know (or be). Only way to get better is to get notes, and rewrite! OR...
Hire the incredible @DannyManus or the incomparable @ScriptButcher they are some of the best out there at helping you get your script into tip top shape before it reaches my eyes. Trust me, my eyes will THANK YOU.
Your character intros are massive. Be creative. Give me more than just physical appearances. Who are they? Anything about them leap off the page? What are they doing when we meet them?? These are the things I look for. What separates a pro, from everyone else.
Your formatting is also important. Don’t understand industry guidelines? @GoIntoTheStory will help immensely. Like spelling, why would I recommend you for development if you don’t demonstrate an understanding of the basics? And yeah, there are no rules.. only guidelines.
This is TRUE. But in order to break the rules, you must not only know them, but master them. Also, a PASS doesn’t necessarily mean your script is bad. Just that it may not be the time, or the company for you.
The word CAMERA. I hate it. Find a more creative word. You can direct on the page, but be careful because it’s easy to overdo, and quickly becomes annoying, cumbersome, and can be seen as author intrusion. This may be just me, but unless it’s a shooting draft, you don’t need it.
Also, if you receive notes... DONT BE A DICK. Notes are hard. Don’t like them? Don’t implement them -__-
I hope this has been helpful! Feel free to post your questions below, or DM me any questions, and I’ll try to answer as best I can! Follow @TheWRACGroup because they’re the 🐐
Also, major thanks to @davidwappel @analydiamonaco @BogeyGuyC @TheWRACGroup for helping me with info for this thread, support, knowledge, and reads. These are some of the best writers out there, and you should read them, and listen to them, because they know their shit.
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