Indeed. Why bother having some faceless analyst deliver a two-page book report on your masterful feature film script? It’s good enough as it is, right? And why do a coverage when no one is even gonna see it – aside from yourself, of course, who already know the story inside and out?
It’s to give you a little taste of the real world.
When the time comes that you are ready to finally send that genius screenplay out to every agent, manager and studio exec in town, the harsh truth is that all of those people are probably too busy to give your writing all the attention it deserves. Instead, the script is likely to land on the desk of an assistant, who will eventually read it (if you’re lucky), think about it (if you’re even luckier), read it again, and finally bring an itemized summary of your 120 carefully typed out pages to said agent, manager or exec. This summary is – you guessed it – a script coverage.
Basic synopsis, plot, characters, action, budget level and general thoughts about the story are all combined into an easy-to-read report, which the agent will then use to decide whether or not to spend the time to read the full script. And that’s exactly why script coverage can be a valuable tool in your screenwriting tool box. If your script can handle a drastic redux and still come across as a great, well-defined story, you’ve got yourself a winner. If not, the coverage will expose the weaknesses in your script and let you know what needs a rewrite – before you mail those manilla envelopes.
Do you know a whole lot about script coverage? Let us know – we may want to hire you for a video blog on the topic here on 20 Questions Film.