One way to learn how to write a great script is to send it out for coverage. Not only does this point out the strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay, it also gives development executives and producers a rapid way to get a snapshot of your scriptwriting.
It is slightly different to script analysis in that studio style coverage often has a top sheet with a grid so the reader can rate each category.
The final grading of coverage is PASS (around 90% of scripts), CONSIDER (around 9% of scripts) and RECOMMEND (around 1% of scripts).
Typically, coverage consists of a title, genre, logline, short (1 paragraph) and long (1-2 pages) synopses, summary, character breakdowns and a grid.
The relative strengths and weaknesses of a film script are also scored across a variety of parameters:
CONCEPT: Is the central idea movie worthy? Is it big enough? Or intimate enough?
LOGLINE: Does it capture the essence of the story in 1-2 sentences?
PLOT: Does the main character drive the action through decisions and conflict?
CONFLICT: Is there enough in most scenes to maintain interest? Do the stakes rise?
CALL TO ADVENTURE: AKA Inciting Incident. Does it set the trajectory of the story?
HOOK: What draws your audience into your story? Is it unique?
CHARACTER: Is there a clear protagonist, antagonist and supporting roles?
DIALOGUE: Is it authentic to the role?
SUBTEXT: What do characters really mean as opposed to what they say?
THEME: Does the story explore a central idea?
EMOTIONAL RESPONSE: How do does your audience feel after your movie? Is it intended?
STRUCTURE: Are the key turning points in the right places? Are sentences short, choppy active verb-led?
TENSION: Creates emotional highs resulting in emotional investment by the audience.
PACING: Is the story rhythmic with natural ebbs and flows?
ACTION: The text beneath the scene heading and surrounding the dialogue.
VISUALS: Can you picture your scenes or do they consist of talking heads?
CLARITY: Is the story logic consistent and coherent?
TWIST/ ORIGINALITY: Is there an individualistic spin on the story highlighting your character voice?
CREDIBILITY: Is the story believable even within the fantasy realm which relies on suspension of disbelief?
SATISFYING ENDING: Is it strong enough for the audience to take home the film’s message?
MARKETABILITY: Is there a defined audience for your script?
BUDGET: Is it micro budget, studio or mid range?
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