So late the other night, I was just about to head off to my nightly 20 minutes of sleep when I decided to check Twitter one last time. Big mistake… that turned into a bit of brilliance.
The mistake was I saw that @BittrScrptReadr [The Bitter Script Reader] and @nate_winslow [Nate Winslow] were having a conversation about some scripts they had been covering. Of course, I butted in with a snarky question, then suddenly the whole thing changed into this terrific conversation in which another person who reads and covers scripts @amandapendo [Amanda Pendolino] joined in, and off we went for about an hour. As it turns out, hundreds of people tracked the exchange, so I asked Future Super Producer Nate Winslow if he could create a transcript? Of course, he figured out a way to do it. So I thought I’d serialize it with commentary this week.
BSR [Bitter Script Reader]
NW [Nate Winslow]
AP [Amanda Pendolino]
Here is Part 5 of GITS: The Twitter Conversations — Script Readers:
GITS: I predict action-comedy is going to come back. Do you have a sense of any hot genres right now?
NW: Found footage refuses to die.
BSR: Comedy and Rom-Coms are perennial. Horror, too. Action-Comedy seems safe
AP: “contained thriller” is always a great idea. actors will attach and they can be made cheaply
NW: Definite “Bridesmaids” effect–lots of “women can swear too!” comedies.
AP: strangely, bridesmaids resulted in scripts.. but no female coms coming out this summer!
GITS: So if you were advising an aspiring screenwriter what genre to write, which ones would u say?
BSR: Comedy, Thriller, Horror – low budget, perennial appeal, defined genres.
AP: whatever they’re good at/interested in/showcases their voice.. but adult dramas are DOA
AP: adult dramas only work if they’re an existing property and/or have a huge attachment
NW: Write to your strengths, but thrillers are constant.
BSR: Nate makes a good point. If you’re not funny, don’t write comedy just because it’s selling
AP: agreed! sorry, people. not everyone is funny.
AP: that being said, even a funny person needs to channel that into joke structure-start studying
NW: I would also add if there’s an AMAZING lead opportunity in there, RE dramas.
AP: I definitely consider and recommend dramas – I just know they’re not popular these days
BSR: Avoid Animation – most of those are developed in-house
Straight from the front lines of Hollywood, a thumbnail sketch of what these script readers think are hot genres… and which are not. Of course, I’m sure they would all agree, if you write a great script, it doesn’t matter what genre it is, that script will circulate in a big way to your benefit.
For Part 1 of the conversation, go here.
For Part 2, go here.
For Part 3, go here.
For Part 4, go here.
Good news! Based upon feedback I received from readers who enthusiastically wanted another Twitter conversation with these fine folks, I asked Bitter, Amanda and Nate — and they agreed. So I will find a time some evening when they’re free and we will schedule something so that you may participate in a live Tweet chat to ask any questions you might have about the script coverage process.
Some background info:
The Bitter Script Reader has spent many years – “perhaps too many,” he says – working in development and as a reader at production companies and agencies. For over three years, he’s blogged regularly about the missteps he’s seen writers both young and professional make, and implored his audience to avoid those same writing pitfalls. You can find him at his blog and check out his videos on his newly-launched YouTube Channel.
After working for a motion picture literary agent at a major talent agency, Amanda Pendolino went on to become a professional script reader for a few different production companies. She is also developing some feature comedies, in addition to an original sitcom.
Nate Winslow moved to Los Angeles last year and spent the majority of his time reading scripts and writing coverage for a production company and an A-list director. He’s currently working for Franklin Leonard at The Black List, Scott Myers at this blog you’re reading, and two production companies.