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Script Coverage Example: How to Deliver What Readers Want

What Is Script Coverage? Find Out With These Examples From a Development House, Agency and Script Consultancy

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by Script Reader Pro in Script Coverage
May 1, 2018 9 comments
script coverage example

Script Coverage Example: How to Learn What Readers Are Looking For 

Just what is script coverage exactly? On this page, you can download a script coverage example and template of the various kinds used in the industry.

Let’s start by answering some basic questions about script coverage. Then we’ll take a look at a script coverage example of each type.

What Is Script Coverage? 

Script coverage is a written document consisting of a reader’s feedback on a screenplay or TV script (teleplay). Another term given to it is “script notes.” They can be written by a variety of different people for a variety of different reasons.

Overall, script coverage sums up a reader’s thoughts and emotional reaction to a screenplay/teleplay. It usually includes notes on all or some of the following:

♦  Concept

♦  Character

♦  Story

♦  Plot/structure

♦  Scenes

♦  Theme

♦  Genre

♦  Pacing

♦  Tone

♦  Dialogue

♦  Marketability

♦  Writing style

♦  Formatting/presentation/grammar

♦  Title

♦  Final rating: “recommend,” “consider” or “pass”

Bear in mind, there is no one “right” way to write script coverage. Nor is there such a thing as a “standard” script coverage example.

One script coverage example may include a synopsis of the script. Another may not. Some script coverage comments on all of the elements listed above. Others only two or three. Some are only one page in length. Others run to fifteen pages or longer.

As you’ll see in the script coverage examples below, it can vary greatly in intent and purpose, according to who it’s written by. And who it’s written for.

Here’s a list of the various types of notes in the industry, along with a script coverage example of each one.

Script Coverage Example #1:
Development Execs and Producers

Development executives want to find screenplays to turn into movies. Producers want to invest in these screenplays in order to help them get made into movies.

Not having the time (or inclination) to read everything that comes their way, execs and producers often employ script readers to write coverage on incoming material. From this, they then read the coverage on the best scripts that have come in.

The Buffer Zone

Script readers, therefore, can be thought of as a kind of buffer zone between the writer and the exec or producer.

If the script is as good as a reader says it is, then the exec or producer may set up a  meeting with the writer. Thus, the long road to seeing their work up on the silver screen begins.

Script coverage for a development exec or producer is also known as “studio notes.” It tends to be only one or two pages in length, with a focus on briskly assessing the script’s suitability for development.

This is in direct contrast to other script coverage examples which focus on helping the writer improve their script. We’ll get to this type later.

Screenplay Coverage Example for Execs and Producers

Here’s a script coverage template of the kind written for development execs and producers. They’re written in a style purely with the exec/producer in mind, rather than the writer.

(Please note: This is NOT a script coverage example from our company.)

script coverage template

To keep reading the full script coverage example click the button below.

script coverage template

script coverage services

Script Coverage Example #2:
Managers and Agents

Whereas execs and producers are looking to get films made, managers and agents are looking for writers to represent and develop. However, the exact same screening process applies. Script readers first review all the scripts sent into their offices and write coverage reports on them.

Also, it’s worth noting that—just as with development execs and producers—these script reports are not always written by professional script readers, but by assistants and interns.

Whoever reads the script, however, will be primarily looking at the writer’s potential as a client for the manager or agent in question.

This is where writing samples can come in handy for the aspiring screenwriter. Rather than writing a script that they hope to get made by sending to an exec or producer, they instead write a script that showcases their skills. This is in the hope of getting taken on by a manager or agent.

Screenplay Coverage Example for Managers and Agents

You’ll notice in this script coverage template that they’re written in a very similar style to those written for execs and producers. Very direct, short and lacking any “how-to” feedback for the writer.

(Please note: This is NOT a script coverage example from our company.)

script coverage template

script coverage template

To keep reading the full script coverage example click the button below.

script coverage template

Script Coverage Example #3:
Feature and TV Writers 

All of the script coverage examples we’ve covered so far have been geared toward the someone higher up the chain reading the notes. Now let’s take a look at a script coverage example written for the benefit of the writer.

The purpose of this kind of script coverage is to get a screenplay into shape before the writer sends it off to an exec, producer, manager. Or anyone else of importance in the industry.

It acts as a kind of dry run in order to get a script into shape and improve the writer’s craft, thus avoid burning any bridges before their career has even begun.

Screenplay Coverage Example for Writers

As you’ll see in the following script coverage example, these notes are designed to guide a writer on how to improve their screenplay and also their craft in general. Well, that’s what our script coverage services do here at Script Reader Pro anyway.

The truth is, there are many script consultancies and self-confessed “gurus” out there. But in order to make an informed choice on who to pick, we strongly recommend you ask to see a script coverage example of their work before parting with your cash.

(The following IS a script coverage example from our company.)

Script Coverage template

To keep reading the full script coverage example of our Regular Script Coverage, click the button below.

script coverage example

Script consultancies like ours and independent script analysts, provide a huge variety of script coverage services for writers.

Script Coverage Templates of Our Most Popular Services

♦  Regular Script Coverage Example (4+ pages of notes)

♦  Deluxe Script Coverage Example (12+ pages of notes)

♦  TV Script Coverage Example (3+ pages of notes)

♦  Margin Notes Script Coverage Example (on-the-page notes)

♦  Line Edit Script Coverage Example (on-the-page edits)

♦  Proofread/Formatting Script Coverage Example (on-the-page edits)

As you can see, the term “script coverage” can also be loosely applied to more in-depth services, such as Line Edit and Margin Notes.

Technically, these are more services more akin to something a script doctor would perform. But many companies like ours refer to them all as script coverage services for simplicity’s sake.

Conclusion

All three script coverage examples are written with a specific purpose in mind. Either to log the quality of a submitted script at a company and alert the exec, producer, etc. to any exceptional ones.

Or, to provide the writer themselves with a paid service in which they’re told how their script would fare were it to be sent out into the industry. The style, content and depth of analysis can vary quite a bit between different production companies, etc. and individual analysts.

Company A may love your script, while company B doesn’t. Indeed, reader X at Company A may love your script, while reader Y doesn’t.

Most companies have their own “in-house” way of handling script coverage. But a budding writer shouldn’t preoccupy themselves too much with this. Instead, simply focus on writing the very best script you can.

Get Feedback Sooner Rather Than Later

In general, it’s always advised that a writer gets a professional opinion on their work before sending it out into the industry.

The ideal solution is to give it personally to someone you know who works in the industry, preferably in development. Don’t fall into the trap many aspiring screenwriters make of just sending a script to a producer because your best friend thinks it’s great.

However, not everyone has friends or people they know in the industry. The next best thing is to pay a professional company to evaluate your script. Let them show you how to fix any problems it may have, rather than risking sending it out without knowing if it makes the grade.

Overall, whether you decide to let us or another other screenplay consultancy read your script, always make sure you ask to see a script coverage example first.

screenwriting mentorship

Enjoyed This Post? Read More on How to Become a Screenwriter…

How to Write a Script Outline That Will Save You Months of Rewrites

How to Become a Screenwriter: A Pro’s Guide to Unlocking Your Career

How to Sell a Screenplay: 6 Most Popular Ways New Writers Make a Sale

[© Photo credits: Pexels]

9 Comments
  1. Philippe Thiebeault says:

    I want to sell my script. Contact me and I will give u details.

  2. George Burton says:

    Has anyone used the Ink tip? I don’t want to pay .

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      InkTip’s really good for making connections.

  3. Michelle Alsdon says:

    Great post! Thanks Alex and the ScriptReaderPro team!

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Hi, Michelle – thanks for the comment!

  4. Francine Richan says:

    Really helpful post. Thanks Script Reader Pro.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      You’re welcome, Francine!

  5. Titus says:

    Really helpful. I am not sure to get in contact with an agent or start to try and sell my script by myself via these websites. Also there is a high chance – if anyone will buy it- that they will change it anyway.

    1. Script Reader Pro says:

      Thanks, Titus! Have you seen this post on how getting a manager is a better step than going for an agent?

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