The Art of War

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 20122012-12-04T10:52:50Zl, F jS, Y at 2:52 am2012-12-04T10:52:50Zg:i a

War. Not something you hear me mention very often here on Just Effing Entertain Me. No, I am a peacenik hippie and everybody knows it.

But Sun Tzu once said:

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

So – just how does your script get read by that reader, intern, assistant or competition judge? How fast do they read? How many scripts a day? What are they looking for? As a long time reader I can show you exactly what it feels like to walk a mile in the shoes of a reader.

I will show you all of the inside tips, tricks and credos of script readers. I will show you what we are looking for, how and why.

Here is what one graduate of the course had to say:

Dear Julie:

I just finished the script reader course and wanted to let you know my thoughts about it.
I’ll admit I really had no idea what to expect or how much work was actually involved.

…you were right, it did open my eyes to what the other side looks for in a script. I never would have known the ins and outs of why a script gets a pass or consider had I not taken your course. Thanks again for providing the course online for those of us who don’t currently reside in LA.
–Sarah in Houston

I preach that writers should write and write and write and write. And learn. And network. This course ups the ante – find out here and now what goes on after you send in your script. Get over enemy lines and see exactly what goes on in the sausage factory.

Discover that readers are not your enemy at all. They are professionals, trained to do a job quickly and efficiently. Once you know what they are trained to look for, you can raise the ante by not making some of the most common mistakes and you can dispel some of the myths you may have in your mind about just who readers are.

Treat yourself this holiday season to the Holy Grail of script reading. Competition season is coming up this spring, offering opportunities to get noticed. But will you? Stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

Course syllabus

Week one:
Overview of the Job Description
Job Expectations
11 Things You Better Know Right Now
Understanding the Grid Categories
Off grid Categories
The Language and Tone of Coverage Reports

Includes: three sample coverages

Homework: watch 3:10 to YUMA, LEGALLY BLONDE and HOT FUZZ.

Write a logline for each.
Write a brief description of the theme of each, the character arc for the main character, who the antagonist is and what the first act break, second act break and midpoint were within the story.

Week two:
The Reader’s Oath: No Harm, No Foul, No Lies
Tenets of Being a Good reader
Rating the Writer
Rating the Project
The Shape and Structure of a Coverage

Read two scripts; provide recommendations for the project and the writer, one page of comments.

Week three:
Writing the Synopsis
Sample Synopses

Homework: provide loglines and synopses for two sample scripts.

Week four:
Writing the Full Coverage
Speed and Efficiency; Tricks of the Trade
Finding Reading Work; Accumulating Samples

Homework: Timed reading of two scripts.


Provide full coverage for three scripts including a 2 page synopsis and 1 1⁄2 pages of comments. Rate the writer and the project.

Passing the final exam with flying colors will earn you a letter of recommendation from Just Effing Entertain Me as an entrée to potential reading jobs – and possibly a job offer to become a first round judge for the Just Effing Entertain Me Screenwriting Competition!

So how do you get started?

The cost of the class is $400 and includes feedback and notes on your progress throughout.


You can receive all materials for the course for $250, sans feedback.

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