How to Be a Script Reader and Give Great Coverage

I received an email today from someone in New York asking how to become as Script Reader and I thought, “If she wants to know, maybe you want to as well. “

Reading services aren’t just for the big studios, there are directors, actors, producers, investors, and book publishers everywhere who need screenplays evaluated–or “covered”.

Here’s what I told her:

  1. Read a pile o’ scripts. At least five, preferably more…a lot more. Either mix up genres or not but do choose your favorite movies. You can buy published screenplays but there aren’t too many. This site will start you off: Be sure to choose FILM SCRIPTS and not Transcripts.

  2. Get this book and study: Reading for a Living: How to Be a Professional Story Analyst for Film and Television by Terri Katahn.
  3. Try your hand. Just Google “coverage sample” and copy someone’s format. The industry standard should be represented.

Extra credit if you brush up your story knowledge with any or all of these: The Reading List @ [[ The Story Spot ]]

Giving good coverage not only requires the ability to understand the mechanics of a screenplay but also the ability to assess the viability of the project from the standpoint of the person hiring you to read. That’s another skill entirely but without it, your opinion means diddly.

Those are the basics of starting out in screenplay coverage as I see it.

Check out my story services at or click the script pile to the right.

And a tiny url for your sharing pleasure:
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    dianejwright says:
  2. Thank you so much, Diane Jwright, for your many helpful suggestions on how to be a script reader and give great coverage! We have been looking into someone who would give us suggestions as upfront and helpful as this. We greatly appreciate it! Do you doctor scripts? If so, we would be interested in your Doctoring expertise for a script we wrote :) :)

    Once again, thank you! :) :)
    Kim and Misty, Ormiston Twins

    Kim and Misty says:

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