I would argue that one of the most important steps in writing your script is getting outside feedback on it.
Whether you have a trusted friend or colleague who will give you notes or you pay for professional script coverage, it’s critical to get an idea of how others react to your story and to glean insight as to whether there are any glaring holes.
But there are so many different types of script coverage out there — it can be hard to figure out which one’s right for you. Let’s go over some WeScreenplay’s offerings so you can get the best feedback for your buck.
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Amateur vs. Professional Feedback
Before we dig in, let’s talk about the difference between getting script notes from a professional and getting notes from, say, your best buddy (or mom).
Getting notes from a friend usually means receiving reactions within the document of your script, comments about certain moments, dialogue suggestions, or questions. Maybe you’ll have a conversation with them afterward about big takeaways or they’ll write them down.
Professional coverage, on the other hand, is a more detailed analysis of the project from a storytelling and even business perspective. WeScreenplay offers everything from a free first impression of your script to coverage included with every contest entry to comprehensive notes about the character, plot, structure, dialogue, concept, marketing opportunities, and inline PDF notes throughout your script.
Script Coverage Options
WeScreenplay has a bunch of script coverage options tailored for screenwriters with different needs, whether you’re on a budget or want to pull out all the stops before submitting to a script competition.
Let’s go over each one!
Standard Entry Script Coverage
When entering a WeScreenplay contest, writers receive a document containing coverage for their script — whether they place or not. It highlights an aspect of the script that is really working, an aspect of the script that could be further developed or clarified, final thoughts, and percentile rankings to let you know how the reader placed your script compared to other scripts.
WeScreenplay will also calculate a project’s pass/consider/recommend rating by using the scores input by the reader and their history of scoring.
Approximately 3% of projects receive a Recommend and ~20% of projects receive a Consider.
Classic Script Coverage
Classic is the essential package for WeScreenplay’s paid coverage. It takes the Standard entry to the next level by providing detailed notes (rather than just highlights) about Character, Plot, Structure, Dialogue, and Concept Analysis.
Classic feedback also provides qualitative scores to help compare your script to other writers, letting you know which percentile it ranks overall as well as each of the aspects rated above. It will also include a Pass, Consider, or Recommend rating.
Bespoke Script Coverage
Bespoke coverage includes everything in the Classic package but takes the feedback further. It is for writers who are ready to move forward with their screenplays.
Best of all, bespoke feedback includes a customized marketing blueprint based on your goals. When requesting the Bespoke package, writers choose between three goals for their script — whether it will serve as a writing sample to find representation or to submit to a competition, if it is intended for self-producing, or if it is meant to sell to a studio or producer.
Comprehensive WeScreenplay coverage includes everything from the Bespoke package as well as inline PDF notes throughout the script and specific suggestions for detailed changes in your script.
If you are building your network of reliable readers and you don’t have someone to provide that inline feedback, this is the package for you.
As an added bonus, the Comprehensive feedback allows for one follow-up question to the analyst — it’s a great sounding board or an opportunity to clarify ideas.
Pick Your Format
What makes a script “good”? Honestly, it really depends on the format. What works in a TV pilot may not translate well to a narrative feature, so ideally the pro giving you script coverage understands those important differences between formats.
That’s why WeScreenplay offers three different format options:
And all of the script coverage options — Classic, Bespoke, and Comprehensive — are offered for each format, so whatever your unique needs are, WeScreenplay has you covered.
Should I Get Script Coverage?
Paying for coverage, as with paying for competition entries, should be thoughtfully done. It is a professional investment in your business as a screenwriter. You should set yourself up for success by analyzing your own script first and realistically considering what your intention is with the final product. From there, the coverage and feedback you receive can be a helpful tool in determining what your next steps are!
There is always the chance that the feedback will be disappointing. I’ve been eviscerated on a platform before and it hurt. You can learn from negative feedback and constructive criticism as well. It also helps to remember that art is subjective so you just might not reach everyone with your project. Good professional coverage should be able to adequately analyze your script whether the reader was entertained or not.
As always, do your research and happy writing!
Shannon Corbeil is a writer, actor, and filmmaker in Los Angeles with recent appearances on SEAL Team and The Rookie. An Air Force veteran, her articles have been published in Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, and Military.com. She has written and produced hundreds of digital videos with millions of views. You can read more about her on her website or come play on Instagram and Twitter!