Thing 1: We exist for a good reason
Production companies, producers, managers, contests and studios don’t have time to read every script that comes in. Readers are the first line of defense.
Thing 2: We’re your first audience.
Thing 3: Most of us are on your side
Thing 4: It’s a lot of work for very little (or no) money
- It takes at least 45 minutes to read a script, and another 45 to write the coverage.
- If you’re freelance, you get a flat fee, $20.00-$75.00. I’ve met readers who read 8-10 scripts a day just to pay the bills.
- And you’re lucky if you get paid at all. The biz in NYC uses unpaid interns. It’s becoming more common in LA, too.
Thing 5: We spend all day looking for a unicorn
Our job is almost absurd. We have to find a script with:
- A great story;
- That’s really well told;
- That’s fresh enough to attract attention;
- But is familiar enough that the industry and audience will plunk down their money.
Thing 6: We have to kiss a lot of toads
Readers always hope the next script is great. Experience has taught us that’s highly unlikely.
Our next blog we’ll look at Six reasons why a Reader might reject a script.
Until then, it’s back to work.
Geof Miller is a writer, producer, development consultant, and teacher of screenwriting. His classes at the University of Washington and Seattle University were described by students as “inspiring,” “enlightening,” and “f*cking awesome!”