By: Sarah Chaisson-Warner
You know your script inside and out – you’ve lived with it for months, maybe years. You’ve written it, re-written it, taken out characters, added characters, re-worked the plot, and changed the ending.
Now what? It is time to get your script read!
What is a coverage report?
As any writer will tell you, solid, actionable feedback from a professional coverage service is critical for creating a stronger, more successful script.
Coverage was born in the big production studios many years ago. Studio readers would read scripts as “first eyes” on the script – wading through potentially hundreds of screenplays and creating short reports about them for producers. Typically, the reports included a “grade” – Pass, Consider, or Recommend.
While these reports were invaluable to producers and other industry executives, they largely remained internal documents, providing the writer with little feedback about their script. As writers began to search for feedback to make their scripts stronger, coverage services were created.
Coverage at Shore Scripts
Shore Scripts’ coverage service provides writers with valuable feedback for taking scripts to the next level. Patty Papageorgiou, a screenwriter and former post-production coordinator in film & television, serves as Coverage Service Manager for Shore Scripts.
“I really love the idea that we can help someone and provide a second pair of eyes. That is invaluable to a writer. I’m a writer myself, and I know how difficult it is to share your work with people. It’s quite a commitment for a writer. You’re in the thick of it. The feedback comes back and helps the writer see any issues, sometimes you need someone else to say it.” – Patty Papageorgiou
Writers seeking Shore Scripts’ feedback on their screenplays come from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. “We have a mix of writers, some have been doing it years, and we have some new writers looking for tips,” says Patty. But she advises that coverage feedback can be less valuable if the script is only in its first draft. “The first draft should be to get your ideas down. When you feel you’ve done the best you can do and have gotten as far as you can in your project, a second pair of eyes and guidance is helpful.”
What sets Shore Scripts’ coverage service really apart though is our commitment to being transparent, and providing constructive, actionable, and affordable reports.
As Coverage Service Manager, Patty oversees the service and ensures the coverage is consistent, valuable, and authentic. Writers have the option of requesting a specific reader, either by liaising with Patty first to find the appropriate reader or by requesting a reader they previously received coverage from. “Each reader has a specific code and a writer can work with this reader through several rounds of coverage as they develop multiple drafts,” said Patty.
Each of Shore Scripts’ readers has experience both as a writer and as a development professional for contests, production companies, and more. Readers at Shore Scripts have worked for some of the biggest studios and production companies, including Universal, Lions Gate, Working Title, and more.
While other coverage services don’t share their reader lists, writers can see a selection of our readers on our team webpage, including more details about their individual credentials.
To further increase transparency into the coverage process, Shore Scripts provides multiple sample coverage reports before purchase. Writers can see sample coverage reports for TV pilots, features, and shorts and get a sense of the level of feedback provided, and what they can expect from the experience.
Coverage options at Shore Scripts run from $85 for a 3-page coverage report to $210 for a 10-page coverage report.
Writers can also request coverage on scripts longer than these recommendations by paying a small pro-rata fee. Up to 30 additional pages can be processed automatically as you request your report. And on occasion reports can be provided on multiple episodes. If you require a more bespoke coverage request you can contact Patty at the email address below.
Each of the above options above includes a logline and 6 and 10-page reports include a thorough synopsis written by your reader, which can become an invaluable part of your pitch to agents, managers, or producers.
Each coverage report comes with an industry scorecard as well, with your reader offering insights as to how this script might be scored by a reader at a production company. Aspects such as the premise, characters, and structure are included in the scorecard, among others.
Shore Scripts also offers a proofreading service. Shore Scripts proofreaders review your script for spelling, punctuation, and grammar, in addition to making observations on common script formatting conventions. An annotated copy of your script is returned so that you can decide how to take these suggestions into rewrites.
For all our coverage services, the turn-around is timely – typically 2 to 5 days. And we also offer discounts on combined contest entries and coverage report requests throughout the year.
Constructive and Actionable
Writers can expect constructive, actionable, and honest feedback from Shore Scripts readers. “We avoid using words like problem, poor or bad. We aim to be positive and encouraging,” said Patty. “If a script needs work or improvement, we will discuss the changes in a positive light. We highlight the issues and offer suggestions and constructive feedback on how to address these issues.”
Writers also benefit from Shore Scripts’ commitment to quality. Each report is reviewed prior to being sent out and it is this investment in delivering a professional, informed service that sets Shore Scripts apart from other services.
As part of the coverage process, writers can also send follow-up questions to their readers. Writers can also see their Coverfly rating potentially increase as a result of receiving good ratings through Shore’s coverage service.
Getting your script into the hands of industry professionals.
Shore Scripts is known for its strong industry relationships in the US, UK, and around the world. Many of these relationships have been forged over the last decade and allow us to offer a unique opportunity to writers coming to us via our coverage service. Each month, the top 3 scripts are also circulated to Scott Stoops at Good Fear, Daniel Seco at Empirical Evidence, and Peter Katz at Story Driven, all of whom are actively seeking to represent new writers.
Additionally, at any time a reader can recommend a script they have read to our senior staff. If the script is suited for someone on our Industry Roster, Shore Scripts will approach the writer to see if we can send it to them on their behalf.
But don’t take our word for it – see what writers who have purchased our coverage services have to say about our work:
“Thanks Shore Scripts reader for such thorough suggestions. I am very happy about my coverage grade and the very serious and thorough advice. I am glad I found you all and will be sending it back after the rewrite very, very soon again.” –Chanda Walker
“I received coverage on the script from your staff after the first round — and I found it to be incredibly helpful and encouraging. They were insightful and honest notes, and their decorum was first rate, something hard to do when giving feedback. I was so impressed and inspired with the level of sensitivity and intelligence of that coverage – I felt I was in good hands, and the suggestions informed a rewrite.” – Michael Godere
“I can tell it was done with care and has some really smart suggestions. My writing partner and I have paid for coverage before from other sources, and they often fell disappointingly short of being helpful in any way.” –Jeanette Scherrer
I hope you know I think the world of your service. It’s far superior to any other script coverage I’ve used. Highly intelligent and insightful notes were provided by truly professional coverage analysts, who demonstrated a real mastery in their craft. For the first time in a long time I finally had relevant and actionable notes – notes that allowed me to make critical improvements on [my] pilot. Your coverage experts did not merely read my script, they immersed themselves in the characters, plot, and structure, and earned my trust in their feedback.” –David Christopher Loya, Founder – Renegade Lens Pictures.
After 15 years of working in state and national politics, Sarah Chaisson-Warner is moving into the entertainment industry. As the former Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Athena Magazine for Girls, Sarah is now focusing her passion for creative arts through screenwriting. Many of her feature-length scripts focus on the often unseen experiences of gay women throughout American History, and she is also currently writing a sci-fi and a family Christmas script. Her script, Serafina Stavinovna, was placed in “The Next 100” in the 2021 Nicholl Fellowship Competition.
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