Analysis and Consultation
When is the right time to get analysis?
Analysis usually always helps. It just depends on how much money you want to spend and how effective you want the analyst to be. Analysts can only help you if you fully understand what they are saying. It's like teaching calculus to someone who doesn't even know math. Sure, a calculus instructor can help (by scaling back and teaching the basics), but wouldn't that be better learned in an earlier study? Similarly with analysis, without having to pay substantial dollars, one can learn the basics and practice on their own for a lot less money.
My suggestion is that a writer read books, take classes and workshops, join writer groups and critique each others works. When the writer has done as much work on their script as they can on their own, they should THEN seek assistance from a consultant/analyst. This way, writers are getting the most possible bang for their buck. The analyst is now talking to someone in a language both parties understand, and the script has been as polished as possible before spending the money.
As far as groups go, among the many is www.zoetrope.com
There are also resource sites where one can find a surplus of writing groups,
such as: www.screenwritersutopia.com,
After analysis and the script is a polished masterful script, a writer can now consider getting script coverage. Or not. Script coverage has received mixed reviews and much can be said about it, but this writing will not cover it nor any other pages in this site, other than saying the following: Script coverage is a tool execs at the studios use. Considering that each studio receives thousands of scripts a year that have to be read, there is no way that the person who is going to greenlight a script can read every script. The studio execs hire people to read the scripts, write a synopsis and grade the script. The script is graded based upon several elements and marks are given for each. Then the script receives an overall grade of "Pass", "Consider" or "Recommend". The studio exec uses this coverage in deciding whether to read or greenlight a project.
If a writer wants to know how his/her script will fare before it gets coverage at a studio, there are two script coverage companies we recommend: www.scriptapalooza.com and www.scriptpimp.com There are lots of other script coverage services out there. We recommend these two because we have received a greater number of writers speaking well of them than any other script coverage service available. Additionally, they do not attach themselves to the script in any way and do not charge a percentage of the sale.
We do not recommend any script coverage service that:
A) Attaches themselves in any way to a script.
B) Charges a percentage of the sale.
In terms of what classes, workshops, books, etc, to use as learning tools, most of the analysts we list on our site, include their recommended studies. Additionally, by joining writing groups you can find more.
I hope you find this useful.