Monday, March 21, 2011

Script notes service: update!

Update as of 9/28/15: Yes, I AM still doing notes; prices remain the same, but turnaround time may be more than 7 days because of a large amount of scripts. Send me an email at aspiringwriterblog at gmail dot com if you are interested in getting notes and I can let you know when my next available notes delivery date is.

short script under 20 pages: $50
half-hour spec or pilot: $79
one-hour spec or pilot: $95
feature (130 pages or fewer): $115

if your script is over 130 pages, it's $1 per additional page. 

Note: proofreading for grammar mistakes/typos FOR NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKERS is now an additional service that can be added on to any script notes purchase for $25. I do not make changes directly in your script, but instead give you a list of errors at the end of the notes document.

If you are a non-native English speaker and need more extensive corrections made directly in your script, I can do that for a higher fee. Email me and I can quote you a price based on a couple of pages. It's possible that I will only charge $25 - it depends on your facility with English.

Returning customers and customer referrals still get $5 off. Additional drafts of a script I've already read are also $5 off the main price -- I don't have a majorly reduced price for additional drafts because it will take me just as long to re-read my first set of notes, read your new draft and write up notes as it would for me to read and write notes on a brand new script. Thanks for understanding!

Email me at aspiringwriterblog at gmail dot com for more info!


I have been a professional reader since 2008 and currently read scripts and books for two studios. I've also written coverage for production companies, an agency, a sales/distribution company, a digital company, a coverage service and a few contests. I've read everything from first drafts by amateurs to packaged scripts written by Oscar winners. Through this blog, I've also provided notes for over 200 private clients.

Lots of coverage services exist - and you're right to be skeptical of them. I hope you guys understand that I'm not some scam artist looking to make millions off this little business. I'm simply offering the same kinds of insight that I already give production companies at what I feel is an affordable price. I've done paid screenwriting work and I've developed projects with a few different producers and directors, but I'm not yet able to make my entire living from screenwriting alone. When I am, I'll discontinue this business and replace my 1997 Honda Civic (though I love its glued-shut sunroof and broken cassette player). Some pro writers rail against all screenwriting consultants, and I get it, especially when those consultants charge a lot and make ridiculous promises -- but first of all, it's your money and you can do what you want with it. Second, I only promise to take my time and give you my best notes.

Readers generally make $50-70 on regular coverage for production companies and the like. My notes service rates are a bit higher because my notes are a bit different; instead of a formal synopsis (I can never understand why writers want synopses of their own work) and a couple paragraphs of comments, I'll give you several pages of page-specific suggestions of where problems lie and how I think you can fix these problems, depending on what you're aiming for. I won't try to push you into any specific direction, but will offer advice on the directions I think are most commercial or interesting or make the most sense. I pride myself on being honest but supportive. I'm very meticulous, down to formatting mistakes. These notes take me longer than basic comments for coverage.


  • If you send a second script, you'll get $5 off.
  • If you refer a friend, you'll get $5 off a future script - just tell your pal to mention your name when s/he emails me. 
You can compare these prices with Alex Epstein, who charges $600 for TV and $850 for features, or Jen Grisanti, who charges $350-500 for TV and $550-950 for features. I'm sure they give great feedback...but that's a lot of money. You can also get affordable $50 feedback from The Black List, but Black List readers only make $25 per script, which means that if they take 3 hours to read AND write up notes, they're only making $8.33 an hour. They do a good job of finding the very best scripts, but giving thorough development notes is not the aim of the site. Check out this Hollywood Bound & Down post for more about this kind of feedback. If your script is already in good shape, the Black List can be very helpful -- but if you're getting really low ratings and you're not sure what to do, you might want more specific comments and suggestions for changes. Lots of pro writers only ever get notes for free from friends, and that's totally fine -- but if you're not in LA and/or your friends aren't in the industry, you might not get the thorough notes you're hoping for. An "I like it!" from your mom can only help so much, right?

What you'll get from me: three to seven pages of single-spaced notes addressing the structure, plot, characters, dialogue, format, commercial viability and writing style/voice of your script. I'm happy to focus on any specific aspect of the script that you're concerned about - or do a cold read. I'll also recommend any relevant scripts I think you should read or shows/films I think you should watch. Turnaround time is one week from when I receive payment. If you need immediate help for some kind of deadline, we can talk about an additional fee. Also - if you're not sure if I'm familiar with a show you're speccing, feel free to email and ask. I can also provide samples of notes I've given in your genre if you're curious about what you might get. Note: I accept all genres (and get assigned to read all genres), but I consider myself an expert in comedy, romantic comedy and TV comedy. I'm also a big fan of dramas -- anything that focuses on character, really.

If you'd like to get notes on your TV or film scripts - or if you have any questions, email me at aspiringwriterblog at gmail dot com . I will send you a release form to sign and will bill you through PayPal so you can pay via credit card, bank account, etc.
Here are some comments from writers who have used my notes service:

"I used Amanda's service for my GIRLS spec and ended up placing in the Top 10 for the UCLA extension TV competition and made the quarterfinals of Final Draft's Big Break Contest. It was my first script and I have to say, it wouldn't have been possible without her notes!" -Valeska

"Amanda's script consult led eventually to an award from Nickelodeon for my Modern Family spec!" -Amisha

"Amanda helped me with an Office spec a while back which I submitted to the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship and I just got the call today that I'm a semi-finalist!" - Jon

"Amanda read and gave notes on a half-hour TV spec pilot I wrote. Amanda's notes were smart, constructive and detailed which helped in the finessing of the script. The script has now been optioned by a UK TV production company who work a lot with the BBC." - Kevin L

"Amanda gave me notes on my drama pilot script and also gave me a nudge when I was debating whether to submit to the NYTVF NBC pilot contest. I submitted and we made it to the finalist round! Amanda's feedback was extremely helpful." - Wesley H

"Amanda's notes and insights into my comedy pilot and sitcom spec were clear, measured, and thoughtful. She offered great ideas on small adjustments and voiced her bigger concerns in very constructive ways. I've got a tight group of people reading my work, but I sought out Amanda for a fresh perspective and I'm very happy that I did." - Andrew H.

"Amanda's notes on my comedy pilot were fantastic. She was critical but gave me encouraging feedback without making me want to throw my laptop out the window and never write again. She has a very sharp eye and gives you concrete ideas you can actually use to improve your work. For the price, you are getting an amazing deal. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone and will definitely be using her services in the future." - Amita P

"Amanda provided great insight into how to improve my Parenthood spec. Amanda’s feedback focused on the structure of the script, which character’s voices sounded right on (and which sounded “iffy”) down to individual lines, and how I might thematically tighten my script. The feedback was always constructive, and kept me inspired to continue working on and improving my script!" - Brett

"Amanda is an incredible reader. Her insight into my script was original and compelling. In fact, I just optioned it to a prominent production company. So use her!" - Tony D

"I thought Amanda's notes on my comedy feature were really specific, clear, and useful. Well worth the money." -Eric G

"Amanda gave me excellent script coverage with my Law and Order: Criminal Intent spec. She praised the positive aspects while giving me constructive feedback about the parts of my script that weren't working without hurting my feelings or making me feel stupid--and as a sensitive person, I admire someone who can do that. She not only gave me advice on the overall structure of the script but helped me with nit-picky details that many other readers might have overlooked. I spent several hundred dollars on feedback from so-called "professional scriptwriting services" but won't make that same mistake in the future--I got better quality script notes and advice from Amanda." - Sarah M

"Amanda's critique was insightful and specific. She helped me tighten the structure of my BONES spec immensely and provided a window into how industry insiders would see my script." -Rebecca S

"Amanda put into perspective everything that was weak about our feature script, but in a very positive and constructive way. With every criticism came a helpful suggestion. She is a genius script doctor and her diagnosis was the perfect cure for our story. She definitely knows the anatomy of a script and is a very valuable resource." -John L and Ishira K

"Very helpful. I will recommend you for sure!" -Jodi L

"Amanda hit on some specific areas I was already wondering about and pointed out several new ones. They were very insightful and specific right down to the page numbers!" -Jon C

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Leonard said...

Amanda the aspiring script consultant.

Dan Williams said...

Wow, that's great! It's kind of like getting on-the-job training as an Executive Producer. Aaron Spelling's job was to read the script each week and give notes to make it better!

Rachel said...

Amanda gave me script coverage last summer and it was very helpful! Quick turn around and great insight! Thanks again :)

Jared Reise said...

I condone Amanda and her script reading abilities.

DeViLiSh AnGeL said...

Did you piss off Jared in some way or his analysis is based on professional experience?