Frequently Asked Questions For Writers
How much do you charge?
- short script under 20 pages: $59
- half-hour spec or pilot: $99
- one-hour spec or pilot: $109
- feature (130 pages or fewer): $149
- feature over 130 pages: $149 plus $1 for each page over 130
Note: I also offer proofreading for spelling, grammar and formatting directly in your Final Draft or Fade In file. For native English speakers, I charge $1 per page if you also order notes and $1.25 per page if you order proofing alone. For non-native English speakers, I will quote you a price based on a sample of your script. For many writers, it'll be the same $1 per page.
Returning customers and customer referrals still get $5 off (just please give me the name of the person who referred you!).
What's the difference between "script coverage" and "script notes"?
Script coverage is the kind of report I write for studios and producers. It contains a synopsis (1-2 pages for a feature), a few paragraphs of general comments and a rating of PASS, CONSIDER or RECOMMEND. Some employers also require specific ratings of POOR, FAIR, GOOD and EXCELLENT for Concept, Plot, Character and Dialogue. Script coverage lets my supervisors know if they should bother to read the script, if the concept is lackluster but the writer is someone to watch, what potential the project might have, what weaknesses would need to be addressed, and what properties it could be compared to (An Adam Sandler comedy and a Mark Duplass comedy are very different - but before I read, my bosses might only know that the script is a "comedy").
Script notes are what I provide for writers. Instead of a formal synopsis (I can never understand why writers want synopses of their own work) and a couple paragraphs of comments about the project's potential, I'll give you several pages of page-specific suggestions of where problems lie and how I think you can fix these problems, depending on what you're aiming for. I won't try to push you into any specific direction, but will offer advice for the directions I think are most commercial or interesting or make the most sense. I pride myself on being honest but supportive. I'm very meticulous, down to specific lines of dialogue. Writing these notes takes me longer than writing basic comments for coverage does.
Why should I get notes from you?
Writing is rewriting -- even the most experienced professional screenwriters go through draft after draft and get feedback from others. Many writers only ever get notes for free from friends, and that's totally fine -- but if you're not in LA and/or your friends aren't in the industry, you might not get the thorough or objective notes you're hoping for. An "I like it!" from your mom can only help so much, right? Sometimes friends are also afraid to hurt our feelings with the truth.
How are your notes different from the ones I'd get from The Black List?
You can get $75 feedback from The Black List, but Black List readers only make $40 per script, which means that if they take 3 hours to read AND write up notes, they're only making $13.33 an hour. They do a good job of finding the very best scripts, but giving thorough development notes is not the aim of the site. Hollywood Bound & Down has a good post explaining more about this kind of feedback. If your script is already in good shape, the Black List can help connect you with the handful of industry pros who are scouring the internet for new material -- but if you're getting really low ratings and you're not sure what to do, you might want more specific comments and suggestions for changes.
If you love my script, will you forward it to managers, agents or other people in the entertainment industry?
I'm going to say no, only because I don't want you to get your hopes up and pay me for a referral rather than notes. If you think your script is a final draft that's ready for Hollywood, please save your money. Yes, I have passed along client scripts that I liked, but my referrals didn't result in instant fame and fortune. I can't guarantee what will happen; my friends might not have time to read your script. Or they might read it and dislike it. Or they might like it but not be able to get their bosses to read it. There's just too much uncertainty for me to make promises.
What will my notes document contain?
You'll get a document of three to five pages of single-spaced notes addressing the structure, plot, conflict, characters, dialogue, format, commercial viability and writing style/voice of your script. If you don't order proofing, I will also mention if your script contains a lot of errors in grammar or formatting. I'm happy to focus on any specific aspect of the script that you're concerned about or do a cold read. I'll also recommend any relevant scripts I think you should read or shows/films I think you should watch. Note: I do not write annotations on your script itself.
Can I see a sample notes document?
Sure, I can email you one in your genre.
How long will it take for me to get my notes?
My turnaround time is generally 7-14 days, but can vary based on my workload. When you contact me, I will offer you a specific notes delivery date and save that date for you in my calendar.
What if I need notes sooner?
Just let me know and we can work out a earlier delivery date and some kind of fee, depending on how busy I happen to be that week. Please give yourself time to implement the notes, too -- so if you're submitting your script to a contest on Friday, it might not be wise to get my notes back on Thursday. Writers always wait until the last second!
How many scripts do you read each week?
5-14. I generally try not to read more than two scripts a day (with the exception of half-hour comedies) unless I get really swamped or get rush coverage from studios.
Do you have employees or interns do some of your reading?
No. I read all the scripts myself.
What format should I send my script in?
PDF is best for notes, but I accept most file types. For proofing, I require Fade In or Final Draft documents.
How do I know if you've seen the TV show I'm speccing?
Just email me or tweet me and ask!
Do you read all genres?
Yes. I currently accept all genres (and get assigned to read all genres), but I consider myself an expert in comedy, romantic comedy and TV comedy. I'm also a big fan of dramas and period scripts -- anything that focuses on character, really. I readily admit that I'm probably not the best person to read your horror movie because I don't really watch them, but things like character and clarity are important across all genres.
Can you give me "the female perspective"?
Yup. Male writers ask me for that all the time.
Will you tell me if my script is a PASS, CONSIDER or RECOMMEND?
I don't automatically add that to my notes document, but yes, I'm happy to do it if you ask.
Will you be my writing partner?
No, I am not looking for a writing partner at this time.
Will getting your notes mean you'll become a producer on my script?
No. I retain no ownership of or attachment to your script, even if you implement every one of my notes.
Can I ask you questions about your notes afterward?
Yes, you can ask a few questions.
How much do you charge for notes on future drafts?
After your first script, you'll get $5 off all future scripts you send me, whether they're completely new ideas or future drafts of scripts I've already read. I don't have a majorly reduced price for additional drafts because it will take me just as long to re-read my first set of notes, read your new draft and write up notes as it would for me to read and write notes on a brand new script. Thanks for understanding!
Do I need to send you a logline or synopsis of my script?
Can you read my logline and tell me if it's good?
Sure, I won't charge extra for that.
Do you need to know any background about me or the script?
No. You are welcome to write a sentence or two if you feel it's helpful or important, but I strongly believe that your script needs to stand on its own. Also, the shorter your email, the more quickly I can respond to it.
Can you give me notes on other materials, such as a treatment, pitch document or a TV series outline?
Definitely! I'm happy to help you in the beginning stage of your writing process. I can quote you a price based on how long your materials are.