The Key is and always will be “GRAB-THE-READER”

SCREENWRITING SECRETS: Last week’s Post had 4 Scriptwriting Pointers on Readers and their mentalities with respect to Format, Structure & Job and I ended with I will Post the Tricks on Part 2.. Okay, here’s Part 2 and the 3 Tricks.

1) Grab-The Reader: Line 5-7

2) Grab-The-Reader: Bottom Line of Page-1

3) Grab-The-Reader: Top Line of Page-2



Reader’s are negative people.. They are 99.99% frustrated writers, who have written 3-5 scripts, that likely have been pitched, possibly optioned, and even gone into development at a studio with a Name Director attached, but have never been made… Thus, the writer (now reader) who purports to have sold, and actually has, his/her script for a High Mid-Six-Figure Amount ($400K-$600K) really only had it optioned for $400K-600K (yeah, that’s High Mid-Six-Figure), with only $5K-10K down and a 24-month exclusive, with extensions at $2K each for an additional 1-2 years… POINT is, the writer, now reader, is obviously good, understands the system, has sold a script for $400K-600K but only got a check for $5,000-$10,000… which has long ago been spent at Cantors, Oki Dog or Pinks for lunch…

Now, this successful “Hollywood Writer, with a 1-bedroom apartment in Park LaBrea area of LA, at $2,195/month rent, with a ’66 Mustang that needs a new transmission, must read and write coverage on  50-60 scripts this month to pay rent…. and yours is going to be one of them.

QUESTION! Do you think this is going to be a happy person who is excited to read your script… You know that amazing idea you had 6 years ago and that you spent 2 years and 3 re-writes with 3 versions of Final Draft?


So How Do You Beat a Reader?

Simple: Grab him/her quick

TRICK #1…(PAGE #1: Lines 5-7)… This is cut-to-the-chase… Most first-time screenwriters write novels in screenplay form. What I mean by that is you type way-way-way to much exposition. FADE-IN… EXT – CITY PARK – DAY… Then you spend 3-5 lines of exposition (prose, with adjectives & adverbs) describing the bloody park… Stop It! I (aka: reader) knows what a park looks like cut-to-the-story, Grab the viewer (aka: Grab-the-Reader), and you must do it within 15-seconds before he/she opts to flick the dial (140 channel offerings) so somewhere between Line 5 to Line 7 on Page-1 of your script Grab-The-Reader… For any example watch any episode of “LAW & ORDER” and see how quick they cut-to-the-body… now visualize the script

TRICK #2… (PAGE #1: Bottom-Line)… Now, you grabbed-the-reader but you must make him want to turn-the-page and go to Page-2 (remember, he/she has already read 500-700 scripts this year)… What’s your Hook… your Teaser… You better get something typed on the last line that makes him/her go “Ooo” and quickly flicks to Page-2.

TRICK #3… (PAGE #2: Top-Line)… Now, there better be something there on the Top of Page-2, that makes him/her go “WOW” or “WHEW”… Now you got him/her hooked and assuming it is typed in the write format (celtx is fine) and the dialogue is real he/she will gladly  read 10-pages “positively”… If the 10ppages is great he/she will read the 90-120 pages “positively”… If the 90-120-pages is great… You now will have “Good Coverage” and a fair chance of selling your script on a 3-4 Year Option… But of course you’ll announce it was a Mid Six-Figure-Sale.


Here’s an agency that is not one of the BIG 6 (WME, ICM, CAA, UTA, etc.) but is superb and might be approachable with over 80 agents.


ADDRESS: 360 N Crescent Drive, N Bldg, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

TEL: 310-288-2000

LITERARY AGENTS (5, Motion Picture Department): Valarie Phillips, Trevor Astbury, Lee Cohen, Mark Ross and Ida Ziniti


Hi, I’m Dov Simens, I wrote 5 scripts, had two optioned, did coverage for 3 years to pay rent (’83-86) by reading 2,000-3,000 scripts at 25 Bucks-a-Pop and stumbled into being a Line Producer / Production Manager on R Corman (’86-89) like 1-3 week Low-Budget Features. Then (’89) after part-time gigs teaching at UCLA, USC & NYU. I formed an alternative film school, the Hollywood Film Institute (www.WebFilmSchool.com), to give adults a smoother-softer road to travel with filmmaking factual sound bites you can understand & implement… Please allow me to help you.

I believe that either my “Streaming Film School”, “DVD Film School”, or “2-Day Film School” programs are perfect for your needs, totally affordable (price of a 90210 lunch or dinner), truly factual and will save you 3-5 years of School-of-Hard Knocks” as you trudge the road of happy destiny… And, “yes, fame & fortune is possible”

***** NO-BULLL *****




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