I received feedback from a screenplay reader service that rated my script a "Consider" and gave me a great review along with some good notes. I emailed them, thanking them for the coverage and asked whether or not I could name drop them and their review in my query emails. My script is a coming-of-age drama that doesn't have high-concept hook and my thinking was any kind of positive review could only help.
The response I got was as follows:
"I wouldn't mention the Consider, nor would I mention a Recommend. Our opinion means nothing to agents and producers."
My question: if my script gets positive feedback from a (reliable) script reader with the industry credits it claims to have, can I use it to solicit my script? Otherwise, what's the point?
What is the point indeed? You just hit on the reason why so many people advise against paying someone for coverage. In most cases a positive review will mean very little as far as opening the doors. At least with most coverage services, I'd never spend the money on the hope that a positive review will somehow get you read somewhere. Most of the time, I'd suggest using those services only as a barometer of how good your work is relative to all the other amateurs out there.
Your reader is right in that their opinion probably won't open many doors. There aren't many coverage services that have a strong enough reputation to make a real pro interested in something that service liked. The Black List is one of the few that does. If you get an 8 or higher on the Black List, I bet you'll get some read requests when you mention that fact in a query.
Since that was a quick one, let's get in one more question. This one comes from Annette:
I hope you would be willing to answer a quick question about written dialog. I have a redneck character who speaks like this:
"Yer gonna hafta read somethin' here"
Do you have an opinion on writing like that or would it be better to write in the action, a character who talks like a redneck and let the actor mold his voice?
Either alternative is acceptable. I think the trick to writing dialect is not overdoing it. Sometimes it helps the read to have the dialogue written that way. However, you can't go too far overboard in writing out the speech phonetically. I read one script with a Scottish brogue and the writer seemed determined to give every syllable a thick accent. The result was I had to read each line of dialogue carefully, often sounding it out before I could make sense of what was said.
That's a case of the accent working against the script. It forced too much effort on my part and kept breaking the flow of the story. The result was not a very good read. The plot was rather weak too, but it certainly wasn't helped by the presentation.
So go with whatever flows best. As you point out, the actor can always add the accent later themselves.
2 weeks ago