Want to do well in script competitions and when submitting to coverage companies or production companies? First up, you gotta get through the gatekeepers. So what do script readers look for in a script, and what criteria do they have to judge by?
I’ve read for a lot of competitions and coverage places, and the criteria is fairly similar throughout. So here’s a handy list of the ten most common criteria and the sorts of questions readers ask themselves of a script when marking the criteria grid…
Reflects the genre/tone? Unique? Hooks us from the outset?
Original? Strong? Interesting? Fresh?
Engaging? Believable? Steady flow? Can be envisioned playing out on screen? Plot conveyed clearly? Plot is logical? World-building effective?
Rhythm to the action and dialogue? Each scene moves the story forward?
Characters can be invested in? Interactions propel story forward? Fresh and original? Protagonist dimensional and well-developed? Secondary characters believable and well-developed? Clear antagonist? Focus on protagonist over supporting characters’ subplots?
Characters face personal challenges? Results change the story in necessary ways? Conflict rises successfully? Stakes are high? Consequences of failure dire?
Identifiable themes? Reflects themes in an original way?
Strong opening image? First ten pages set the tone? Scenes well balanced? Does structure work even if unconventional? Makes sense?
Free of distracting spelling and grammar issues? Professional format? Scenes well set up? Story flows? Continuity? Writing tight and punchy? Length appropriate for genre? Dialogue natural and has subtext? Too much exposition or camera directions? Tone consistent throughout?
Current? Commercial? Target audience identifiable? Tone reflects target audience? Broad appeal? Ideas translate into merchandise? Attractive to actors/investors? Budget wise?
And now to draw the winner from last week’s giveaway! Aaron Mendelsohn’s ebook The 11 Fundamental Questions will be going to…
Congrats Azurite! Send me your email address and I’ll wing it over to you!