Six things about script readers

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

Thing 1: We exist for a good reason

Thing 2: We’re your first audience.

Thing 3: Most of us are on your side

Thing 4: It’s a lot of work for very little (or no) money

  • It takes at least 45 minutes to read a script, and another 45 to write the coverage.

  • If you’re freelance, you get a flat fee, $20.00-$75.00. I’ve met readers who read 8-10 scripts a day just to pay the bills.

  • And you’re lucky if you get paid at all. The biz in NYC uses unpaid interns. It’s becoming more common in LA, too.

Thing 5: We spend all day looking for a unicorn

Our job is almost absurd. We have to find a script with:

  • A great story;

  • That’s really well told;

  • That’s fresh enough to attract attention;

  • But is familiar enough that the industry and audience will plunk down their money.

Thing 6: We have to kiss a lot of toads

Readers always hope the next script is great. Experience has taught us that’s highly unlikely.

Our next blog we’ll look at Six reasons why a Reader might reject a script.

Until then, back to work.


Geof Miller is a writer, producer, development consultant, and teacher of screenwriting. His classes at the UW Extension and Seattle University were described by students as “inspiring,” “enlightening,” and “f*cking awesome!”

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