Do not make the mistake of submitting your script to an agent, producer or studio before it’s ready. Your script won’t get a second shot with these people, so it’s imperative that you elevate your story to its full potential. Working with a good consultant is one way to improve your script, and your odds.
Writing and story analysis are two very different skills. There are many great teachers and consultants who have no produced film writing credits at all, and there are many great writers who would make terrible consultants! I have a solid footing in both worlds, and I offer a third perspective: my background as a filmmaker includes not only writing, but also producing and directing.
I have often used consultants for my own writing. What I don’t do is let just anyone read my material and offer their opinions, because bad notes are worse than no notes. Giving useful feedback is an art and craft that requires great skill, respect and sensitivity. I strive to bring that level of respect and sensitivity to anyone I work with as a consultant. Writing is a highly personal and emotional endeavor, and not every consultant/ client match is made in heaven. If I don’t think I can help you substantially, I’ll tell you so.
We are writing scripts because we want audiences to see our movies. We want to see the DVD’s on display in big-box stores and delivered to people’s mailboxes. We want our work streaming via Netflix, lighting people’s faces from the glowing screens of iPads, and yes, we want to see our work up there on the big screen at the multi-plex! By any means, we want to reach an audience, and of course it wouldn’t hurt to make some money. But our first audience is the professional reader, the development executive, producer, actor, director, agent — the gatekeepers. My first job as a consultant is to help you make your script irresistible to the gatekeepers.