Story Analysis and Script Development for Film and Television

That rather long title is the name of a course that I just started taking.  The class started Friday and for the next twelve weeks I’m going to be immersed in watching films; reading scripts, books, and articles; and writing coverage and development notes for the assigned reading material.  Fun! 

Coverage, for those of you not familiar with the term, is the process of reading and analyzing a story and then writing a summary and critique of it.  Story analysts or “readers” are employed by production companies to do this job, and some independent producers also hire readers.  They are usually the first person to read the scripts sent to production companies and their opinion counts.  If they don’t think a script is any good, it usually doesn’t get passed on to the producer for consideration. 

But for independent producers who don’t have the luxury of having a reader, having the ability to analyze a story and assess its potential both artistically and financially is an extremely important skill (and, really, all producers need this skill).  Contrary to what some people believe, producing isn’t just about business.  It also has a creative side.

The timing for this course couldn’t be better for me.  I’ve been giving notes and comments about the story in progress to the writer for a few months now, but I’m really looking forward to this class to sharpen up my skills and help the writer make the story the best it can possibly be before I submit it to the cast for consideration.

If I thought my life was busy before, it’s now going to be absolutely insane.  But this beats being bored any day.

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