Script Readers Assemble!
We’ve all heard that screenwriters should read scripts to get ahead … But what if you became an ACTUAL script reader?
B2W has been training script readers since 2015 on my Breaking Into Script Reading course. I normally only hold this course once a year (and it last ran in February this year), but 2023 is shaping up to be historic for writers. Why? Two reasons …
i) The US Writers’ Strike
On May 2nd, 2023, The US Writers’ Strike began. When studios and networks rejected WGA proposals, 11,500 WGA writers voted against working for struck companies. Writers are primarily looking for better conditions and pay in the streaming revolution, but are also worried about unethical use of AI by producers.
Needless to say, B2W stands by the striking writers. With so many writers downing tools though, this is sure to create a submissions deluge when everyone is back to work … and someone is going to have to sift and read them all! Enter the script readers.
ii) AI revolution
AI is a hot topic right now thanks to the strike, but lots of non-WGA writers are worried about it too. Some writers believe they will be ‘replaced’ by robots. Others are not worried about that but acknowledge AI will definitely disrupt the industry.
Whatever happens next, it’s obvious AI will affect script readers. We have already seen sci-fi magazine Clarkesworld flooded with AI-generated submissions. Who knows what might turn up further down the road?? Well, I’ve been looking into it!
Why YOU Should Become A Script Reader
So that’s why I’m running the script reading course again. If you want to join us this July but need a few more reasons to get you through the (virtual) door, how about ten?? Let’s go …
1) To improve your own writing skills
As we all know, reading and analysing scripts from different genres and formats CAN help you with your own writing. Script reading can help you understand the structure, pacing, character development, and dialogue that make good storytelling. You can apply these insights to your own writing, making it more engaging and effective. MORE: Script Reading: 25 Experts Share Their Expectations Versus Realities
2) Learn about the market
As a script reader, you’ll get a firsthand look at what industry pros are looking for in terms of themes, genres, and styles. This can give you a sense of what’s selling and what’s not. This in turn can help inform your own writing choices and career aspirations. What’s not to like?!
3) Create useful contacts
Script reading is an essential part of the development process in the film and TV industry. By working as a script reader, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with agents, producers, directors, and other creatives who could be valuable contacts for your own career.
4) Earn extra money
Many schemes, coverage companies, prodcos, screen agencies etc hire freelance script readers on a project-by-project basis. This can be a great way to earn additional income while also improving your writing skills and building your professional network.
5) Gain exposure to different perspectives
As a script reader, you’ll encounter stories and characters that may be outside of your own experience or comfort zone. This can broaden your perspective and help you develop deeper empathy and understanding for people from different backgrounds. MORE: Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make With Diverse Characters
6) Stay current with the industry
As B2W always points out, the film and TV industry is constantly in flux. New trends, technologies, and business models emerge all the time. This is why paying attention to what is happening at work can pay dividends. You can stay up-to-date with these changes and position yourself for success.
7) Expand your creativity
Reading scripts can be a source of inspiration and motivation for your own writing. Exposing yourself to different styles and genres can spark new ideas and approaches that you might not have considered otherwise. (NOTE: this doesn’t mean nicking anyone’s ideas!)
8) Develop critical thinking skills
As a script reader, you’ll need to assess what needs further development so the script is ready for production. This requires a critical eye, an understanding of what works and what doesn’t, as well as following script reader briefs. What’s more, you will develop the ability to provide constructive feedback to the writer. It’s easy to slag stuff off, so this is MUCH harder than it looks!
9) Practice working under deadlines
Script reading can be a fast-paced job, with tight deadlines (sometimes less than 12 hours!). Producers, agents and other writers have high expectations for quality and accuracy, too. This can help you develop excellent time management skills and learn how to prioritise tasks effectively.
10) Gain a sense of achievement
Working as a script reader can be highly rewarding in its own right. Knowing you played a key role in various stories’ success can be a source of pride and satisfaction. B2W is super-proud to have provided coverage and development notes for LOADS of produced content (CLICK HERE to see a selection of them).
You can learn how to navigate the legal minefield in this industry!
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), release forms, copyright, options, adaptations … this stuff is COMPLICATED. That’s the bad news … but the good news is, as a script reader you will have a front row seat to all this stuff. I can’t tell you how useful it’s been to my own writing … and of course, for this blog! MORE: Top 10 Legal Questions For Writers
See you on the course?
My sell-out course, BREAKING INTO SCRIPT READING is back!
If you’re interested in becoming a script reader, or finding out more how script readers may assess YOUR own writing – or both! – then this is the course for you.
Tickets are on sale now. GET THEM HERE, or click the pic on the left. See you there!