Is it not true that with any profession / service the informed choice is with the consumer?
As a consultant with a select clientele, my experience reveals one compelling fact. Unfortunately those with the least amount of understanding of how brutal this screenwriting industry is are the ones that claim that they don’t need the help from someone who has an understanding of the ever wiggling “ropes”. They invariable want a reader / adviser who will shower them with praise for the year long gestation of a brutally pedantic and laborious deformed miscarriage of metaphors. Flowing as it may be their darling story will not survive without some serious intervention.
Are consultants worth their cost? Ultimately only the consumer can make that decision. No amount of BS (apologies to Danny Manus) will get a script read if the consultant is as ill informed as the writer. As is the case with any profession, football, basketball, and even medicine; one need not be the best “player” in order to provide the best support and advice.
Enter the consultant, the specialist, who will not write the story for you but lay out the framework that will at least allow that writer a chance to be read. The consultant can point out the pitfalls and challenges the writer will need to address if the script is to make it past the entry level reader. A reader who, by the way, has invariably been give a strict set of guidelines to follow.
Is it it harsh to be blunt about the quality of a script? It depends on how thick your skin is. To survive in this industry you had better develop a damn thick one. This means training and constant feedback from someone that ultimately has your best interest at heart. Remember, a story analyst or consultant will not survive the whirlwind of bad pr that this era of communication engenders.
Fine wine, great art, compelling stories all are ultimately in the ‘eye of the beholder’. Why not find someone who will prevent you from stumbling before you leave the starting gate?
How many intentional errors are there in this post that a competent editor would have caught? Would that fee have been worth it?
Just a thought or two, you understand.
DISCLOSURE: I have a series of six university level 1.5 hour lectures that address just the first page of a script. Are they worth it? If it stops your script from ending up in the reject bin, you tell me.