Imagine. You spend the better part of a year slaving over your latest screenplay. You love the world and the characters, but you know the plot has some holes. So you summon the courage, break out a manila 9 x 12, slap on a dozen stamps, and send it off to a script coach for some much needed feedback.
Six months go by, and as you trudge home from your soul sucking day job, vacantly reaching in your mailbox to grab what you know is just another stack of hefty bills, your heart nearly leaps from your chest when you notice your dutifully supplied S.A.S.E. has returned, albeit five months late. You unceremoniously rip open the envelope and pull out the coveted “Final Analysis”. But as you quickly scan the single spaced document, you realize something quite remarkable. The devil lives… her name is Barbara, and she’s a script consultant.
Now, the reason you keep screaming this well deserved moniker isn’t because of her assessment of your plot. She found that to be “rather enjoyable”. Nor is it the evaluation of your characters, whom she saw as “infused with a good deal of chemistry”. And despite the fact that she gave you nothing by the way of constructive comments on how to strengthen, tighten, or improve your script, the real reason for her well-earned devil status is the final grade she delivered. Out of a hundred possible points, she gave you a zero.
Even the SAT gives points for signing your name. But her basis for the goose egg came down to three pages of what she termed “borrowed plot movement and dialogue”. To her, a year of your life was wasted because she didn’t like your homage to Star Wars.
The saddest part of the above scenario is that it actually happened to a member of our TSL staff, whose name is withheld to protect the innocent. His emotional wounds have since healed, but for a long time, he didn’t write. His confidence had been destroyed. Sadder still is that nearly all of the members of our staff have a similar horror story.
In fact, anyone who has ever finished a screenplay knows that the process from beginning to end can be a long and arduous affair, fraught with loads of bad advice. In fact, many people start that “next great script” and don’t finish. Some complete a first draft but are stuck on what to do next. Often, the largest hurdle is simply in finding a reliable resource for screenwriting help.
Being writers ourselves, we longed for a reliable, intelligent resource that would allow us to solve many of our own screenwriting quandaries before dishing out a months rent on expert consultation. We understand that there are great and deserving rock star script coaches out there, but for many of us, there was a colossal crack between a desire to dig up a handful of answers and three weeks pay. So we sought to bridge the gap.
Thus, The Script Lab was born. Our goal was simple: create a comprehensive resource to help screenwriters become better writers… the devil not included.