Development Notes - extensive feedback covering the primary components of the script, including:

  • Characters
  • Plot / Structure
  • Conflict / Stakes
  • Tone
  • Dialogue
  • Marketability
  • Other Concerns (presentation, technical errors, major typos, etc.)

View sample Development Notes

Suggested For: first or early drafts of a completed screenplay or TV pilot

Current turnaround time: 7-12 business days

Length of notes: 4-5 pages (appx.)

Any questions on script notes or other services, email our coordinator.

ABOUT THE SCRIPT PIPELINE WORKSHOP

Established in 1999, the Script Pipeline Workshop is one of the longest-running notes services in the industry, offering feedback on screenplays, pilots, and pitches for film and television. Hundreds of writers each year, from beginners to professionals, benefit from the expertise of a small, seasoned group of development execs, many of whom are active writers and producers themselves.

Any genre or format accepted. We review everything from partially completed scripts to production-ready final drafts. Writers may also request a critique on supplemental materials (such as a TV show bible, synopsis, or logline), as well as follow up with their reader with additional questions on the feedback.

Together with our competitions, the Workshop is another outlet to funnel upper-echelon projects to an array of industry contacts and shepherd scripts into production.

To give writers an idea of where their script stands in comparison to the current spec market, we give one of three grades to every submission:

Recommend - With a grade of Recommend, Script Pipeline goes through the following process:

  • Final review by our executive development team for additional feedback. We'll also look over and polish the logline and synopsis.
  • Personal introductions to managers and production companies, depending on the writer and the project.
  • Assist long-term in finding the right match for the script. Like our contest winners and finalists, we continuously keep our Recommends in mind for industry.

Writers may re-submit the Recommend script at no cost if they're seeking further notes.

Consider - Once the script has satisfied the fundamentals for plot, structure, character development, and is overall a good representation of the writer's skills, it's given a Consider. While a Consider script usually requires further revisions or polishing, it is likely close to being circulation-ready.

With Considers, Script Pipeline may help assist in linking them with specific industry outlets on a case-by-case basis.

Further Development Suggested (FDS) - Our version of the typical studio or production company "Pass" grade. Since Script Pipeline never "passes" on a script (writers can of course re-submit), we've created the FDS grade as an indication the script generally needs more work before circulating.

Bear in mind, grading is subjective and based on what types of projects we feel deserve recognition and exposure, so it's entirely up to the writer when they deem their work at its maximum potential—and that may be before the project receives a Script Pipeline Recommend or Consider, according to our criteria. While grading is extremely strict in order to fulfill high expectations from our industry partners, it's not an indication of how well your script will fare in the marketplace.

To review previous Recommend material, qualified industry may make a request on our Scouting page.

Script Pipeline has cultivated relationships with a number of production companies, managers, agents, directors, independent producers, and other executives over the past 20 years, leading to several success stories annually.

Companies reviewing Recommends include:

. . . in addition to over 200 other managers, producers, and agencies.

- NOTABLE SUCCESS STORIES -

Tripper Clancy Sells Multiple Specs to Studios, Including the Action-Comedy Stuber

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner following a top-four finish in the contest. A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material.

"The impact Script Pipeline had on my writing career is extraordinary. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount."
- Tripper Clancy (StuberHigh Five)

In September 2013, he sold the comedy The Ambassadors, and Tripper's buddy-comedy pitch Winter Break was picked up as the last spec sale of the year. In early 2014, he was hired to write the animated comedy Shedd for Paramount and, in 2016, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro.

Tripper's biggest script sale to date: Fox picked up his spec Stuber for the mid-six figures. The action-comedy is based on an idea developed by Tripper and his manager. Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049) co-stars alongside Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), and Betty Gilpin (Glow)The film released July 2019.

In addition, his contest-winning script Henry the Second is being shepherded by Shawn Levy's 21 Laps (Stranger Things) and 3311 Productions. Tripper is also adapting the acclaimed novel The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, and is one of the writers on Amazon's High Five.

Script Pipeline Contest Winner Spec Sells to Universal for $3 Million

SWATHposter2016After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently made Evan one of the most in-demand writers in the industry. The film grossed $400 million worldwide.

"Immediately after the competition, Script Pipeline introduced me to a manager, and the connection helped launch my screenwriting career."
- Evan Daugherty (Rose Red, Divergent)

Shortly after the Script Pipeline screenwriting contest, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite an adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of Snow White.

Evan co-wrote an adaptation of the young adult novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment (Twilight). The film released March 2014 and stars Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet.

After selling a pilot pitch, it was later announced Evan would be one of the writers and executive producers on an adaptation of the DC comic franchise Midnight, Mass. for NBC and Five Ghosts for Syfy. He was one of the writers on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Michael Bay reboot starring Megan Fox. Evan was tapped to write the event series Esmeralda for ABC Studios, and wrote an initial draft for Warner Bros./MGM's Tomb Raider reboot.

Disney's Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, will serve as a companion piece to the Snow White story. Vinson Films co-producing. The film is in development.

Screenwriting Contest Winner Produced, Premiered in 2019

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk served as producers.

The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Madhouse Entertainment and UTA.

"Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything."
- Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek)

The script was a unanimous pick amongst Script Pipeline staff for top honors. Both CEO Chad Clough and Senior Executive Matt Joseph Misetich pegged the screenplay as a fresh, relevant spin on the genre, and an "unquestionably strong calling card" for the up-and-coming Dunham.

Top critics praised the directorial debut, including:

"This debut shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers." - The Hollywood Reporter

"A pitch perfect example of low budget craft." - Birth. Movies. Death.

"Deafens through sensationalized silence. . . . You’re not supposed to feel safe or comfortable, precisely as Henry Dunham plans." - Slash Film

And Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.

Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Script

The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta.

Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development. It was the first Script Pipeline winner to be produced.

Other success stories:

  • After extensive development with Script Pipeline, Eddie Mensore produced his gripping drama Mine 9, released in 2019. The film won top honors for Best Film at Cinequest and The Arizona International Film Festival.
  • Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and "Recommend" writer Greg Wayne's dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle's Eye producing. The screenplay was developed through the Script Pipeline Workshop.
  • 2018 Screenwriting winner Peter Malone Elliott (Junior) signed with manager Zach Book. Peter's biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. He wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.

"Script Pipeline gives the best notes. Whenever I'm struggling with a project, their staff never fails to provide feedback that elevates the story. They take their commitment to 'Recommended' writers, contest winners, and finalists incredibly seriously, and do an amazing job of getting those scripts out into the world."
- Greg Wayne, Script Pipeline "Recommend" and Contest Winner (S21)

  • Octagon Entertainment signed Screenwriting Competition winners Joshua Johnson and Jamie Napoli (Getaway). Script Pipeline execs introduced Octagon manager Jeff Diamond to the writing team, who have another feature in development.
  • Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic in 2018. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script's top 10 placement in the 2017 TV Writing Competition.
  • Sara Monge signed with Josh Dove at IPG Management in August 2018, after receiving circulation by Pipeline execs. Her pilot SOS placed in the top 10 of the 2017 TV Writing season.
  • Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (winners of the First Look Project), was selected for the 2018 Sundance Festival--and soon after picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. Their next feature, Run, produced by Lionsgate, premieres in 2020.
  • Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.

"The constructive feedback I received allowed me to take my screenplay to another level--the film won over 22 awards worldwide. I would highly recommend Script Pipeline."
- Mark Mahon, Script Pipeline "Recommend" (writer/director, Strength and Honour)

  • The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Pictures. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline's industry network.
  • First Look Project contest winner Besa will be produced in 2018—Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) directing. Written by Michael Miceli, the crime/thriller won the Adaptation category for the inaugural First Look season and was later optioned by Cecil Chambers of Triumphant Pictures.
  • Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directing his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY). Martini's company, Mona Vista Productions, donated 30% of the film's profits to charity.

"When I relocated from NYC to LA to pursue sitcom writing, everyone I met in the industry said it wasn’t about entering competitions, it was about entering the right competition. Script Pipeline was a turning point."
- Howard Jordan Jr., Writer (Superior Donuts)

  • Nir Paniry's Princesses to be produced by Grey Matter Productions and Disney. Joachim Røenning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing. Nir placed second in the Script Pipeline contest with his action screenplay The Coyote.
  • Kevin Jones, winner of the Great TV Show Idea Competition and a three-time Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist, signed with Jake Wagner (Good Fear) and UTA in 2016. Script Pipeline helped develop his contest-winning pitch into a pilot script, which is being shopped to major producers and networks.
  • Screenwriting Contest finalist Charles Stulck signed with manager Andrew Kersey in September 2017, a mere two weeks after introductions by Script Pipeline. Charles placed in the top 10 with his horror/comedy Cult-de-Sac.
  • TV Writing Competition finalist Dani Messerschmidt (Hello, I Live Here) signed with John Zaozirny at Bellevue Productions in March 2017. Dani was introduced to reps from Bellevue at a Script Pipeline writer/industry event months prior.

"Less than a week after the competition, I scored a meeting with Andrew Kersey for my finalist script. We hit it off right away, and I am now signed with a smart and talented manager. . . . I can't thank Script Pipeline enough for their dedication and the exposure they provide writers."
- Charles Stulck, Screenwriting Contest Finalist

  • Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything's Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen's third produced film after meeting execs at the 2015 Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment. Off the Menu is set for a 2018 release and will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
  • Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm. He wrote for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts until 2018, moving on afterward in 2019 to Netflix's Family Reunion and CBS' The Unicorn.
  • First Look Project contest winner Kristi Hall is developing a feature script with Kersey Management. Script Pipeline execs worked with Kristi for over a year on a high-concept action/comedy screenplay before sending it to manager Andrew Kersey.
  • Six years after winning the 2010 Screenwriting Competition, Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald optioned their screenplay Prom Queen to Classy Films as a result of Script Pipeline's long-term facilitation.
  • TV Writing Competition Runner-up Laura Bensick (The Mother) signed with UTA less than a few weeks after placing in the 2016 contest.

"When you're an independent filmmaker without a development team, you must rely on coverage. The readers from Script Pipeline on Mine 9 nailed it. My movie got made without the studio and I can't thank the Script Pipeline enough for that."
- Eddie Mensore, Script Pipeline "Recommend" (Mine 9)

  • Android, written by Script Pipeline "Recommend" Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path) in October 2016. Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller and had been attached since 2015. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
  • Screenwriting finalist Andrew Martin Robinson (Cut Its Head Off) signed with Peter Katz of Story Driven in August 2016—less than a week after his horror screenplay was circulated to Script Pipeline's industry network.
  • Greg Martin and Eric Beu signed with Good Fear Film + Management (formerly Benderspink) in 2015. The writing duo were named the winners of the 2015 TV Writing Competition with their original pilot Beachwood.

"From our first phone call, Script Pipeline became our personal champions and proceeded to surprise us again and again with the extent of their support. Thanks to them, we had meetings with a manager and production companies and are now developing our pilot with Mandalay Entertainment. Entering this contest was the smartest thing we did!"
- Ben and Tyler Soper, First Look Project Winners (The Devil in Evelyn)

  • Contest winner Jason Kaleko (Snatch) signed with Energy Entertainment. He was previously developing feature and TV material with Script Pipeline execs.
  • Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) signed with WME and Grandview. He's written the reboot for Child's Play and has multiple film and TV projects in development.
  • Precious Cargo, a finalist in the 2010 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, was released in April 2016. The film stars Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
  • Script Pipeline "Recommend" Micah Barnett sold Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC a few years after finding management through a Script Pipeline industry contact.

"No one has done more for our screenplay and our writing career than Script Pipeline. They've worked tirelessly in connecting us to industry professionals over the course of six years, ultimately resulting in our script getting optioned."
- Debbie Chesebro & Tyson FitzGerald, Screenwriting Contest Winners (Prom Queen)

  • Screenwriting Finalist Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). The project is in development.
  • The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film, starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O'Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: "A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful."
  • Brian Watanabe's "Recommend" script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Get out, Us) at Darko Entertainment.

"In the few days after the competition announcement, we had a slew of terrific meetings. . . . Script Pipeline was a gift from the gods: it allowed us, two unknowns from Australia, to come to LA, meet people in the industry, and begin relationships."
- Penelope Chai and Matteo Bernardini, Screenwriting Contest Winner (Cinderella Must Die)

  • Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline's Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
  • Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin' by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. It was the competition's first major success story, and the first Script Pipeline writer to sell a spec for over six-figures.

Many other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Script Pipeline's exhaustive process of industry facilitation for top screenplays and pilots.

View more Script Pipeline success stories

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