Job Skills - What is Script Coverage?

What is Script Coverage?

"Coverage" involves reading and analyzing a screenplay, and providing a written report (Coverage) with "Recommend", "Pass" or "Consider Writer" that evaluates the script's strengths and weaknesses.

The purpose of script coverage is to help the reader, who is typically an executive, producer or development professional, determine whether the script is a good fit for their company or their client, or to find Writers that they like. It is also used to identify any potential issues with the script that need to be addressed before it can be considered for production or representation.

The script coverage report typically includes a summary of the plot, an analysis of the characters and their motivations, and an evaluation of the dialogue and pacing. The report may also include recommendations for revisions or notes on specific areas of the script that need improvement.

Script coverage is an important tool for writers, as it can provide valuable feedback on their work and help them improve their craft. It can also be a useful resource for directors, producers and executives, as it can help them identify promising projects and make informed decisions about which scripts to pursue for production.

How Do I Learn to Write Coverage?

Writing script coverage is a specialized skill that requires an understanding of storytelling, screenwriting, and the entertainment industry. Here are some steps you can take to learn how to write script coverage:

  1. Read scripts: To write script coverage, you need to be familiar with the structure and format of screenplays. Start by reading screenplays for movies and TV shows in genres that interest you. There are many websites that offer free access to screenplays, such as SimplyScripts and ScriptSlug.
  2. Study industry standards: Script coverage has specific formatting and terminology that is used in the industry. Study examples of professional script coverage to understand how it should be structured and written. The Black List website has a sample script coverage template that can be helpful.
  3. Understand story structure: Understanding the elements of a story and how they are structured is crucial for writing effective script coverage. Read books on screenwriting or take online courses to learn about story structure, character development, and plot.
  4. Develop critical thinking skills: Script coverage requires critical analysis of a screenplay's strengths and weaknesses. Practice analyzing stories and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of characters, plot, dialogue, and structure.
  5. Practice writing coverage: Start by writing coverage for scripts you have read. Use the industry-standard format and terminology, and be honest and constructive in your feedback. Share your coverage with other writers or professionals in the industry to get feedback and improve your skills.
  6. Seek feedback and guidance: Find a mentor or writing group to provide feedback and guidance on your coverage. Attend industry events and network with professionals to learn more about the craft of script coverage.

What does a Coverage Template Look Like?

Script coverage is typically structured in a specific format that is used by the film and TV industry. Here is a template for writing script coverage:

  1. Screenplay Title: 
  2. Screenplay Author(s):
  3. Date:
  4. Reader/Analyst:
  5. Who Submitted It: 
  6. Anyone Attached to the Script: Producer, Director, Actor etc
  7. Genre:
  8. Logline: A brief summary of the story in one or two sentences.
  9. Summary: A brief summary of the story, including the main characters, setting, and plot.
  10. Comments: Your overall comments on the script, including strengths and weaknesses.
  11. Synopsis: A more detailed summary of the story, including the major plot points, character arcs, and themes.
  12. Analysis: An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the script, including the structure, pacing, character development, dialogue, and themes.
  13. Recommendation: Your recommendation on whether the script should be considered for production, development, or further consideration.
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