A screenplay consultant is a professional who reviews and provides feedback on screenplays, typically for film or television. They may offer suggestions for improving the structure, pacing, characterization, dialogue, and other elements of the script. They can also help writers with the formatting and industry standards for screenplays and may provide guidance on how to pitch or market a script to producers and studios. Some screenplay consultants may also offer additional services such as script coverage, story development, and writing coaching. But why is it important for every screenwriter to link up with a consultant?
A good screenplay consultant will possess a combination of industry knowledge, writing skills and ability to push your skillset to new heights. If you’re in the market for a screenwriting consultant, here are a few qualities that a good screenplay consultant should have:
Industry knowledge and experience: They should have a good understanding of the current trends and conventions in the film and television industry, as well as knowledge of how the development and production process works.
Writing skills: They should be able to identify and understand the strengths and weaknesses of a script, and be able to provide specific and actionable feedback on how to improve it.
Ability to give constructive feedback: They should be able to provide feedback in a way that is honest, but also supportive and encouraging.
Good Communication: A good screenplay consultant should be able to clearly communicate their thoughts and ideas in a way that is easy for the writer to understand.
Flexibility: A good screenplay consultant should be able to adapt to different writing styles, genres and mediums.
Understanding of the business side of screenwriting: They should be familiar with the business side of screenwriting and be able to help the writer navigate the process of getting their script sold or produced.
Professionalism: A good screenplay consultant should conduct themselves in a professional manner, with a high level of integrity, respect, and discretion.
You may be wondering whether screenplay consulting is something you need. The truth is, professional screenwriters, use screenplay consultants as a part of their writing process 100% of the time. Screenplay consultants can offer valuable feedback and insights that can help a screenwriter improve their script and increase their chances of getting it produced, sold, or primed for production. Every single professional screenwriter will work with a consultant at some point in the writing process, whether it’s to get feedback on an early draft, to help with a specific problem area, or to provide an outside perspective on the overall script. Some screenwriters use consultants to help them with the business side of things, such as helping them pitch their scripts to producers or studios. However, not all professional screenwriters use screenplay consultants. Some writers prefer to work independently and rely on feedback from other industry professionals, such as producers or agents, or from other writers in a writers’ group.
Finally, your mindset is most important when going the screenplay consultant route. Submitting your script to a bunch of different companies is never going to bring you the advancement in your material like a professional consultant will. You want someone who is going to be invested in your work and have skin in the game. It’s our experience that to fully appreciate the complexity of a screenplay, someone needs to read it multiple times. This is what a consultant will do. They will take their time, live inside your created world, and help you fully realize the story you are trying to tell. Submitting to random platforms for one-off coverage from a random person is never going to accomplish the same ends you desire.
If you’d like to connect with a professional team of consultants who will huddle around your success, check out Scriptmatix’s offerings. Scriptmatix develops with professional screenwriters, companies, as well as emerging talents that are trying to level-up their screenwriting abilities.