What Do Script Readers Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

A Script Reader is often hired by film and television studios to read script proposals and provide an objective opinion on whether it could become a successful production. The opinion of a Script Reader may determine whether or not the script moves to the funding phase of the process.

The Script Reader job is an entry-level position, and they should have a bachelor’s degree in a suitable field. They should have experience in writing, and they need to be familiar with the standard format and the layout of a screenplay and a reader’s report. They should also be familiar with current trends and have the skills to know a quality script when they read one.



Script Readers

The primary responsibility of the Script Reader is to read new script proposals and determine its chances of success if it goes into production. The Script Reader gets the script from the Script Writer and advises the Development Executive on his or her determinations.

Salary: $58800
Education: No degree required
Personality: The Artist

What they do

The primary responsibility of the Script Reader is to read new script proposals and determine its chances of success if it goes into production. The Script Reader gets the script from the Script Writer and advises the Development Executive on his or her determinations.

Catalog the Script

Often the Script Reader begins by cataloging the script. There is usually a database, and the script is entered including the author, title, date, subject, and other information required by the studio. This can vary. Then, the Script Reader needs to make sure that the script is in the proper format. This includes the proper indentation, border width, loglines, spacing, and page numbers. If it isn’t formatted correctly, it will be cast aside.

Check the Cover Page

The cover page should have the title, author, date, address, phone number, and any other required information. The script should be three-hole punched with two brass brads in the top and bottom holes. This is also important. Most filmmakers require that formatting and procedures are correct before they allow the Script Reader to move on with the script.

Read the Script

The Script Reader reads the script and identifies whether or not the story is interesting and current. They look for realistic and unique characters and a clear theme. They will also evaluate whether these characters will appeal to an audience. They are skilled in identifying scripts that have a good chance to make it in the industry.

This part of the job is based on extensive experience reading and watching films, and the Script Reader has a good knowledge of narrative and drama techniques and can visualize the story. The first thing they do is read the script so that they can provide feedback.

Write a Report on the Script

The Script Reader will write a report on the script once it is read. This includes several key pieces of information. The report will often be divided into seven sections, including the following:

  • Logline: This is a one-line summary of the main idea.
  • Premise: This is where the Script Reader analyzes the originality and commercial potential of the script.
  • Synopsis: This is where they break down the plot.
  • Tone and Genre: The Script Reader analyzes the actual style and how it is communicated.
  • Comments: This is where the Script Reader lists strengths and weaknesses of the script.
  • Summary: A summary of his or her findings
  • Verdict: This is the Script Reader’s recommendation to move forward with the script or not

Stay Current on Film Trends

Another important aspect of this job is to stay up to date on current film trends. They can watch movies or read about them, but they should know what is trending, what works, and what doesn’t. They will know what kinds of films the studio wants to produce at that moment in time.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You get to read a lot of new material

If you enjoy reading, this is a great job. You get to read new material all the time. There are more scripts coming into film studios than they have time to read, so if you enjoy reading, this is a great opportunity.

You get to stay up to date on trending films

If you enjoy watching movies and being on top of what is trending, this is a great job. You will need to know what is current so that you can properly write your recommendations for the scripts you review.

You gain experience in the industry

If you want to move up in the film industry, this is often a starting position before you move up and become a screenwriter one day.

You get to be part of the creative process

As the first person to read the script, your vision and imagination is what determines whether the script moves to the next level. This helps to shape the script as it moves through the process.

Cons

You do a lot of busywork

You have to catalog each script and make sure that it fulfills certain requirements before you get to read it. This can be tedious. Many scripts don’t actually make it to the next step of the process.

You have to stay organized and follow procedures

In addition to cataloging the script, you have to write a report. It will be in a specific format, and you need to stay organized.


Where they work

Film Studios
Literary or Talent Agencies
Production Companies
Theaters


Script Readers usually work for film and television studios, but they might also work for agents. They work for anyone who is looking for fresh new stories to turn into a production. This can be in many different facets of the entertainment industry. They may work for a production company, a theater, or a film sales agent. They often work for companies that host screenwriting competitions and help determine the winner of the contest. In addition, they sometimes work for literary agents, talent agents, or actors who are looking for a new role. There are a lot of different areas where they can work.

How to become one

Step One: Get Your Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing

Although you aren’t necessarily required to have a degree, it is a good idea to have your degree in Creative Writing or a relevant field. This helps to ensure that studios take you seriously when you schedule an interview.

Step Two: Get Work Reading for Free

While you are in college or working another job, start getting jobs reading for free for a reputable person or studio. This allows you to put them down on your resume, and they might connect you to paying jobs. You will have a better future by reading for a reputable company for free than by getting paid to read for a second rate studio.

Step Three: Apply for Script Reader Jobs

Once you have some experience under your belt, apply for a job with a company that needs your services. You should have your resume and tell them why they should hire you.

Should you become one

A script reader needs to be creative and friendly. You need to be able to communicate your reaction to the script to others in the studio. You should be able to envision how the movie will look on the screen. This job is also suitable for a person who isn’t as outgoing because you do not need to spend too much time interacting with others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.


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