Wednesday, July 20, 2016


TEN “considers.” That’s a new record for Coverage Ink’s Get Repped Now, Spring 2016 edition. And once we get everyone’s polish drafts back in (mid August,) we’ll pull the trigger and send them to our manager panel with our recommendations. So let’s all pull for our ten considers -- the writers who really brought it.

ABDUCTING CHRISTMAS by Joseph Balczo & David Bricker
ATOMIC CITY by Russell Ward + Scott Miller
ONE DAY AS A LION by Doc Stiggers
SPEEDVILLE by Patrick Hunt
SYNERGIZERS by Craig Cambria
TONE DEAD by Sarah Polhaus
THE WACC by Sabrina Almeida

If you’re unfamiliar with Get Repped Now, it’s a little promotion we do in the spring and fall, wherein for a limited period of time, we elevate all scripts sent to Coverage Ink for script analysis, which score a ‘consider’ for script or better, to our panel of five industry-leading managers. In the past, we’ve gotten writers meetings, we’ve gotten them signed and hip-pocketed, and we’ve even had a big spec sale (Brandon Barker’s “Nottingham and Hood,” which sold to Disney for six figures.) Get Repped Now isn’t a contest -- there are no winners and no prizes. Simply, if your script scores a ‘consider’ from the Coverage Ink reader, it gets read by the manager panel. That’s all there is to it.

It’s heartening to note that four of our eleven considers went through multiple drafts, polishing and honing their scripts until nailing that coveted ‘consider.’ So a special CI fist pump to Joseph Balczo and David Bricker, Susan Boyer, Patrick Hunt and Craig Cambria, who invested serious elbow grease in making their scripts nice and shiny.  

By the same token, there were a few writers who rejected the detailed story notes which, if they chose to listen, could help improve both their scripts and craft. Another fellow even tried to bribe me! I tried to explain to him that the secret to having us present his script to the managers was to actually do the notes and improve the script, not to try to grease anyone’s palm. Sigh.

But mostly what we saw was a lot of near-misses -- dozens and dozens of ‘consider with reservations,’ as well as scripts that were almost in that zone, but for another draft maybe. These are especially frustrating, we know, because hey, SO close. Of course we hope that the notes we provide gave everyone what they need to come back and kick our asses nine ways to Miercoles when Get Repped Now returns October 17.

If you were one of those near misses, or indeed a ‘pass’ (which constitutes the majority of submissions,) I can tell you from my own experience -- it’s hard not to take it personally, right? We get defensive. We think, “this reader is a MORON!” Hey, I think this constantly when I send my own scripts in for coverage -- and I run the company! It’s human nature. We all protect ourselves when we feel we’re being “attacked.” The truth is, of course, there’s no attack. Believe it or not, it’s actually help. But sometimes it’s hard to see it that way. Whether we’re just starting out and are baffled as to how to implement notes, or you’ve got a dozen screenplays under your belt, getting coverage can sting a bit

But I also know deep down inside that I really do need to pay attention to the notes, even if I don’t like them. So here’s my own little neurotic trick. After reading it once, I ignore the coverage for at least a week or two. During that time, I work on other things. And slowly, like a wave of rabidly voracious weevils, the notes begin eating at my mind. I find myself thinking of ways to handle the notes, or maybe even radical new ideas which might make the notes moot. But I DO NOT look back at the notes, because it still freaking stings too much to do so!

Then finally, after enough time has passed that the notes have lost their power to make me feel like poop, and when I’m emotionally ready for it, I revisit the notes. And I go through them, section by section, making my own notes -- good, bad or indifferent. The bad ones simply get crossed out. The easy ones, I hit those first. Typos and character name mistakes -- no sweat! Got this. Finally, I move on to the more substantive changes. And generally, I’ll have thought it through enough that I’ll have an idea on how to hit the notes -- okay, this will require a new scene here, cutting the dialogue here, and then threading this new character through to the end so it “tracks.” 

And thus the rewrite process begins in earnest. And it only took a few weeks to work around my own fricking idiosyncrasies.

I hope it’s a little easier for you! In any event, I hope all of you indeed took the notes in the spirit with which they were intended. I look forward to watching the evolution of everyone’s scripts -- there is nothing more gratifying than seeing a script go from a ‘pass’ to a ‘consider’ over multiple drafts and feeling we had a small part in that.

Get Repped Now updates as they happen. Now go write!

Jim Cirile

Get Repped Now Returns Oct. 17, 2016!


Unknown said...

Oddly, this article makes me want to re-write. A masterful ploy! Thanks.

jack said...
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