What Do Story Analysts Do

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Story Analysts do not receive a lot of attention but are responsible for bringing many of your favorite movies to the screen. The Story Analyst is considered the gatekeeper of Hollywood, as they are often the first to read screenplays.

Story Analysts are responsible for reading the hundreds of scripts that Producers, Directors, and Actors receive from aspiring Screenwriters. They read, analyze, and review scripts to save others the hassle of finding their next movie or TV project.

If a Story Analyst dislikes a story, it is unlikely to get developed. Here’s a closer look at what they do.



Story Analysts

Story Analysts read screenplays for movies and TV shows sent to the agents of producers and directors. They also summarize the screenplays and provide recommendations to help producers decide whether to develop the story.

Salary: $69000
Education: Bachelor's degree
Personality:

What they do

Story Analysts read screenplays for movies and TV shows sent to the agents of producers and directors. They also summarize the screenplays and provide recommendations to help producers decide whether to develop the story.

Read Scripts Sent to Producers and Production Companies

Story Analysts spend most of their work hours reading scripts. Writers often submit movie and TV scripts to producers, production companies, directors, and actors. The scripts may be submitted directly or through an agent. Along with scripts, Story Analysts may receive other forms of media to review, such as books.

Story Analysts may receive scripts daily and be required to read and analyze them the same day. The typical screenplay contains between 95 and 125 pages. It often takes about one to two hours for a Story Analysts to read a script.

Write Summaries and Reviews of Scripts

After reading scripts, Story Analysts summarize them. The summary often includes a logline, a synopsis, and notes with the analyst’s opinions of the material. The logline is a short, one to two sentence description of the script.

The synopsis provides a detailed summary of the script in three to four pages. Producers and directors read these summaries to gain a general sense of the plot and central conflict without reading the entire script. The summary should highlight every plot point and may gloss over subplots.

List the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Script

The last part of a script summary includes notes from the Story Analyst. The notes may include a list of the strengths and weaknesses of the script and an overall opinion on the quality of the story.

In many cases, the Story Analyst is asked to consider the marketability of the story. Some genres and types of stories are more popular and may draw a bigger audience while niche genres typically appeal to a smaller audience.

Provide Notes to Improve Projects During Development

Along with reading screenplays and other media for future projects, Story Analysts may review the drafts of screenplays for projects that are currently in development. Screenplays are often updated and revised during the production process. A Story Analyst may analyze the revisions to ensure that the project achieves specific goals, such as maintaining a particular tone or pace.

Read Screenplays to Assess the Skills of Writers

Sometimes Story Analysts read screenplays, books, and other media to evaluate the strengths of a Writer before hiring them for an upcoming project. The project may be unrelated to the script. However, the Story Analyst may use previous writings to determine if the Writer is the right person for the job.

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What is it like working as one

Pros

You Get to Read Scripts Before They Become Movies

As a Story Analyst, you may be among the first individuals to read scripts that later become Hollywood blockbusters.

You Have the Ability to Promote Stories That Others May Ignore

Story Analysts often take pride in helping stories get made, especially when others fail to see the value in a screenplay.

You May Get to Interact with Famous Individuals

As Story Analysts are often involved in projects during the development process, they occasionally interact with famous people in the Entertainment industry.

Your Job May Improve Your Writing Skills

Story Analysts understand what works in a script, which can help them when writing their own screenplays.

Cons

Tight Deadlines

Story Analysts occasionally need to read and analyze one or more scripts in a single day and meet other tight deadlines.

Lack of Recognition

Story Analysts do not receive much recognition from peers or the public.


Where they work

Production Studios
Producers and Directors
Talent Agents and Agencies
Freelancers


Full-time Story Analysts typically work at production companies, as almost every major production studio employs Story Analysts to review scripts. Story Analysts may also work for individual Producers, Directors, or Agents. However, most Story Analysts working today are freelancers who work for companies on a contractual basis.

How to become one

Step 1: Study Film and Writing in High School

Story Analysts require a strong knowledge of the film industry and excellent English writing and reading skills, which high school students can work on before college. If the school does not offer film classes, students can explore the industry through independent research or local workshops.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Most Story Analysts hold at least a Bachelor’s degree, making it a requirement for many employers. Common majors include English and Film Studies.

Step 3: Look for Internships and Entry-Level Work

Story Analysts often start as interns or assistants to Producers or experienced Story Analysts.

Step 4: Network and Gain Industry Connections

Working as an intern or Assistant provides valuable experience and a chance to network. Use your connections to find your first job as a Story Analyst.

Step 5: Wait for a Story Analyst to Receive a Promotion

Many Story Analysts work as Assistants until a Story Analyst receives a promotion, creating an opening at the company for a new Story Analyst.

Should you become one

Self-motivation is an essential personality trait for Story Analysts, as they need to manage their time and meet deadlines without supervision. An outgoing personality is also recommended, as the Entertainment industry often requires excellent people skills. Successful Story Analysts are also persistent in pursuing goals, due to the limited availability of positions for Story Analysts.

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