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SCRIPT READER PRO

Below you can find out all about our story, read our mission statement and meet the team behind our #1 rated screenplay services.

About Script Reader Pro (and You)

script consultancyHi, my name’s Alex and I’m the founder of Script Reader Pro. Welcome aboard! We’re so glad you found us.

Everything we do and create is based on helping screenwriters live the life they want and need to live—the creative life.

Not all screenwriters are going to achieve this and break into the industry. But here’s why my team and I believe in YOU:

1. You’re a creative. You want to express yourself. You might even be a rebel who doesn’t quite fit in the regular routine. You’re not happy with “the norm” and you want something different out of life.

2. You’re in it for the love. You’re not in it to get rich, hang out with stars and “make it big.” You’re in it because you love writing and your dream is to be able to make a living as a writer. The joy of seeing your imagination realized on the big screen and be loved by others (while getting paid for it) is your ultimate goal.

3. You will feel unfulfilled if it doesn’t happen. You know becoming a writer is your calling and you know if you don’t achieve it you’ll look back aged 80 and feel you haven’t lived the life you wanted. The world needs to hear your stories so don’t be afraid to take the leap and pursue your dream.

We Believe You Deserve the Best

This means giving you access to a team of pro screenwriters who can simplify and take the myth out of how to break in.script coverage services

1. We can help because we’re professionals who know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. In order to realize your dream of doing what you love—write (and get paid for it)—getting help from people who’ve already achieved this goal can be invaluable.

As pro screenwriters, we understand what you’re going through because we’ve been through it too. After much blood, sweat and tears we’ve achieved some level of success in this crazy business and now we’re here to take the trial and error out of the process so you can do the same.

2. We understand how important getting your stories out is to you and have designed our products and services to help make it as easy as possible. Writing’s never “easy” but it’s made harder by all the contradictory and confusing advice that’s out there.

We don’t believe in the advice to “just write, write, write.” Or “let the story breathe.” We believe in practical advice over waffle. We believe in hands-on exercises over theory. We believe in taking the myth out of becoming a pro screenwriter.

3. Ready to get to work? If you think making it as a screenwriter is all about natural talent, or being privileged enough to live in LA or mix in the “right circles,” it’s time for a rethink.

Becoming a pro screenwriter is as much (if not more) about hard work and strategy as it is about talent. No matter who you are or where you come from. Rather than just blindly writing every day as suggested by practically every screenwriting blog on the planet, it’s about changing your state of mind.

It’s about changing how you write and what you write. It’s about coming up with a routine and an action plan to get you where you need to be. And we can help you do all of this and more.

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Meet the Team 

script consultancyPeter Briggs

Pro experience: Peter’s perhaps best known for co-writing Hellboy, with Guillermo Del Toro. In 26 years, he’s been employed by 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, Sony/Columbia, Miramax, and many more, writing on such projects as Alien vs. Predator, Judge Dredd and War Of The Worlds.

Backstory: When I was a kid I didn’t want to make movies, because in those pre-internet days I didn’t even know that was a possibility. I grew up a wide-eyed British Marvel comics-reader on a blue-collar Northern housing estate, any given Harryhausen movie on TV—my month’s highlight. I was obsessed with Doctor Who, Star Trek, and the British Gerry Anderson shows.

When Star Wars came along, it rocked my world. Its attendant flood of behind-the-scenes literature made me realise people made this stuff for a living, and I started to devour everything I could about every facet of filmmaking. My parents had neither money or connections but, as a teen, I still had the best film school there was: old movies on the BBC.

I left home, armed with stubbornness and determination. Began as a runner at a commercials company in London, segueing to becoming an assistant cameraman. In the evenings, with a manual typewriter, a photocopy of Kasdan’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark screenplay, and William Goldman’s Adventures In The Screen Trade for reference and inspiration, I started writing screenplays for myself.

After six years, on a “What If?” whim, I submitted my resulting pile of dead tree to some talent agencies. Within weeks, William Morris and ICM both offered to represent me. A year later, I made my first screenplay sale overnight to 20th Century Fox. That was the last time I assisted as a cameraman.

I disdain the idea you ought to spreadsheet a movie into being solely by the numbers: creativity and common sense can triumph over stale script guru snake-oil. You don’t have to be a USC alumni to be a success in the movie business. If you’ve talent and determination, having someone who’s already fought in the Hollywood trenches to help whip your opus into shape is worth its weight in gold. So. Let’s get started, shall we…?

Genre Specialties: Drama, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi
Sub Genre Specialties: All

Most important fact of all: Peter has an aversion to glowing rocks, and likes pink very much, Lois.

script readerDash Finley 

Pro experience:  Dash Finley is a screenwriter and film journalist based in Los Angeles. Having worked as a development assistant to a number of high-powered executives and creatives, he has written many screenplays, working under filmmakers such as Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Stanley Weiser (Wall Street) and Bruno Barreto (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands). Dash has also been hired for feature work by Norris Chumley (a former producer for Oprah) and Jason Kliot (the producer of Coffee and Cigarettes).

BackstoryFor better or for worse, I put my passion for writing before everything. I get far less than the recommended amount of sleep and far (far) more than the recommended amount of caffeine, all in the name of writing for a living.

I want to inspire other writers not to give up on their own ambitions in the face of tough odds. It’s not easy to feel passionate to the very core of your being about a project, only to face persistent ambivalence and rejection from the industry gatekeepers.

That’s why I hope to guide writers to craft a version of their script that is true to their own unique vision, while also factoring in the practical, commercial considerations of the modern-day film business. There’s no reason why an individualistic passion project can’t also be a project that sells—and, ideally, I’d like to show up-and-coming scribes how they can accomplish both.

When I was growing up, my father exposed me at a young age to the classic works of the horror genre. While my buddies were all getting into Star Wars, I was more interested in Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This skewed education definitely informs my taste in current TV, and movies, as favorites of recent years have included The Babadook, Castle Rock, The Conjuring, and Hannibal.

That said, I’m also a dutiful student of cinema history, and I pride myself on being able to appreciate films of any genre or time period based on their self-contained merits. The defining elements of a great heightened sci-fi film are not the same as those of a coming of age dramedy, and vice versa.

As such, when I provide script coverage, my goal is always to push the script at hand to become the best version of what it’s trying to be, rather than molding it into some imagined version of what it ought to be.  In closing, it is my humble wish to see other writers who live and breathe for their work realize those ineffable dreams of theirs, and I will do my very best to help make that a reality.

Main Genre Specialties: Thriller, Horror, Drama
Sub Genre Specialties: Sci-Fi, Western, Gay, Ethnic, Women, Family

Most important fact of all: Dash is the proud owner of two guinea pigs, Otis and Randy.

script readerJenna Mattison

Pro experience: Jenna is a screenwriter, filmmaker and bestselling novelist with her screenwriting work inducted into the Academy Of Motion Pictures Library Core Collection. Her films have been released through MGM, Sony, Lionsgate, Netflix, Amazon etc. and are available worldwide.

She has had four TV series pilots optioned including one with prolific director/producer David Von Ancken attached and is well versed in the TV development process having developed pilots with Dean Devlin’s Company Electric Entertainment & Escape Artists at Sony. She is also currently in development on a pilot at Disney Studios.

Backstory: One of the best sayings to describe how I approach my work with writers is “If you’ve been lucky enough to reach a level of success in this business, you have an obligation to send the elevator back down.”

When I arrived in Los Angeles I didn’t know a single soul. I had no idea how I was going to achieve my dream of being in the entertainment business but boy did I have big dreams. My journey hasn’t been linear. It’s been a series of missed opportunities followed by amazing strokes of luck followed by sheer force of will. Sometimes all of those things in the same day.

It’s important to me to share my positive experiences and also my mistakes with a new crop of writers because I wish I had that same opportunity when I was new in the business. But services like Script Reader Pro weren’t available then. It was expensive film school or bust. So I learned by trial & error… heavy on the error.

I would like to save the writers I work with from that same heartache. So that they can make their opportunities count. So that when they get a shot at the big break they are prepared and have the confidence that honing your craft brings.

I’ve done every aspect of film production on a creative level: writing, directing, producing, working with editors and music supervisors and even making distribution deals with major studios so I’m able to arm these writers with an arsenal of information so that they are prepared for whatever this business throws at them. And it can throw a lot at you.

The key to success in this business is knowledge. And I love sharing that knowledge with people who want to succeed. I’ve been very fortunate in this business, but the journey would’ve been infinitely easier and faster if I’d had an experienced guide.

Main Genre Specialties: Drama, Thriller, Horror
Sub Genre Specialties: Romance, Fantasy, Dramedy, Women, Historical, Religion

Most important fact of all: Originally from India, Jenna moved to Chicago at the age of seven, and currently lives in the hills of Los Angeles where she’s been known to rescue baby squirrels.

script coverage servicesJohn McClain

Pro experience: John’s feature Hummingbird was featured on the 2016 Black List, and is currently in pre-production with Milla Jovovich attached to star. His pilot MARFA was selected for the 2016 Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab.

He also has years of experience as writers’ assistant on WGN’s drama Underground, writers’ assistant and script coordinator for season three of FX’s Marvel series Legion, and as screenwriting instructor at UCLA and Northwestern University.

Backstory: My journey to becoming a screenwriter began when I was seven years old, immediately after seeing Jurassic Park. From that moment on, I was driven by a desire to bring the same sense of wonder and magic that I felt in that theater to the hearts of audiences of my own work. I wanted to be a writer. But for a long time, “being a writer” felt lofty and unattainable.

As I was just cutting my teeth as a screenwriter, I felt that my first sale would truly make me a “writer.” It was only after that moment came and went that I realized the title of “screenwriter” was something more concrete, something I earned in my day-to-day life.

Being a writer is much less about accomplishments or credits—the things we can’t control—and much more about the practice of writing itself, which is literally the only thing we as storytellers can control.

I believe that, like well-written characters, our actions define us. It’s our creative process which makes us “writers,” not sales or accolades (though those are terrific, too!). Through providing incisive, constructive feedback to my clients, I strive to encourage them to see that the process of writing is oftentimes much more important than the final product.

Beyond improving individual scripts, I hope to inspire writer clients to continue exploring their identity as screenwriters through a focused approach to improving and understanding the craft itself.

Main Genre Specialties: Thriller, Horror, Comedy
Sub Genre Specialties: Sci-Fi, Western, Gay, Ethnic, Women, Family

Most important fact of all: Outside of John’s writing career, he’s maintained a lifelong passion for Japanese noodles and recently took up ceramics as a hobby. He makes hideous little vessels but loves them all equally.

Kate Murdoch

Pro experience: Kate began her career co-penning the indie feature, The Last Treasure Hunt, which was released in 2016 by The Orchard. She has also written Angel of Anywhere, starring Ser’Darius Blain and Briana Evigan and The Perpetual State of Georgia, which was recently optioned by Storyscape Entertainment. In addition to writing features, Kate has worked behind the scenes as a rewriter/script analyzer for many years.

Backstory: When I first tried my hand at writing screenplays, I remember feeling so anxious about every word I wrote. If it was good, if this was the correct formatting, or if what I was writing was even marketable at the moment. It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized, I’m never going to write a better script than the one I’m excited to write.

Putting that excitement back into my writing was the key for me personally, and something that I try to get across in helping writers work through roadblocks that might keep them from feeling creative. Sometimes it just takes a stripping back of the confusion that rewrites, notes and various other pressures put on you to remember why you wanted to write this story to begin with.

I’ve been really lucky to have incredible mentors, and I think getting that bit of assistance from someone who’s going to take the time to really dive into your work and help you mine through what is or isn’t working is key in growing as a writer.

Most important fact of all: Kate’s penchant for writing is in her DNA as she is a close descendant of L. Frank Baum, the creator of The Wizard of Oz.

Main Genre Specialties: Action/Adventure, Thriller, Horror
Sub Genre Specialties: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dramedy, Animation, Family, Music

script consultancyScott Parisien

Pro experience: Scott found the first big push-forward in his career after garnering two separate “Recommend” ratings with Script Pipeline, who he eventually worked for as an analyst and contest judge. He soon gained representation, optioned a few scripts, and became a Page Award winner for his script Incision, which sold soon after and is currently in development with a director and a well-known star attached.

He also has a second horror spec with director attachments and producing partners in development, and has been hired to write five screenplays over the last two years. His first produced feature, Foxter & Max, will be released worldwide in the spring of 2019.

Backstory: My biggest passion is helping and mentoring new writers. Coming from a small town in Canada with nothing to do but go to the theater, made me fall in love with the magic of the movies, and especially these days, that wonderful medium of television.

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be the one who created those worlds like those in The Lost Boys and Back to the Future out of nothing. But because of where I lived, there were little to no resources, and access to Hollywood was almost impossible. I know what it’s like to have to get to that wall, find a way to climb it, and fight to get over it and stay on the other side.

I read all the books, studied all the screenplays, watched all the courses, attended all the pitch seminars and conferences… but I always found it lacking that personal connection. The one thing I always wished I had access to, was a mentor. Someone who’s been there, a fellow creative, someone with the same type of soul as mine who longed to tell stories in only the way movies and TV can.

There is also something magical about helping another writer get to that epiphany-type of moment where they finally get it. Where it clicks. Where their excitement just can’t be contained. Being a part of that is something very special, and truly important to me.

Some writers are great at writing, but not great teachers. Not everybody can explain the deeper workings of what makes a screenplay effective. But some people can, and from the feedback and relationships that I have grown through mentoring tells me that I can consistently help writers cross that plane.

I love being a champion to writers, especially those who match my passion for this magical beast we call a screenplay. It’s what feeds my soul.

Main Genre Specialties: Action/Adventure, Thriller, Horror
Sub Genre Specialties: Dramedy, Romance, Western, Family, Gay, Religion

Most important fact of all: Scott’s first foray into screenwriting came in the seventh grade when he crafted a horribly inappropriate Police Academy screenplay for an English class assignment.

script consultancyShaina Steinberg

Pro experience: Shaina recently wrote a pilot entitled First Contact for Alcon Studios. She is currently developing another series with Endgame Entertainment.

She began her career working on Malcolm In The Middle. While she’ll always love comedy, drama became her main focus, working on shows including Everwood, Cold Case, Spartacus, Chase and Alcatraz. She has written several features, including a modern adaptation of Tale of Two Cities for Temple Hill.

Backstory: Like a lot of people, I moved to LA wanting to become a screenwriter. Also, like a lot of people, I had no idea how to get started. The simple fact is, there’s no one way to break into the industry. Often, we look at so-called “overnight successes,” but we don’t see the years of struggle that go into achieving that dream.

I got my first internship on Malcolm In The Middle by cold-calling and asking if they needed interns. From there, I was lucky to keep getting hired onto shows. Many of these jobs I got by cold-calling. I wasn’t about to let the fact that I started with virtually no connections stop me.

Though I originally wanted to write features, I found that TV writers’ rooms are boot camp for learning structure and developing character. I was also exposed to many incredible writers who were kind enough to read my work.

This taught me several things: You have to keep writing if you ever want to get better. Once you get a script to the best possible place, it’s time to move on to the next. When you look back, the script you loved two years ago might still be brilliant… but it might also just have been a necessary step toward improving.

Notes are a writer’s best friend. Of course, all of us want someone to read our script and hear our first draft is brilliant. That’s not helpful. Getting feedback, shows you logic bumps, gaps in the story, and ways to improve character. It’s hard to see flaws in our own script when the world exists so richly in our minds.

Lastly, you can’t control the outcome. At a certain point, we all put our work into the world and hope for the best. Sometimes it lands you an incredible agent or the dream job. Sometimes, there’s a painful, deafening silence. It’s important to focus on the process of writing and remember why you love it.

My goal is not only to help improve scripts but also to encourage writers and help them further their craft. Being a writer is one of the hardest, and sometimes loneliest, professions. It’s important to get advice from people you trust and who understand why you write.

Main Genre Specialties: Drama, Comedy, Action/Adventure
Sub Genre Specialties: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, Women, Historical, War

Most important fact of allBefore moving to Los Angeles, Shaina spent a summer working as a horse wrangler in Colorado. Unfortunately, despite spending time in nature, she’s still deeply afraid of squirrels.

Free Resources

Our goal is for our free material to be better than most other companies paid stuff. With that in mind, we’ve put together a large archive of free resources that you should definitely check out below:

    • You can also view most of these tools on our Resources Page, which contains all of our recommended screenwriting books, contests, free guides and more
    • Discover how to write a screenplay by pushing your imagination as far as it will go, and put it above 90% of aspiring writers’ scripts out there
    • Follow our step-by-step practical guide on how to become a screenwriter, from newbie with no credits to getting your first writing assignment
  • We also have a range of script services for smart screenwriters just like yourself, which you can check out below.

 
ACTIONABLE SCRIPT COVERAGE

Forget vague script coverage that tells you to “Ramp up the stakes in Act 2” but doesn’t tell you how. Ours are full of fresh ideas and are super intensive.

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SCREENWRITING MENTORSHIP

Pair yourself up with one of our professional writers for weekly or bi-weekly coaching on our Screenwriting Mentorship program.

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HANDS-ON SCREENPLAY COURSE

Our screenwriting course de-mystifies theory and cuts through the “fluff” found in most script writing courses and script coverage services.

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