When Kamera Books asked me my opinion of The Script Factory’s Lucy Scher’s book, “Reading Screenplays” I was happy to oblige … I’ve not met Lucy or done her script reading course, so it’s fair to say I was curious!
And I wasn’t disappointed. Genre and storytelling plays a major part of Lucy’s book – and is why I’m recommending it so strongly. As I often say on this site, very few writers consider how genre and/or various ways of storytelling affect their scripts and then wonder why their writing fails to progress. Underpinning your screenwriting craft skills with a strong understanding of narrative choices and how people in the industry sees them is an absolute MUST – and Lucy draws proper attention to this in the book.
In addition, Lucy breaks down the script report, de-mystifying the process for those who have never done one before and highlighting issues readers may flag up and why. Like many industry readers pre-2003ish, I never did a specific script reading course and learnt “on the job” so don’t happen to break down the script in exactly the same way, but found Lucy’s breakdown useful and straightforward. There are also handy references to films both Hollywood and British throughout to illustrate, as well as some (presumably made up) scripts or specs that have given their permission.
At no time does Lucy insist there is a specific way to read a script, which fits in with my belief it’s about intuition, too. It’s not a “how to” book, but one that endeavours to enlighten writers on what may happen to their script “behind the scenes”, which is why I feel it is such a worthwhile read. My only criticism is a tiny one – I feel the resources section was a bit basic, especially listing online sites.
Reading Screenplays by The Script Factory’s Lucy Scher is published by Kamera Books and part of their excellent “Creative Essentials” line.
… WANT MY COPY?
It’s a tiny bit dog-eared and the baby has bitten it on the side, but it’s still very much readable! Comment on this post and at the end of the week I’ll pick a winner and send it to you in the post.
LINKS ABOUT SCRIPT READING BEFORE ON THIS BLOG
How Do I Become A Script Reader And/Or Editor?
Only The Beginning (what PASS, CONSIDER or RECOMMEND *may* mean)
I could find that useful. I’ll be sure to pass it on to another person, in the spirit of sharing.
Yes please! Looks like a great read!
New to the site, but having a great time cramming in all I can, some great reads. Thanks x
The Script Factory’s reader course is excellent. A little training goes a long way. All writers should take it so that they can better self-analyse their work.
I would love to have a your copy of that book! It has a lot more character with the dog earring and the baby bite than a random perfect copy from amazon. That book has been around.
Ooh, yes please!
I’d also love the book as I often neglect to fully consider genre expectations when coming up with ideas. And anything which will stop a reader chucking my work in the ‘pass’ pile would be invaluable. Dog-eared would fit in with my other books on the shelf too.
Of course, if a reader doesn’t like your work you can always bear this in mind: