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January 29, 2009

Giving Notes

I like to offer to give notes on people's scripts. Really, for a couple of reasons. One, I like to read what other people are writing, get inspiration, keep track on their style, what they do well, what works, and what doesn't. But secondly, I want people to know me as someone who is willing to help, and - more importantly - someone who can help a script.

This impossible business that I'm going to break into is actually much more a rewrite and job business than it is a spec and sales business. What I mean by that is that it's much more of a common scenario that I will be hired to fix someone else's script, or develop a script from a producer's story idea. Coming up with new stories on my own and selling them whole cloth is actually much rarer. So I think I need practice to do that first part.

This past week I read through a television pilot and a feature film. I was very happy to see that I could see clear areas in both where I could offer fixes that, in my opinion, would make the script much stronger. The feature in particular was already very good, but the writer knew it had problems. I feel like I really identified them for her and gave her a clear prescription to make it an amazing story. I definitely see myself doing that more and more in the future, and in fact I would very much like a crack at her script because I know I could make it into something very special.

The one problem with my constant offer to give notes is that many people take me up on it, and I have a fairly large backlog of scripts.... oh well, I'll get through it.

Posted by jason on January 29, 2009 03:07 AM


Being willing to help another is a great quality of life to have, Jase! I miss you!

Posted by: Mom on January 29, 2009 08:31 AM

that's awesome, Jase! I When I was in school, I LOVED when people would ask me to look over their papers and edit them--not exactly the same thing, but I understand being so happy to be able to really improve on something of somebody else's.

Posted by: Jessica on January 29, 2009 04:25 PM

Jase, it is great to be willing to learn other aspects of a business and not limit yourself because you are determined to do things a certain way. When I worked as a unit clerk for St. Francis Hospital, I learned to work every floor and when I worked as a customer service rep for Bank of Delaware (dating myself here), I was cross-trained for every area in customer service. I took whatever classes both jobs were willing to offer me. I think this flexibility and desire to learn made me a more valuable employee. Even as a pre-kindergarten teacher, I have substituted in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes, as well as Spanish. Employers appreciate someone who is motivated and shows initiative. Initially, I did it because I had no specific education or training in any of these jobs (well, except for the hospital job). Of course, it also resulted in me being more useful to my employers. Your willingness to help others with their scripts and learn this aspect of your business can serve to get you in the door, as you said. Once in the door your talent and your reputation for hard work will create a platform for you, from which you can then present your own work. Clearly, you know all this. I probably sound like I am on a soapbox or something, but there are so many people who want the money but don't seem to want to work for it. It is refreshing to see someone learning and doing everything they can to get the job they want. Good for you, Jase!

Posted by: kathiek on January 29, 2009 09:43 PM

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