A script consultant is like a recording studio
One afternoon in April 1990, Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and drummer Chad Channing arrived at producer Butch Vig’s Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin… “They rolled up in a van,” says Vig, “and they probably hadn’t taken a bath or shower in three or four days.” The songs Nirvana began recording that day would eventually become Nevermind.
Source: Rolling Stone.
On January 3, 1991, five young musicians who called themselves “LunchHead” entered the same studio, used the same equipment as Nirvana, and paid Butch Vig the same fee.
Nirvana’s Nevermind went on to become one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 30 million copies worldwide and forever cementing the band in rock’n'roll history. (September 24, 2011, marks the 20th anniversary of Nevermind)
Why do I mention these moments in rock history, you ask? To make a point…
I am a recording studio.
It wasn’t the studio or the equipment or even the producer that set these two bands apart. Ultimately, it was the band. The creative artists behind the music and their drive to get their work to the top. (For those of you who think that Nirvana just stumbled into their success, read Kurt Cobain’s journals for his multi-step business plan to get the band on a major record label.)
I used to think that the best analogy for a Screenplay Consultant was a fitness trainer.
No matter who you are or what level of shape you’re in, you can hire a trainer to help you get fit. You may quit after one session or you may stick with it and transform your body and habits. It’s up to you.
But, I think screenwriting is more precise than that, and, of course, the writer must balance creativity with discipline and process, so it’s not quite the same as body-building (wherein you can get creative with your workout, but, let’s face it, you’re stuck with your basic anatomy).
I think it’s more accurate to say that a screenplay consultant is like a professional recording studio.
I give you the tools, a proven working method and my “ear,” and then it’s up to you to create an amazing product and get it into the right hands at the right companies.
Some writers will work with a consultant and never write another script. Some will sell scripts and launch careers.
Others join LunchHead cover bands. These guys, however, soon starve. Or, rather, they would starve if LunchHead existed. Did I get ya?
In closing, if you remember one thing from this article, remember this…
Grunge will never die.
Related: Why Hire Me?
Related: Work With Me
P.S. Kudos to John Lubben’s brother for creating the name LunchHead in the mid-90s. (Where are you, John Lubben?)