Development Notes focus on maximizing the creative potential and marketability of your screenplay. They also serve as a crucial tool in preparing your script for industry circulation. Perfect for writers who are in the initial stages of their drafts, or who would like a deeper analysis of their story. Development Notes are broken down by:
- Plot / Structure
- Conflict / Stakes
- Other Concerns (examples of typos, sentence structure, overall presentation, etc.)
Current turnaround time: 8-12 business days
Length of notes: 4-5 pages (appx.)
Any questions on script notes or other services, email our coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To give writers an opinion of where their script stands in the development stage, we assign one of three grades to all submissions:
“Further Development Suggested” (FDS) – Our version of the typical studio/production company “Pass” grade. Since Script Pipeline never “passes” on a script (writers can re-submit the same one), we’ve created the FDS grade as an indication that the script generally needs more work.
Consider / High Consider – Once the script has satisfied the basics for structure, plot, 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. If a writer chooses to begin the circulation process, Script Pipeline may help assist in linking them with specific industry outlets.
Recommend – With a grade of Recommend, Script Pipeline goes through the following process:
- The script is reviewed by our Senior Executive and Director of Development for additional feedback
- We’ll help polish your logline and, depending on the script, give personal introductions to companies looking for that type of material.
- You may re-submit the Recommend script at no cost if you’re seeking further notes.
Bear in mind, grading is subjective, to an extent. It’s entirely up to the writer when to begin circulating their script, and that might be well before the project receives a Recommend according to Script Pipeline criteria. Many scripts that have fallen short of earning a Recommend have garnered interest from managers, agents, and producers. While grading is extremely strict in order to fulfill high expectations from our industry network, it’s not an indication of how well your script or pitch will fare in the marketplace.
Recommends and Considers are circulated to companies within our industry network on a case-by-case basis. The circulation process takes into account the type of script, the style of writing, the genre, the concept, and so forth, and we present the material to specific partners who would potentially be a good fit, making personal introductions to execs as needed.
For more information on how Script Pipeline can help distribute your work to the industry, email us.
The process of selecting readers is a top priority for us. As such, we employ a very small, close-knit group of trusted and experienced analysts that have been with the company at least five years. Many are active writers themselves, and all share an intimate knowledge of story structure and the crucial balance between creativity and marketability.
If you are interested in becoming a Script Pipeline reader, please be aware that we have the following minimum requirements:
- At least 10 cumulative years reading for a studio, major or mid-major production company, agency, or management company, or have at least 10 years of development experience.
- A complete understanding of all genres related to film.
- An active awareness of current industry trends as related to writing, production, and marketability.
- BA or MFA in Film, English, or related degree (or have proven sufficient experience in film/writing).
- Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) to star in Militia, winner of the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition. Writer Henry Dunham found representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with industry partner Madhouse Entertainment.
- In February 2017, Script Pipeline partner Bohemia Group Originals (BGO) optioned two Screenwriting and TV Writing Competition finalists: Bradley Stryker’s action/thriller The Dragon Run and Diana Wright’s comedy pilot Franchise. The following month, they optioned Nadeem Siddiqui’s romcom Slut, also a 2016 Screenwriting finalist.
- 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, will be donating 30% of the film’s profits to charity.
- 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.
“I’ve personally signed a number of writers from the Script Pipeline competitions, including Evan Daugherty and Tripper Clancy, and immediately review any material they send my way.”
– Jake Wagner, Manager (Good Fear)
- 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.
- Producer Michael Klein (Dobre Films) picked up the sci-fi/action feature Moon Rush by Matt O’Reilly. Script Pipeline connected O’Reilly, who has other projects in various stages of development, with Dobre at the beginning of 2017.
- Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It’s the third film Jen will have had produced 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.
- Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm in March 2017.
- 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.
- Android, written by Script Pipeline Fellowship selection 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 (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.
- Finalist Matt Altman signed with APA and Parallax Talent Management. He and co-writer David Matalon sold their feature script The Feud to Vandal Entertainment, and Matt later sold his spec Sam & Liz: A Killer Love Story to Relativity Media, and in August 2016, the script Red Widow to studio STX Entertainment.
- 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 has multiple projects in development with major production companies, including Spooked, with Dan Lin producing, and Five Nights at Freddy’s, which he’s co-writing with director Gil Kenan (Poltergeist).
- 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 a one-hour drama, Ricochet, 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)
- After placing as a finalist with the horror/thriller Shed, Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch went on to direct the hit indie film Starry Eyes. They were tabbed in January 2016 to direct the sequel to Universal’s breakout horror Mama and are also attached to direct Summit Entertainment’s Exorcism Diaries.
- 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 first brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Donnie Darko, Bad Words) at Darko Entertainment.
- 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 industry partners Marty Berneman, Eric Balfour, and Stephanie Varella (Off the Grid Entertainment) are representing the TV project Breathers, a sci-fi/drama written by TV Writing Finalist Will Wallace and based on the comic by Justin Madson.
- Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin‘ 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.