Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Professional Script Reader Panel Bios March 28, 2010

#Scriptchat TOPIC: When u need an honest opinion, hire a prof reader. Find out what you need to get a “recommend” and what’s missing.

We’re excited to offer you a panel of professional readers to learn from.  There’s nothing like the opinion of someone who isn’t your mother, so bite the bullet and give one a try.  Believe me, these people read through a lot of crap, so don’t be afraid to take the stomach turning feedback of a professional reader to improve your script.  @jeannevb

EURO moderator: Mina Zaher, @DreamsGrafter
USA moderator: Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, @jeannevb

EURO chat:

I am Hayley McKenzie @HayleyMcKenzie1, a professional script editor with a passion for helping writers to develop their skills and their scripts.

I started script reading in 1997, first at Blue Heaven Productions the production company behind The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, and then for BBC Drama under Jane Tranter.  In 1999 I became a freelance script reader and editor with clients including Tiger Aspect , BBC Drama, TAPS, BBC Comedy, ITV (Yorkshire, Carlton, Granada) and Cinema Verity (the production company of renowned drama producer Verity Lambert).  In addition I was a script assessor for a variety of Writer Development Schemes including BBC Talent, ITV Yorkshire and ITV Carlton.

My first break into production script editing came in 2001 on the revamped Crossroads and from here I moved on to the hugely successful Sunday night ITV show Heartbeat.  I then went on to the BBC’s flagship Saturday night medical drama Casualty.  After two successful years on the show I moved on to script edit the six-part ITV crime drama Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin.  Most recently I worked in development at ITV Manchester Drama, developing the next series of Blue Murder as well as a host of original dramas for a variety of broadcasters and other media platforms.

Lucy V Hay @Bang2Write has read for Scottish Screen, Premiere Picture, The Screenwriters' Festival Scriptmarket Initiative, literary agents, TAPs and the short film script competition, "Sequel to Cannes", amongst others. She has also script edited for many independent film production companies, including Embrace Productions, (ACT OF GRACE), Stiletto Films (HANDS SOLO, funded by the UK Film Council & The Magic Hour Scheme) and Remark! Productions (THE FINGERSPELLERS). Lucy also writes the very popular screenwriting blog online, "Write Here, Write Now": www.lucyvee.blogspot.com. Lucy will be running a one day workshop, "How To Be A Great Script Reader" in association with Guerrilla Filmmakers @livingspiritpix in London on Saturday, April 24th 2010.

American Chat:

Xandy Sussan @covermyscript is a professional, produced screenwriter with a 10-year long track record of success.  Xandy has read over 1500 scripts and 750 novels since opening her doors in 1999 and continues to be the most trusted voice in script development.

With Cover My Script, Xandy Sussan makes herself personally available to discuss your work with you at length (for no additional fee) so you can understand every aspect of your writing and work smarter not harder towards a sale.

Xandy’s Script Service is a full service story analysis company. Some of the services that Xandy provides are: standard coverage for scripts of any length and novels, editing, formatting, development services, ghostwriting, rewriting, novel adaptations and basic consultations.

Many of Xandy’s clients have gone on to win contests, sell their scripts and see their projects into physical production.  Your script could be the next success story!

Warner Bros., Miramax, Handprint Entertainment, and Jennifer Lopez are merely a sampling of her satisfied clients. She has worked with many independent writers who have gone on to win contests and place their projects both with production companies and agents. http://www.covermyscript.com/

Merrel Davis @UnCompletedWork began his career as video editor and live events crew member, but soon discovered that his talents lead him to New York City where worked as a video editor, graphic designer, associate producer and cinematographer on music videos, industrials and documentaries.

Merrel is the organizer of Screenwriter Karaoke a successful monthly networking event which sees the monthly gathering of screenwriters and filmmakers in both NYC and LA for song, drink and networking.

Merrel was hired as a script analyst, where he evaluated 100’s of scripts to determine their worth as salable projects. It was his innate understanding of story structure, dialogue and filmmaking that led him to soak up everything he could and then applied it to his own work.

He is currently working on his most recent feature, while continuing to work with other writers achieve their creative goals. Merrel is available for consultations, script coverage, detailed notes and script doctoring. For more information check out his rates and services.

@snarkthereader Snark is a sharp reader in LA who has dug gems out of the slush pile, leaped tall buildings to show characters how to raise the stakes, and saved many a script from drowning.
 *note:  I love her cloaked personality.  Who better to give you real feedback than someone who remains anonymous.  Perfect set up for raw and honest : ) @jeannevb

Bill Pace @scripteach I received my Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from New York University’s acclaimed Graduate Film and TV program. My thesis film, ECHO CANYON, won the Cinemax National Short Film Search and was then televised nationally on the USA Cable Network
Since then I’ve written several produced scripts and also wrote and directed the award winning independent feature film CHARMING BILLY, a dark and intense dramatic story that imagines the unimaginable: what could cause an “ordinary man-next-door” to snap, climb a rural water tower with a rifle and open fire on the world below?
The script to CHARMING BILLY (which is not based on the book of the same name by Alice McDermott) was a three time finalist at the Sundance Screenwriting Lab. Lead actor Michael Hayden won the Best Actor award at the Los Angeles AFI International Film Festival “for his bracing, courageous perf as Billy,” as the VARIETY review exclaimed.
CHARMING BILLY is distributed by Wellspring Media, a distributor of such foreign classics as Akira Kurosawa’s RAN and the recent RUSSIAN ARK, American indies as MY DINNER WITH ANDRE and CLEAN, SHAVEN, plus many more.

I’ve also had the opportunity to branch out and write animation for different series and I found the experience of writing for this market both more challenging and fun than I had anticipated. The first series was a time-jumping syndicated program called @DVENTURERS: MASTERS OF TIME. Production was recently completed on it and as soon as I know its air dates I will post them here. Until then, look at the trailer here. Follow the below link to artwork and more info:
I just finishing writing episodes for a brand new series, THE SCHOOL FOR LITTLE VAMPIRES for Hahn Film AG. Since the scripts were just finished, it will be a while before the program is ready to air, as there is a l-o-n-g lead time in animation. It’s a fun show with a great premise and when it’s set tp broadcast, I’ll let you know.
The last couple of years I’ve been focusing on writing for hire for others, but recently I finished a short film I produced and directed, “A Relaxing Day”. I didn’t write this one because it was based on the one-act play “The Actress” by Pulitzer-nominated playwright Therese Rebeck. “A Relaxing Day” is currently playing various film festivals and you can find info on which ones at its site. http://www.scripteach.com/

Script Doctor Eric @scriptdreric began reading and writing screenplays in 2001 while working for a mid-level talent agency. After quitting the agency to have more time for his own writing, he worked as a freelance reader for agencies and production companies...and continues to do so to this day. The number of scripts read by Script Doctor Eric is in the thousands.

Script Doctor Eric has been writing screenplays since 1999. In 2007 he co-wrote a low-budget feature for Redshell Entertainment. He just finished a romantic comedy on spec, and is polishing a horror-thriller for a producer.

Script Doctor Eric refers to himself in the third person for marketing purposes only. He hopes you don't find it too annoying - just trying to get the name out there. http://www.scriptdoctoreric.com/

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