Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

Writer Bryan Young Explains Script Coverage for Screenwriters

There’s screenwriting, and then there’s the business of screenwriting. SoCreate will remove a lot of barriers that keep writers from turning their great ideas into screenplays (), but you’ll still need to know a thing or two about how movies get made. We can rely on the great advice from creatives who live and breathe show business every day – writers like Bryan Young.

Bryan is an author, a filmmaker, a journalist, and a podcaster. The guy knows how to tell a story! He regularly writes for StarWars.com, and hosts one of the most popular podcasts for Star Wars fans called “Full of Sith.” We caught up with him for an in-depth interview on all things screenwriting.

There seems to be some confusion among writers about script coverage, versus script notes, versus script consultants. And the confusion is valid – what’s a screenwriter to do once they finish their screenplay? Well, it depends where you want to go next.

Script notes will get you detailed feedback on your script, directed at you, the screenwriter. But coverage is directed in-house if you will.

“Coverage is when a reader for a contest or at a studio or at an agent’s office has their reader go through and make basically a book report of your screenplay,” Bryan explained. “That reader is that first level of gatekeeper. They write down who the characters are, what sort of major action sequences there are, what the story is about, and then they rate it. This would be a pass, or an accept.”

Screenwriter and Journalist Bryan Young

Of course, aim for that accept pile.

“If it’s acceptance or maybe somewhere in between, the person above the reader, they will read that one-page book report and decide whether they want to read the screenplay themselves."

Understanding your audience – and I’m not talking about the audience who will eventually see your film – is really important.

“Your first audience is always that reader whose job it is to say ‘no’ for as many reasons as possible. Because they don’t want to be the person who said ‘yes’ to a screenplay that loses the studio $200 million.”

True!

Write the script that earns $200 million,

You may also be interested in...

Need Exposure for Your Screenplay? Enter a Contest, Says Screenwriter Doug Richardson

Need Exposure for Your Screenplay? Enter a Contest, Says Screenwriter Doug Richardson

There’s so much hard work that goes into your screenplay, and when you’re finally done, you want someone to SEE it! Easier said than done. “Someone” usually doesn’t include your friends and family members. They’ll tell you it’s great, and you won’t believe them. And rightfully so, because unless your friends know a thing or two about movie-making, they may not know how to spot a good script when they see one. Writing a screenplay is a journey, and the key to improving your writing is often rewriting. To get feedback, and determine where you fall in the pack, you’re going to need a subjective third party ...
Are Script Consultants Valuable? Writer Jeanne V. Bowerman Says Yes

Are Script Consultants Valuable? This Screenwriter Says Yes, and Here’s Why

Depending on where you’re at in your screenwriting craft, you may have considered hiring a script consultant. Also called script doctors or script coverage (with varying definitions of what, exactly, each provides), consultants could be a valuable tool if you know how to use them. I wrote a blog about the topic where you can learn more, including pointers about the best way to choose a consultant that’s right for you. If you’re on the fence about consultants and you’ve got about a minute, watch this interview with screenwriter Jeanne V. Bowerman. She explains how she used...
How to Find a Writing Mentor to Help You Hone Your Craft

How to Find a Writing Mentor to Help You Hone Your Craft

I didn’t discover the value of mentors until later in life, and I wish I would have sooner. Mentors can help you avoid mistakes in your career (and life) because they’ve already made them and learned from them. They can give you honest advice, and support if you’re down. They can help you make connections and find jobs. I never knew how to find a mentor and was lucky enough to have mine find me. If you’re in the market for a screenwriting mentor, there are some easy ways to find someone willing to guide you, according to New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry. He told us he was fortunate enough to...

Comments