Choosing a Script Service or Screenplay Consultant Part III: The Triple Threat

The Triple Threat: Industry Vet, Teacher and Coach

Due to the recent economy woes and all the layoffs in Hollywood, you’ll probably spot more new script services founded by recently downsized development and agency employees,.  Yes, they’ve worked in the industry, but have they taught and coached writers to improve their work?

As I stressed in part one of this article, there’s no substitute for years of teaching and coaching writers.  My time on the job in the industry was only half of my training — teaching and guiding hundreds of writers was the second half.  I’ve learned so much from you writers and I’ve tried to use it to make me better at what I do.

Here’s an example. Years ago, a client stressed to me that I was being quite harsh.  My “tough love” approach was leaning too heavily on the tough and not enough on the love! So I took that lesson to heart and from that day forward, decided to communicate more positive feedback into my notes. I now always begin with what I liked about a script, before I get into what needs work.

I’m still going to be direct, honest and yes, tough, because I can guarantee you the industry will be ten times tougher, but I also understand that an artist needs to first hear good things about their work for them to be receptive to any criticism. When I show my own work to friends and colleagues, I say “Tell me something nice first.  Tell me what you liked before you get into what you didn’t like.”

And if they don’t, I force them to watch a Twilight marathon on a continuous loop until their head explodes.  But that’s just me.  Your “approach” may differ.

Key principles…

  • Buyer Beware

  • Know your Reader

  • Industry Vet AND Teacher

  • Coverage? Meh.

Does that help? I know there’s a lot of options out there on Ye Olde Internets so it helps to have some context and experience to guide you.

I wish you luck in finding the right coach. If I get the opportunity to work with you, then I look forward to helping you achieve your writing goals.

Good Luck and Happy Writing!


Daniel Calvisi

Related: Don’t Pay for Script Coverage

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