Show menu
Shooting People
 
Search
By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to allow us to use cookies

What is script coverage?

Hi everyone, I advertised my script reading services on here a few months ago and have received a few enquiries from new writers that didn't lead anywhere.

Therefore, I thought I'd make a post sharing what script reading and script coverage are for any new writers looking to pay for feedback.

In simple terms, a script reader will read your script and give you feedback. This feedback comes in the form of 'coverage', an industry term for documents that usually include a top sheet, one-page synopsis and one (or more) page of comments.

A script reader could be in-house at a production company, employed by a script reading service, or working freelance with private clients.

The top sheet includes a logline, evaluation and score card (e.g. dialogue/characterisation/pacing) and is an easy way for producers to find a script without reading them. However, it's also useful for writers to have a brief overview of their script's strengths and weaknesses.

As a writer, you probably have your own logline and synopsis already but believe me, having an outsider sum your story up for you is massively helpful for picking up on gaps in your story/miscommunication of themes etc.

Remember, the way you view your script isn’t the same as the way a producer or director will. Maybe you think your script is about one thing, but everyone reading it thinks it’s about something else. The top sheet and synopsis could reveal this.

An obvious point is that script reading is not free. It’s a service like anything else in the industry. Some script readers may give basic coverage for free (I personally don’t mind giving free coverage for short film scripts if I have time, but I certainly won’t advertise this).

You may also stray from the industry standard and be able to negotiate certain feedback with a reader e.g., if you want help with a specific plot point or character.

However, script coverage generally follows an industry-standard template. You may think a single page of comments is too little, and some readers will offer add-ons for an extra fee, but script readers are often writers themselves and this page of comments will cover multiple areas (concept, structure, characterisation, execution) as succinctly as possible.

Freelance script readers (like me) probably have other sources of income and you should remember that you are paying for someone’s time. So, you might think a three-page coverage report seems too little for the price, but your script needs to be read and analysed to be able to come up with this report.

If you can’t afford the services of a script reader, I would recommend joining a writer’s group or chatting to other scriptwriters online as you may be able to swap scripts and give each other feedback.

Thank you for reading this and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  • hi KATHERINE
    A script coverage, id to show the quality of yr script.. done by real professional recognised organisation
    I had one for my script 'THE KILLING MACHINE' an actions script, and report was 72 %.. not bad, when you know that script as TERMINATOR was no more than 80%
    Is good to have good script report, that's help to approche investors

    6 days ago
    • Hi,

      According to Industrial Scripts, The Terminator script was rated 90%, not 80%.

      THE SOCIAL NETWORK: 89/100
      SE7EN: 93/100
      THE TERMINATOR: 90/100
      THE GODFATHER PART II: 96/100
      THELMA & LOUISE: 88/100

      6 days ago
  • good, so you know now ...

    6 days ago
  • Hi Katherine I'm a script reader/script editor and I'm keen to connect with other readers/editors. If you'd be up for a chat drop me an email - simonhbrooke@gmail.com

    Thanks!

    5 days ago