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What is a script report?

Internet Filmmakers' FAQ

A script report is an assessment by a third party as to the merits of a script, generally for the benefit of potential investors, producers etc. who are short of time to read it themselves, or who want another opinion to help resolve disagreement as to its quality. Reports may be commissioned from far-flung writers to help get an impartial and dispassionate opinion, e.g. in the case of official funding bodies deliberating on funding decisions. In any case, reading a good report should put you in a position to talk intelligently about a script.

A report can be more focused towards market or story, which sometimes overlap (e.g. a story may be deemed so weak as to impede any chances of selling the film once it is made). Generally it will provide a brief synopsis, and an analysis of the plot, characters and themes. The report should pinpoint inconsistencies, and most importantly, the key flaws of the script. It should back its observations up with reasoning, rather than simply making assertions and advising a particular change be imposed on the script to solve the problem. This approach will help the actual writer address the weaknesses rather than sliding into the highly counter-productive situation of 'writing by committee'.

Answer by Jeremy Macey,  |  Last updated 27-Jul-2005