5 Reasons Your Screenplay or Pilot Script Needs Coverage & Notes

David Wappel script
Your script might suck. Script coverage and getting notes can help you prevent that. We've confronted these issues a million times. Trust us, this is good advice.

Script coverage is useful. Flat out, no doubt. If you have a screenplay, spec TV pilot, teleplay, radio play…whatever, you need coverage, and probably notes too. Pros have people that read their script for them, and now you do too. Here’s why you need it.

1) Your screenplay is bad

I’m sorry, but it is. Nobody’s first draft is good. Nobody’s second, third and fourth drafts are that good either. And the biggest problem is that you don’t know it yet. You need someone to tell you. Someone that knows what’s good and what isn’t. Someone who gets paid purely to tell you if your screenplay is good or not. A professional reader can do that for you.


2) You’ll discover commercial viability

Sometimes you have a great story and wonderful characters, but someone is making almost the same movie. A reader can tell you not only if your script is good, but if it’s even marketable right now. Timing is a big issue, and knowing what’s been done, what’s going on and what is about to happen is a big advantage a reader can give you. You may have had your head in the sand while you were writing, but readers are paid to take the pulse of the industry and know what’s happening. Having someone with their ear to the ground can put your screenplay within the larger context of the market and let you know how you’ll fare.


3) Readers don’t care about you

A big advantage that you get when you pay a reader to cover your script is that they don’t care if you’re screenplay will be successful or not. They have no eggs in your basket and will give it to you straight up. They are paid to do one job. If you’re hugely successful or brand new, they’ll treat your script the same way. In fact, most coverage services don’t allow the readers to know the author if it might taint their notes. Readers aren’t your friends or your family. They’re cold blooded script hounds who get paid to read and tell you exactly what they think, regardless of how it makes you feel. Might sting a bit when you get your screenplay back and it’s all slashed up, but you’ll thank them later for calling it like it is.

4) It will happen anyway

Even if you don’t pay for script coverage on your own, it will be covered anyway when you submit your script to festivals, competitions and production companies. The only difference is that when a reader writes a big “Pass” on their coverage notes, it’s going to potential producers and not back to you to fix it. Scripts have a shelf life, and if your script gets a bad reputation early on, it will be difficult to get it in front of people who matter a second time. Get professional coverage early, and know ahead of time what the studio readers are going to say about it. Keep retooling it until that “Pass” becomes a “‘Consider” or, if you’re lucky, a “Recommend.”

5) It will make your script better

Bottom line: If you get professional feedback, you’ll know exactly what you need to to do make your script better. That’s it. Even if you don’t want to have it produced. Even if you don’t want to enter it into competitions. If you want your script to be better, get it read. By actual readers. That’s it. It’s a no brainer.

ECG is proud to now offer full script coverage services. We will provide a coverage summary, comments and notes. We will read your screenplay, teleplay, reality TV treatment or any other script for moving picture media. You’ll receive straightforward honest feedback, and we can advise you on how to take your project to the next level, whether it be through helping you rewrite or greenlighting it into production! Call for a free script consultation today!

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