Motion picture studios receive over 1,000 scripts a year, and those are
of the official, agent-submitted type. Many more spill over the transom.
So who decides which scripts get made, and which get recycled?
A batallion of readers.
What does a reader do?
Reading for a studio or production company is one of those hellish entry-level jobs you can't escape. You're underpaid, overworked, and reading ("covering") up to 500 pages a night. The end result is a report ("coverage") for each screenplay or book that gives a summary and comments so busy studio executives don't have to read the script. It's a lot like the book reports you did in grade school.
Isn't this terribly unfair?
I know, I know. Some screenwriter has spent the better part of a year assembling this masterpiece and then it's shoveled off to a bitter college grad who doesn't know Chaucer from chopsticks. No wonder Hollywood makes such crappy movies.
The sad fact is, most screenplays suck. And they don't suck in a JUDGE DREDD kinda way. They suck in a worst-movie-ever-on-cable kinda way. Even the ones that aren't physically painful to read often have glaring reasons why no major studio would make them (e.g. a movie about marching bands). As unfair as the reader system is, at least it assures someone at the studio will read the script.
Here are five coverages I wrote over the years:
NATURAL BORN KILLERS
* For the record, all of these scripts were covered for a class at USC. I later read for Prelude Pictures and TriStar, but God forbid I should break their agreement and publish coverage on their obscure scripts.
| MAIN | BIO | MOVIES | COVERAGE | JEOPARDY | MISERY | POETRY |
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