This week's Answer:
sorry, Rena. I can't answer your question because I
already passed on it before I got to the end of it.
Of course, that's not true. I was simply showing you how
abrupt script readers can be as they search for a reason
to not read all the way through a script and to pass on it
as soon as possible. That's basically their job: find the
gem script, the "Recommend", amongst all the
I had eternal time, I would read all the scripts sent to
me all the way through to "Fade Out", but
I obviously don't, and so I need to make a quick
decision about whether it's worth spending an hour or more
reading a particular script to discover if its
well-crafted and could be considered for a green light (I
would include "yellow light," too, but, these
days, too many drivers are running them).
back to your question (which I did read all the way
through). The first thing I look for is if the
screenwriter has my attention. The next thing I
look for is if he/she's keeping my attention (no
easy task for a writer). And like any skillfully scribed
script (how about that alliteration, huh?), there are many
story elements that need to be in place for it to work,
but what makes me pass on a script right away is the
dialogue depends nuance and subtext. It needs to flow and
be expertly woven into the action tapestry (action
tapestry -- I'm really on a roll here!) As soon as I run
into stilted dialogue or characters directly telling each
other how they feel or what they want or over-explaining
what's going on or acting like puppets instead of real
people or just giving each other information and not
revealing their motivations and drives by their
"hidden words" (subtext) or just speak in a flat
manner, sparking no interest about who they are, that's
when I will normally scroll ahead and look at several more
sections of dialogue in different parts of the script. If
I find the dialogue has not improved, I stop reading.
love dialogue and always look for it and know that it's
important for a script to be good.
oh. That was really bad dialogue.