You’ve written a draft of your screenplay. It’s time for some constructive feedback. The simplest route is to show it to a few other screenwriters and get verbal or written comments.
Table reads are another effective way to evaluate the strength of your screenwriting from actors and an audience.
Here are some of the benefits of table reads:
1) DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
As the screenwriter, you’ve read your script countless times. Maybe even read it out aloud a few times. Hearing your screenplay read out aloud by actors makes you a passive audience member and allows you to experience it differently.
2) ACTOR NUANCE
Hearing your script performed adds a whole new dimension to it. Actors add their own take to your material which you may not have considered. You may find actors reacting to parts differently than you intentioned.
3) YOU KNOW THEY’VE READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT
That’s right. No skimming. No skipping pages. No speed reading. You know that every word is being read before your eyes. That way when actors complain that a story beat is unclear, it isn’t because they haven’t read it.
4) YOU CAN HEAR DIALOGUE RHYTHMS
This is the beauty of live reads. You know when an actor stumbles over a piece of dialogue and the overall dialogue flow, speed and cadence. You will also know when an actor stops to re-read a part because they didn’t understand it. You also assess that each character has a distinct voice.
You will immediately know whether the actors got your jokes or not. You’ll immediately know which jokes need punching up from your actors’ response.
6) INSTANT FEEDBACK
Actors read your script live and give you feedback straight afterwards. Not in a week or a month. You can also ask questions about what the actors liked or disliked. So you have plenty of feedback for your rewrite.
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