I know there are a lot of consultants to choose from within the industry, so I want to personally say thanks for looking into On the Page® and to answer some frequently asked questions.
Q: What do you do for a script consultation?
A: First, I read your script thoroughly with an eye toward certain issues: Is the story tracking? Is the concept unique? Are your characters coming alive? Does your dialogue pop? Are your pages well-crafted? I then discuss the script’s strengths and weaknesses with you, either on the phone or in person. You take notes on your copy of the script as we speak and ask any additional questions you need. Then we go into the script together and explore the areas that need work. Wherever possible, we “script doctor” – tweaking lines, editing pages and heightening characters. I don’t just point out the problems. I help you fix them.
Q: What is “Story-to-Script?”
A: This service allows me to personally work with you step-by-step to build your script from idea to final draft. To do this, we meet first for a story consultation, then meet for three or four more sessions, adding pages with every session. After our story session, we’ll work to create personal deadlines for your other meetings (often 2-4 weeks apart). This service allows you to both create and rewrite as you go. I’ve been so pleased with the scripts that have come out of this process!
Q: What about written notes?
A: Too often writers are left feeling confused or disheartened by written “do this / don’t do that” coverage. A verbal consultation allows writers to ask questions, work with specific pages and brainstorm solutions on the spot. If you’re worried about missing anything, feel free to tape the session.
Q: Do you consult on short films?
A: Yes. Please make sure the script is under 20 pages in length. The consultation fee covers two drafts.
Q: What do you do for a story consultation?
A: Tell me your idea and share your thoughts about how you see your movie, pilot or web series. I’ll work with you to find the strongest story, a clear structure and an original approach to the characters. You’ll leave with a story map and a sound writing plan. No written material is required. If you already have written material (such as an outline), please do not send more than three pages.
Q: What about a pitch consultation?
A: For short pitches I help you define the story you want to tell, bring out the hook of the idea and discover the best approach to “sell” your idea to the listener. For a long pitch, we work on organizing your story, ideas and “self pitch” so that you go into your meetings with confidence and a clear plan.
Q: Do you consult on treatments?
A: I’m afraid that I don’t. But, the story consultation may take the place of writing a treatment as it allows you to create the story blueprint you need to start writing pages.
Q: Do you use script readers?
A: Your material is never farmed out. For feature screenplays and television scripts I read every script and meet with you personally, either on the phone, Skype or in person.
Q: How long are the script consultations?
A: Usually about 90 minutes.
Q: What’s your turnaround for a script consultation?
A: The good news: You can send your script to me up to five days in advance of our appointment. That means you can tweak and polish until the last minute!
The bad news: Because I read each script on my own, I can only read so many in a day. Demand has been great, and as a result I’m booked months in advance when it comes to consultations on full scripts.
The hopeful news: Once you’re on the calendar, you can get on the waiting list for an earlier spot. If someone postpones an appointment, it goes to you! (Please make sure your script is completely finished before getting on the waiting list). I’ve also created one RUSH spot per week. As this is outside of my usual consulting hours, I have to charge more for it.
I also suggest booking appointments in advance in order to give yourself deadlines for your first draft or rewrite.
Please note: there isn’t a long wait for story consultation, pitch consultation, short script consultation or story-to-script consultation.
Q: Does my feature script have to be 120 pages or less?
A: Yes, please.
Q: If you make specific suggestions, do you expect a credit or fee as a writer or a producer?
A: Absolutely not. I am not a producer, a co-writer, or a manager. My job is to help make your script better. Your scripts are your own. I claim no rights to them.
Q: What about confidentiality?
A: I full respect your need for confidentiality. Because of the volume of material I read, there are occasions where I have read material with similar ideas. Most of the time, there are major differences in execution. By sending your script or idea to me by e-mail, you do so with the knowledge that it is not uncommon for writers to have similar ideas, that parallel development may take place within the film and TV industry and that similarities between your script/idea and any other script/idea are purely coincidental.
Q: Can you get me a producer or agent?
A: I don’t move material. But, I can assure you that your script will be ready when you meet the right contact. If “success = preparation + opportunity,” consider me the preparation part of that equation.
Q: I don’t have time to do the work. Can you just rewrite it for me or find someone who can?
A: I encourage you to rewrite your script yourself. Only you can truly bring the idea and characters in your head to life.
Q: How do I schedule an appointment?
A: Send an email directly to email@example.com or click on “Register For A Consultation” on this website and follow the directions. I’ll pass your request on to my booking assistant who will send you an e-mail, suggesting an appointment date and time and containing location and payment information. Please let her know if you’d also like to be put on the waiting list for an earlier appointment.
Q: Why hire a script consultant?
A: For perspective. For an objective read. For new ideas. For that final polish before your script goes out into the world.
Q: What if I have additional questions?
A: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you!