“How to Choose a Good Script Consultant”

Doc Holiday's Grave in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Screenwriting, as movies, are subjective. What one person likes, another person does not like. If you’ve ever discussed a movie with someone, you know what I mean.

The same goes with script consultants. What each one sees in a script might be different than what each other one sees in a script. So, you should find out what kind of genres/movies they like the best. If their interests fit the genre of your script, then, they will be more objective when helping you out with your script because they have a deeper knowledge of the genre and what works and what doesn’t work with that particular genre.

Another thing to look for when choosing a good script consultant is where his/her focus is. If they have a background in working on high concept projects, then, their focus will be on high concept projects. They will be looking for “cookie cutter” elements in your screenplay. In other words, high concept movies are movies that are the same as other movies, the only difference being a unique and fresh approach to the same genre.

For example, with high concept action flicks, they will compare your script to successful box office action movies, if your script is an action script. The same applies to romantic comedies, animation, etc. The more elements they see missing in your script, the higher price they’re going to charge you to help “fix” your script so that it fits the mold of a successful action script.

The problem with this is that the more they have you fit your story and characters into a successful box office mold, the more it takes your story and characters away from you, your original intention for your script. And, the more danger it puts your script in with respect to being tight, rhythmic, the appropriate tone and mode, and a smooth flow with respect to story, characterization, dialogue, etc.

So, choosing a good script consultant boils down to why you are writing a script and what you want to achieve with it.  Box office success? Acclaim for its story and characterization? A combination of both? Whatever. The fine point of choosing a good script consultant is for you to know what your goal is with your script.

I hope this has been of help to you.

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
The Zen of Writing
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net

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About Donald L. Vasicek

Award-winning writer/filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek studied producing, directing and line producing at the Hollywood Film Institute under the acclaimed Dov Simens and at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute. He studied screenwriting at The Complete Screenplay, Inc., with Sally Merlin, daughter of the famed Hollywood Merlin family of screenwriters and writers, as his mentor. Don has taught, mentored, and is a script consultant for over 300 writers, directors, producers, actors and production companies. He has also acted in NBC’s “Mystery of Flight 1501”, ABC’s Father Dowling starring Thomas Bosley, and Red-Handed Productions’ “Summer Reunion.” These activities have resulted in his involvement in over 100 movies during the past 23 years, from major studios to independent films including MGM’s $56 million “Warriors of Virtue”, Paramount Classic’s “Racing Lucifer”, American Picture’s “The Lost Heart” and “Born To Kill” starring the Charles Bronson of Korea, Bobby Kim, and his internationally-known brother, Richard, who directed, Incline Productions, Inc.’s “Born To Win”, 20th Century Fox’s “Die Hard II” starring Bruce Willis with Rennie Harlan as director, and Joel Silver as producer, Olympus Films+, LLC’s “Haunted World” with Emmy-nominated PBS Producer Alison Hill, and Olympus Films+, LLC’s “Faces”, “Oh, The Places You Can Go” and the award-winning “The Sand Creek Massacre” documentary film. Don also has written and published over 500 books, short stories and articles. His books include “How To Write, Sell, And Get Your Screenplays Produced” and “The Write Focus.” He has been a guest screenwriting and filmmaking columnist for Hollywood Lit. Sales, Moondance International Film Festival’s e-zine, Screenwriter’s Forum, Screenplace, Screenplayers.Net, Screenwriters.Net, Screenwriters Utopia, Spraka & Kinsla (Swedish), Inkwell Watch, and Ink On the Brain. Writing recognition includes Houston’s WorldFest International Film Festival, Chesterfield’s Writer’s Film Project, Writer’s Digest, The Sundance Institute, The Writer’s Network, and the Rocky Mountain Writer’s Guild, Inc. Don completed producing “The Sand Creek Massacre”, a documentary film project that includes the completed and award-winning documentary short, a book, a classroom video, Interactive Media, a study guide, and a lesson plans. The film is being distributed by Films Media Group. Don is on the board of directors of the American Indian Genocide Museum in Houston. He is the founder and owner of Olympus Films+, LLC, a global writing and filmmaking company and a screenwriting volunteer on AllExperts.com. Don’s screenwriting agent is Robin Kaver of the Robert Freedman Dramatic Agency, Inc., 1501 Broadway, Suite 2301 New York, NY 10036, 212-840-5751.

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