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GURU [goo r-oo, goo-roo] noun
Screenplay Gurus delivers constructive, insightful script Notes to assist writers, producers, talent, and filmmakers improve scripts prior to submitting them for consideration or development.
We use an easy-to-understand 11 Point Scoring Matrix to underscore what's good and what needs improvement.
Check out the Matrix to see how we score and how your script compares.
Screenplay Gurus’ feedback is:
A.J. T (AJ) the site founder, is an award winning documentarian, narrative filmmaker and Emmy Nominee. He graduated from the SUNY system with a BFA. He’s placed in numerous screenplay competitions, and reads for several festivals. His screenplays have been produced.
Quote: I’m a helluva guy. And modest too.
Genres: Drama, Comedy, Thriller, SF
Favorite Films/Shows: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Adaptation, The Wedding Crashers, Ace In the Hole, Field of Dreams, Breaking Bad, Rick and Morty
Mike L. (ML), the site co-founder, is a Tony and New York Drama Desk nominee who dropped out of college to hit the footlights. He’s appeared in nearly 150 movies and TV shows.
Quote: All the wrong people are working, so it might as well be me.
Genres: TV, Drama, Comedy, Musical
Favorite Films/Shows: The Godfather
Ted A. (TA) received a Masters in Playwriting, graduating with distinction. He’s worked as a reader for Britain’s oldest and largest literary prizes. He’s written for the stage, film, VR, and video games, and has worked with as a Reader for various production companies.
Quote: Choose me for an international perspective. And don’t hold 1776 against me.
Favorite Films/Shows: Pan’s Labyrinth, Birdman, Ex Machina, V for Vendetta, Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, Princess Mononoke, The Truman Show, Black Mirror, Rick & Morty, Bojack Horseman.
Genres: SF, Horror, Drama, Thriller, Dark Comedy.
Jane B. (JB) directed an award-winning short film and recently signed her first feature film screenwriting deal. She’s currently writing a comic book and has a webseries or two up her sleeve.
Quote: I look forward to reading your work. (Pretty boring, right?)
Favorite Films: Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Truman Show, District 9, Amadeus, Nightcrawler, Dirty Pretty Things, True Romance, One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest, Dirty Dancing, Magnolia.
Genres: Webseries, Genre-Defying Blends, SF, Romantic Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Alice B. (AB) is a writer whose work often tackles diverse issues of social import. Her screenplays and television scripts have garnered numerous awards. She holds an MFA in screenwriting and a BA in the Writing Seminars and film and media studies. She has served as a reader for screenplay competitions from Baltimore to Vail.
Quote: I love strong female protagonists. They’re important post #metoo.
Favorite movies: Winter’s Bone, Rust and Bone, A Prophet, Waltz with Bashir, Persepolis, The Bicycle Thief, Rear Window, Children of a Lesser God, In the Name of the Father, La Haine, V for Vendetta.
Genres: Drama, Coming-Of-Age, Historical
Sam D. (SD) has provided analysis for a variety of major studio features and got his start in development as an intern for a major Hollywood production company. A screenwriter himself, SD has completed contracted studio assignments, along with polishes and rewrites.
Quote: There's a broken heart for every light on Hollywood Boulevard. Or some such nonsense.
Favorite Films: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scream, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Versus, The Shining, Mirrormask, Citizen Kane, Donnie Darko, The Graduate.
Genres: TV, Animation, Horror, Fantasy, Comedy.
0 – 10 points for each element, 110 total possible points
The Eleven Points:
Is the script properly formatted, free of typos and misspellings? Does the writer use standard English conventions? Is the cover page attached with the author’s name and contact information only? Is there white space? Are there lengthy blocks of dialogue and action?
Is a theme stated and does the screenplay reinforce it throughout. Is the theme relevant or unique?
How effectively has the author crafted the timeline of events? Is the story interesting or compelling? Is it relevant? Does the script serve the genre in which it’s written? Does the story have a through line and respect it without unnecessary departures?
Does the story twist well-worn conventions, or create a new one, without straining credibility? Where does the story fit into the four degrees: Totally Familiar; Familiar, Yet Different; Different, Yet Familiar; Totally Different (Familiar, Yet Different and Different, Yet Familiar are preferred).
Does the script have and an Inciting Incident, proper Act Breaks, Rising Action, Complications and Obstacles, a well- identified Protagonist and Antagonist?
How well has the author informed the audience why the story’s events belong in the script, and what the story is meant to communicate?
Do the characters have dimension beyond cliché and trope? Are they real or relatable? Do they have flaws? Do the characters elicit empathy or sympathy?
Is the writing clear, economical, free of bloat and unnecessary description. Does the writer “Show, don’t tell?” Are the descriptions visual and intriguing? Does the writer use Active Voice and Present Tense?
Is it sound, interesting or compelling? Do Plot, Storytelling and Structure reinforce the concept?
Where does the script fit in the marketplace? How likely is it to be made? How does it compare to similar films? How will audiences react?
* Weak Consider aka Consider With Revisions.
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