Annual Statement of Transparency (2024)

Competition Script Advancement FAQ

How are scripts assigned to readers?
Readers claim reads from those presented to them in their available queue on Coverfly. For each contest, readers are expected to complete a minimum and a maximum number of reads. Managing these minimums and maximums aims to support the greatest possible diversity of readership throughout the reading of submissions and the equity of payment and rewards for readers. Our Coverage Service Manager is always on hand should a reader feel they are unable to provide feedback on a script. In these instances, the script will be offered to the other members of the reader team.

How many different readers read and review a script for each round?
Each submission is read by a reader in the first round. For each subsequent round that a submission progresses to, a new reader reads the script. At the end of each round feedback is collated and discussed internally as we decide which scripts will progress to the next round.

What are the placement criteria for each round?
Placement criteria vary between contests and are defined by the contest score received and by the outcome of our quality assurance process for deciding placings. Each contest’s placings will be decided as a percentage of the highest-scoring submissions, sufficient to ensure that all placings can be awarded whilst providing the opportunity for selection. The percentage of submissions selected for placing and/or progression for each contest will be determined by the number of placings available and the number of submissions received. Before the announcement of placings, a proportion of the highest-scoring submissions will be reviewed by senior members of the Shore Scripts team to ensure the scores conform to the Shore Scripts scoring criteria and the contest’s goals.

Who provides the optional feedback notes? Does their feedback affect script placement?
Within a given reading round it is the same reader who scores the contest entry and provides any requested coverage. Scripts are read once in each round of a contest except in instances where a complaint is upheld and a second reading is agreed upon. In the event of a complaint being upheld any associated contest read will be deleted and the submitted draft will be made available to be claimed by a different reader from the reader involved in the complaint. The objective when scoring for the contest is to assess how well the submitted draft fulfills the goals of the contest. The objective when providing coverage is to assist the writer in the development of their script respecting the format and premise of the submitted draft.

Which scripts are read by the industry judges? How many pages do they read? Does their input affect script placement?
For the Feature Screenplay and TV Pilot Contests, and the Short Film Fund, our industry Judges each read five full scripts from a selection of the Finalists. Their feedback, along with that received from other senior members of the team, determines the Grand Prize Winner(s) and any applicable runners-up. For the Script Development Fund, placings are determined solely by Shore Scripts readers and staff.

Competition Statistics

Feature Screenplay

2023 Placements:

  • Quarter-Finalists – 10%
  • Semi-Finalists – 5%
  • Finalists – 2%
  • Winners – 1%

2023 Submissions: 1040

TV Pilot 1-Hour

2023 Placements:

  • Quarter-Finalists – 10%
  • Semi-Finalists -5%
  • Finalists – 1%
  • Winners – 0.5%

2023 Submissions: 933

TV Pilot ½-Hour

2023 Placements:

  • Quarter-Finalists – 10%
  • Semi-Finalists – 5%
  • Finalists – 1%
  • Winners – 0.5%

2023 Submissions: 688

Short Film Fund 1

2023 Placements:

  • Finalists – 1%
  • Winners – 0.5%

2023 Submissions: 1850

Short Film Fund 2

2023 Placements:

  • Semi-Finalists – 3%
  • Finalists – 1%
  • Winners – 0.5%

2023 Submissions: 1848

Script Development Fund

2023 Placements:

  • Finalists – 3%
  • Winners – 0.5%

2023 Submissions: 579

Reader Qualifications

Readers are recruited in response to advertisements placed by Shore Scripts and from proactive approaches by readers seeking employment with Shore Scripts. Shore Scripts does not insist on any specific academic or professional qualifications. After a review of a resume and coverage sample by the Coverage Service Manager, the applicant will either be informed that their application has been unsuccessful or they will be invited to complete an unpaid trial coverage report for a short script. Potential readers who undertake the trial coverage are provided with guidance as to the format and content and provided with a coverage report template. Readers invited to join the team are requested to provide information as to their reading preferences concerning format and whether they are prepared to read R-rated material. This is to ensure the reader is not inadvertently provided with a script that they might find offensive.
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Reader Compensation

All our readers are paid for each contest read and for coverage reporting. Each year we review our reader pay rates against revenue available and anticipated submissions. After the first round of a contest the pay scale for reading increases to reflect the prioritization and commitment of time required from our readers to meet announcement deadlines.
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Policies & Procedures - Feedback, Reader Bias, Inquiries

At Shore Scripts, we work hard to provide vital industry connections to emerging screenwriters and filmmakers. Our goal is to encourage, support, and facilitate the development of new screenwriting talent around the world. Sadly, on very rare occasions, we don’t always get it right. Inquiries and complaints can take many forms – from issues of bias, misunderstanding, carelessness, or requests for more information where things are unclear or new. If a writer has questions about their coverage or contest submission, they can raise an inquiry or complaint with us at any time via email.

All of our coverage reports are reviewed by our Coverage Service Manager before they are delivered to the writer. If any bias or any other issue is detected by us, we reach out to review the coverage with the reader and take any further action as appropriate. If we do not detect an issue but the writer contacts us with their concerns, we will investigate and consult with the writer as to the best course of action. If a reader consistently turns in biased, improper, or unfair assessments, we will remove them from our reader team.

Team Demographics

In July 2023 we asked our team members to participate in an anonymized survey. All questions were non-mandatory. These are the results from those who chose to participate, representing 54% of the current team

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Gender Identity

  • Female 66%
  • Male 29%
  • Non-binary/non-conforming 2%
  • Prefer Not to Say 3%

Race/Ethnicity

  • Asian or Pacific Islander 12%
  • Black or African American 2%
  • Caucasian 68%
  • Filipino 2%
  • Hispanic or Latino 2%
  • Middle Eastern 2%
  • Multiracial or Biracial 5%
  • Prefer Not to Say 7%

Age

  • Under 25 12%
  • 25-29 20%
  • 30-39 34%
  • 40-49 24%
  • 50-59 5%
  • 60+ 2%
  • Prefer Not to Say 3%

Sexual Orientation

  • Bisexual 22%
  • Gay 5%
  • Heterosexual 56%
  • Other 5%
  • Prefer Not to Say 12%

Location

  • USA 29%
  • UK & Ireland 56%
  • Europe 7%
  • South Africa 3%
  • Prefer Not to Say 5%

Religious Affiliation

  • Agnostic 2%
  • Christian 20%
  • Hindu 5%
  • Jewish 7%
  • No Religion 51%
  • Spiritual 3%
  • Prefer Not to Say 12%

Disability

  • No 90%
  • Yes 5%
  • Prefer Not to Say 5%

Veteran Status

  • No 95%
  • Prefer Not to Say 5%

Level of Education

  • High School 5%
  • Post Graduate 49%
  • University 44%
  • Prefer Not to Say 2%

Income

  • <$100k annually 59%
  • > $100k annually 14%
  • Prefer Not to Say 27%

Industry Experience

  • 0-1 Years 15%
  • 2-3 Years 15%
  • 4-6 Years 24%
  • 7-9 Years 5%
  • 10+ Years 39%
  • Prefer Not to Say 2%

Duration

Our team demonstrates a wide range of industry experience in addition to reading & coverage reporting for other contests and companies, including Executive Producer, Script Supervisor, Author, Script Editor, Associate Producer, Film Critic, Writers Room Storyliner, Film Distribution Assistant, Dramaturg, Cast & Crew.
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As advocates for screenwriters and filmmakers at the start of their careers in a time of unprecedented creativity and yet unequal opportunity, we are committed to creating more opportunities for under-represented writers year on year. As such, we review our internal organizational structure, our policies and procedures, and our submission data on an annual basis to drive our initiatives and contest development. We hope that by publishing an annual transparency report we can impart even greater rigor to this process and do more to facilitate the opportunities for emerging screenwriters and filmmakers.
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Actions Underway in 2024

  • Working with new prize-givers and co-hosted contest opportunities to engage with a wider community of screenwriters and filmmakers.
  • Reviewing the mediums through which we offer feedback to writers to expand our inclusiveness including the potential for online consultations and a new line-editing service for scripts not originally written in English.
  • Creating new awards, including finishing-fund financing for short films not originally filmed in English, to enable a greater number of writers’ films to reach a wider audience.
  • Expansion of the Script Development Fund to two seasons per year to support a greater number of writers whilst they write their screenplays.
  • Expansion of contest mentorships and placings available to increase the number of tailored industry connection opportunities for writers who come to us via our contests and funding programs.
  • Improving the feedback available to writers who are recognized via our 3 Monthly Best from Coverage scheme.
  • Continuing to increase the diversity and inclusion of our team in parity with our writer community.
  • Continuing our quarterly outreach to writers who use our services to gain their feedback on their experience and suggestions for improvement, and continuing our annual program of review of which this transparency initiative forms a part.

What our Writers Say

OUR READERS

Our experienced readers have read for some of the biggest studios and production companies out there, including Universal, Lionsgate, Working Title, BBC, Netflix, and many others. Here are some of the members of our team.

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3, 6 & 10 PAGE COVERAGE FOR YOUR SCREENPLAY
Coverage Report includes a Logline and feedback on your script's Premise & Theme, Hook, Stakes & Plot, Characters, Dialogue & Sound, Producibility, and overall Presentation. Plus a Conclusion providing a summary of your script's key strengths and areas for improvement. Includes an Industry Scorecard.

  • Constructive, actionable feedback
  • Scores and Industry Pass/Consider/Recommend
  • Detailed Coverage
  • Additional industry exposure offered to submissions with strong evaluations

2024 6-Page Feature