Screenplay consulting services:
Service descriptions & definitions.
By- Michael McKown & Robert Chatterbott
Ghostwriters Central, Inc., has several highly-qualified screenwriters under contract. We provide screenplay consulting services to writers who need help. The following article goes into depth about what a script consultant does, the definition of the character arc, marketing considerations for the film concept, and how screenplay consulting differs from mere script coverage.
We’re with you and we will be happy to assist. All you need to do is reach out for help. Tell us what you need and you’ll be put in touch with a qualified screenwriter. Our consulting services are billed on an hourly basis. Clients receive a free consultation with the screenwriter, during which they will receive an estimate for the number of hours required. The client may then buy a block of time with the writer. The fees appear on our ghostwriting rates page.
What does a screenplay consultant do?
A screenplay consultant, also known as a script consultant, is a professional who provides feedback and guidance on screenplays. Their primary role is to analyze and evaluate a screenplay, offering objective and constructive criticism to help improve its overall quality and marketability. Here are some key tasks performed by a screenplay consultant:
Script Analysis: A consultant will thoroughly read the screenplay and assess its strengths and weaknesses, including elements like structure, characters, dialogue, pacing, and overall storytelling. They will identify areas that need improvement and provide detailed feedback.
Story Development: Consultants help writers develop their story ideas and concepts, offering guidance on plot structure, character arcs, theme development, and narrative techniques. They assist in refining the story’s core elements to enhance its dramatic impact and audience appeal.
Formatting and Style: A screenplay consultant ensures that the script adheres to industry standards in terms of formatting, layout, and style. They make sure the screenplay follows accepted conventions, making it easier for producers, directors, and other industry professionals to read and understand.
Feedback and Suggestions: The consultant provides a comprehensive analysis of the screenplay, identifying specific areas that may need improvement. They offer constructive criticism, pointing out issues and offering suggestions for enhancing the story, characters, dialogue, and overall structure.
Marketability and Genre Considerations: Script consultants consider the target market and genre of the screenplay, evaluating its commercial potential. They provide insights and recommendations to align the script with industry trends and audience expectations, maximizing its chances of attracting attention from agents, producers, or studios.
Collaboration and Support: Some screenplay consultants offer ongoing support and collaboration throughout the writing process. They may provide additional feedback on revised drafts or help with specific challenges that arise during the development of the screenplay.
It’s important to note that screenplay consultants do not guarantee success or guarantee that a script will be sold or produced. However, their expertise and guidance can significantly improve the quality and marketability of a screenplay, increasing its chances of success in the highly competitive entertainment industry.
What is a character arc?
In a screenplay, a character arc refers to the transformation or development of a character throughout the story. It is the journey the character undergoes, typically starting from a certain mindset, emotional state, or belief system and evolving or changing in response to the events and conflicts they face.
Character arcs are an essential element of storytelling as they add depth and complexity to characters, making them more relatable and engaging for the audience. A well-crafted character arc allows the audience to witness the growth, change, or realization experienced by the character, often leading to personal transformation.
Character arcs can take various forms, and here are three common types:
Positive Change Arc: This is a character arc where the protagonist begins the story with a flaw, a limiting belief, or an emotional wound. Throughout the story, they encounter challenges, face conflicts, and learn valuable lessons. As a result, they evolve, overcome their flaws, and achieve personal growth or a positive change in their outlook, behavior, or goals. This type of arc is often seen in stories of personal triumph or redemption.
Negative Change Arc: In this type of arc, the character starts the story with positive qualities, good intentions, or a moral compass but gradually succumbs to negative influences, temptations, or internal conflicts. They might make poor choices, become corrupted, or lose sight of their values. By the end of the story, they may experience a downfall, personal loss, or come to a realization about the consequences of their actions. This type of arc is commonly found in tragedies or cautionary tales.
Flat Arc: Unlike the previous arcs that involve significant change, a flat arc is characterized by a protagonist who remains steadfast in their beliefs, values, or convictions throughout the story. Instead of changing themselves, they impact and influence the world around them, inspiring others to change or guiding them towards a specific outcome. This type of arc is often seen in stories where the protagonist serves as a moral compass or a symbol of unwavering principles.
It’s important to note that character arcs are not limited to the protagonist. Supporting characters can also have their own arcs, contributing to the overall narrative and providing contrast or support to the main character’s journey.
By incorporating character arcs into a screenplay, writers can create engaging narratives that explore human nature, personal growth, and the complexities of the human experience.
Marketing considerations for the screenplay and finished film
When turning a screenplay into a movie, there are several marketing considerations to take into account. These considerations aim to maximize the film’s appeal to the target audience, generate buzz, and ultimately drive box office success. Here are some key marketing considerations:
Target Audience: Identifying the film’s target audience is crucial for effective marketing. Understanding the demographics, interests, and preferences of the intended viewers helps in crafting marketing strategies, promotional materials, and distribution plans tailored to their needs.
Genre and Market Trends: Evaluating the film’s genre and staying informed about current market trends is essential. It helps position the movie within the industry landscape and allows for the implementation of relevant marketing strategies. By capitalizing on popular genres or incorporating elements that resonate with current trends, the film has a better chance of attracting its intended audience.
Unique Selling Points: Determining the unique selling points (USPs) of the film is crucial in marketing campaigns. USPs can include the film’s concept, story, star cast, visual effects, or any distinguishing features that set it apart from competitors. Emphasizing these USPs in promotional materials and marketing efforts can pique audience interest and generate anticipation.
Branding and Positioning: Creating a strong brand for the film helps establish its identity and differentiates it from other releases. Effective branding includes developing a compelling film title, designing a memorable logo, and creating consistent visual elements that convey the film’s tone, style, and themes. Positioning the film as a must-see experience within its genre or target audience’s interests further strengthens its marketing impact.
Promotional Materials: Developing engaging and captivating promotional materials is crucial. This includes creating a compelling movie trailer, posters, still images, and social media content that effectively communicates the film’s essence and generates excitement. The materials should align with the target audience’s preferences and be strategically distributed through various channels to reach the intended viewers.
Influencer Marketing and Publicity: Collaborating with influencers, opinion leaders, and relevant industry professionals can help generate buzz and widen the film’s reach. Partnering with key individuals who have a significant following or influence in the target audience can lead to increased visibility and word-of-mouth promotion. Additionally, generating positive publicity through press releases, interviews, and media coverage helps build awareness and anticipation for the film.
Release Strategy: Carefully planning the film’s release strategy is vital for maximizing its box office potential. Factors such as choosing the right release date, targeting specific markets, utilizing wide or limited theatrical releases, or exploring digital distribution platforms should be considered based on the film’s genre, competition, and target audience.
Audience Engagement: Engaging with the audience throughout the marketing campaign is crucial. Utilizing social media platforms, hosting special events, conducting contests, or offering exclusive content can help build a dedicated fan base and generate enthusiasm for the film. Encouraging audience participation and creating opportunities for them to connect with the film and its creators enhances their overall experience and promotes positive word-of-mouth.
These marketing considerations, when carefully planned and executed, can significantly impact the success of turning a screenplay into a movie. Effective marketing strategies help create awareness, build anticipation, and drive audience attendance, leading to a successful theatrical run and subsequent distribution.
How do screenplay consulting services differ from script coverage?
Screenplay consulting and script coverage are two distinct services within the realm of screenwriting and script analysis. While they share some similarities, they differ in their scope, depth, and purpose. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between screenplay consulting and script coverage:
Depth of Analysis: Screenplay consulting involves a more comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a screenplay. The consultant assesses various elements such as plot structure, character development, dialogue, pacing, themes, and overall storytelling. They provide detailed feedback and suggestions for improvement, often offering specific examples or alternative approaches to enhance the script.
Collaboration and Support: Screenplay consulting often involves an ongoing relationship between the consultant and the writer. Consultants may provide support throughout the writing process, offering additional feedback on revised drafts or helping with specific challenges. They act as a mentor or guide, assisting the writer in developing their script to its fullest potential.
Tailored Guidance: Consultants provide personalized guidance based on the specific needs of the writer and the screenplay. They take into account the writer’s goals, the intended audience, and the unique strengths and weaknesses of the script. The feedback and recommendations are tailored to address the specific requirements and objectives of the writer.
Summary Evaluation: Script coverage typically involves a concise summary evaluation of a screenplay. It provides an overview of the script’s strengths, weaknesses, and marketability. The coverage may include a brief synopsis, comments on the overall story, characters, and writing style, as well as a recommendation on whether the script is worth pursuing or not.
Industry Perspective: Script coverage is often provided by readers working for production companies, agencies, or studios. Their evaluations are informed by industry standards and market trends. The coverage serves as a way to filter and identify scripts with potential for further consideration by industry professionals.
Efficiency and Cost: Script coverage is usually a more streamlined and cost-effective service. It aims to provide a quick assessment of the script’s viability, allowing production companies and agencies to manage their high volume of incoming scripts efficiently. Coverage reports are often standardized and follow a specific template, enabling readers to evaluate scripts in a consistent manner.
Decision-Making Tool: Script coverage helps industry professionals make informed decisions about whether to move forward with a script. It serves as a way to filter and prioritize the scripts they receive, helping them determine which projects align with their company’s goals and have the potential for commercial success.
While screenplay consulting provides a more personalized and detailed analysis, script coverage serves as a tool for industry professionals to evaluate scripts efficiently. Both services have their place in the screenwriting industry and can be valuable in different stages of script development and decision-making processes.
Things to look for in a screenplay consultant
When selecting a screenplay consultant, there are several key factors that a client should consider. Here are some important aspects to look for:
Expertise and Experience: Look for a screenplay consultant who possesses expertise and experience in the field of screenwriting. Consider their professional background, qualifications, and track record. A consultant who has worked in the industry, has relevant educational credentials, or has a proven history of successful projects can offer valuable insights and guidance.
Understanding of the Craft: A good screenplay consultant should have a deep understanding of the principles and techniques of screenwriting. They should be well-versed in story structure, character development, dialogue, pacing, and other essential elements of screenplays. Look for someone who can provide nuanced feedback and practical advice on how to enhance the script’s storytelling and cinematic impact.
Communication and Collaboration Skills: Effective communication is crucial in the consultant-client relationship. The consultant should be able to clearly articulate their feedback, suggestions, and recommendations in a constructive and supportive manner. Look for someone who can engage in open and productive discussions, understands your vision as a writer, and fosters a collaborative environment for creative exploration.
Range of Services: Consider the range of services offered by the screenplay consultant. Some consultants may provide script analysis, feedback, and recommendations, while others may offer additional services such as story development, coaching, or ongoing support. Assess your specific needs as a writer and determine whether the consultant’s services align with your requirements.
Client Testimonials and References: Check for client testimonials, reviews, or references to gauge the consultant’s reputation and the satisfaction of their previous clients. Positive testimonials and recommendations can provide insights into the consultant’s professionalism, expertise, and the quality of their services.
Compatibility and Trust: Building a good rapport and trust with the screenplay consultant is essential. Look for someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing your creative work and collaborating on its development. A consultant who understands your creative voice, respects your vision, and is genuinely invested in your success can make the consulting process more fruitful and rewarding.
Professionalism and Confidentiality: Ensure that the screenplay consultant maintains a high level of professionalism and respects the confidentiality of your work. They should have clear policies in place regarding confidentiality and copyright protection.
Cost and Budget: Consider the consultant’s fees and whether they fit within your budget. Evaluate the value you expect to receive from their services and determine if it aligns with the cost. Keep in mind that the cheapest option may not always provide the most comprehensive or effective guidance.
It’s advisable to conduct interviews or have initial conversations with potential screenplay consultants to assess their suitability for your specific project. This allows you to gauge their approach, communication style, and whether they align with your creative goals and aspirations as a writer.
Qualified screenwriters are available to assist. Click on Contact to get in touch.