a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Shameless Moment of the Week

I just read a body-switching screenplay (the genre that would not die) that has a scene in which the characters figure out how to switch back into their own bodies. What do they do?

They sit down, and watch all of the other body-switching movies, and decide that the secret is in appreciating each other's life.

Nothing like having your own characters acknowledge how completely unoriginal your ideas are.


At 2:00 PM, Anonymous whl said...

Oh Good Lord, that's hideous.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott, man, really digging your blog. Good work.

Although I can't figure out how you get through so much material. I was thinking about it and, to get through the number of scripts and books you say you get through, you'd have to do at least two scripts a day, plus half a book. And by half a book, I mean you have to read the whole thing, and then write it up the next day. Is that about right?

Do you take notes while you read, or can you recall the whole script when you write the synopsis? I have to take notes for the synopsis, and I also jot down my thoughts for the evaluation.

A Fellow Reader

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Annabel said...

Freaky Friday! That plot sounds so famialiar.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Grubber said...

That's just downright scary.

Scott you said you mostly get stuff from people who have agents does that mean an agent actually thought that was a good enough idea to send in?

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Grubber -- apparently.

Ben -- on a good day, I can do three or four scripts. Or a whole book (reading it all, and writing coverage) and a script besides.

If I couldn't, I couldn't make a living at this.

At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Leif Smart said...

Ben, remember, scripts are meant to be movies, so in theory the most it should take to read one would be 2 hours. So in an 8 hour day, 4 scripts read should be doable. Obviously analysing them takes longer, but you also read faster then a movie, so being able to do 2 or 3 scripts seems very doable.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger PJ McIlvaine said...

Does this mean that if I imagine that I'm Leslie Dixon...never mind.

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply.

Do you take notes while you're reading, or can you recall the entire story and your comments just from memory?



At 1:33 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I take a lot of notes on the script's story beats as I read, so that when I type up the synopsis I can just follow that, and make sure I get everything in the right order and don't forget anything. Usually about 4-5 pages of scrawled notes. This is very much second nature to me now.

Then as soon as I am done reading the script itself, I knock out the comments, while they are fresh in my head.

Some readers type up the synopsis as they go, but I find this breaks up the reading experience too much.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

body switching (shudders) I like this almost as much as ghost/love stories

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply. My process is the same as yours--5 or so pages of scrawled notes as I read. I also jot down my evaluation notes.

But I can only do two a day, and that's only if I don't look away from either the scripts or my computer screen, even for a moment. I'm a fast typer, too, but I generally bug out after two. I've done three in a day, but only two or three times--I don't know what my deal is.

I get complemented on my work often, but I know I'm way too slow.

Dig the blog--really appreciate your frequent entries.



At 1:53 PM, Blogger Fun Joel said...

Scotty --

Reminds me of another script I read. A RomCom (the other most-cliched genre) that was completely full of familiar beats. But the "conceit" was that the characters knew how cliched the moments were, so isn't it funny that they were "actually" happening. Ugh.

And Grubber, you'd be amazed at what some "agents" will send in. They should be ashamed to call themselves agents. Or maybe they just operate on the shutgun principle.


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