MARK
There should be some rule for coverage companies: "Don't send out a request for a review five minutes after the coverage lands in the screenwriter's inbox." You're still reeling from (what often feels like) a kick in the gut - my great first draft isn't quite as great as I thought a week or so ago - "they hate my baby!" But writers sometimes need a (gentle) kick in the gut. Or nudge. Your friends all 'love' it, give a few useful notes, most never finish it, fellow writers are helpful and actually read your script but don't deep dive, the rest of your pals never get through it. My wife got about 30% through my latest draft and moved back to her kindle. Writers' spouses are long-suffering and not the place to place your first or even second draft. So coverage is offered by concerns such as Industrial scripts to put some teeth into literary feedback but sometimes it feels like it's all too easy to become the Lord of all Writing and the God of Screenwriting when reviewing someone else's work. (I know, I've done coverage myself, back in the day). "Hell, My scripts are brilliant...which is why I do paid coverages...." Anyhow, I digress: I wasn't familiar with Industrial Scripts as a coverage resource so I sorta stepped in with trepidation. I've been reading the blog and newsletter for quite a while so I thought I'd give them a try covering my 1950s LA noir-ish thriller. Every coverage writer has a pet peeve or bone to pick I think and my coverage's bone was "making each scene feel like and look like 1950s LA." EXT. HOLLYWOOD AND VINE - WE ARE IN *STILL* IN 1950s LA - DAY. I'm not quite sure what to make of the note about "it’s hard to distinguish whether we are in 2021 Los Angeles or 1950s Los Angeles." "There is a lack of specificity". OK, Scene 22, we are STILL IN 1950s LA. ;). We're in 1959 LA, OK -- I'm not a set designer. And I'm skimming through "Chinatown" again as I write this. I don't THINK Robert Towne was describing LA in the late 40s in every setup scene. Or was he? At some stage, you just have to use your imagination and say: "This is set in 1940s LA." There were also some weird typos: like: "DIALOUGE" for "DIALOGUE" and "inn" for "in". (..."what being inn an...") which led me to believe the coverage writer had used transcription software or just not spell-checked before sending it out. Not a big deal. But overall this was an EXCELLENT bit of coverage. They seem to have great intuition and a clear understanding of the racial themes and challenges to the characters. They understand how my structure needs to work and painted a pretty good roadmap for my next draft. So good. There were some extremely useful suggestions. It seems the writer actually read the whole script and got most of the characters' names right, they had some great suggestions, clearly understand the biz, and 4.5 is probably fairer than 4 but there was that weird note about the setting (how much ink do you devote to reminding people of the era??) The script is set in the late 50s OK! Neither of the other TWO coverage writers picked up on this so I should probably get over myself. And then there were those bizarre typos... Yeah, I'd use Industrial Scripts again - hard-hitting, quirky, diligent pros who don't pull punches. But please use spell-check next time ;).
1 month ago
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