Hey everyone! It has been a minute, but we’re back! We’ll be posting regularly again and we can’t wait to share all of our ideas with you. Recently, I’ve been reminiscing about my own writing journey.

When I was in film school, everyone encouraged me to read great scripts. No one ever told me to read bad ones. Why would they? What could anyone learn from a terribly paced, poorly plotted mess? 

I took the advice I got in film school and I read as many scripts as I could get my hands on. And I learned a lot. But after a certain point, I hit a wall where I wasn’t getting new information. It felt like I was reliving my Intro to Creative Writing class over and over again. Despite the expert craftsmanship of all the scripts I was reading, I wasn’t soaking up any new insights that improved my own writing.

Script Coverage – Lessons Learned

It wasn’t until I landed an internship at a production company that I found the best writing teacher I’ve ever had: bad scripts. My job was to read scripts and write coverage. Most of the features, pilots, and novels I read were astoundingly bad. I still remember the very first script they handed me. It was an absolute mess and it was painful to read all the way through. And once I finished reading it, it was only the beginning. I still had to write the actual coverage. Of course, I hadn’t taken any notes and I had to read it a second time just to find all the little things that weren’t working. I sat down and compiled all of my ‘complaints.’ But once I had finished my coverage, I realized something: my own script had several of the same problems I just pointed out in my coverage. I went home that night and rewrote several scenes, beyond pleased with my progress. 

Soon, my revelations became a weekly, if not daily occurrence. It didn’t take me long to realize I was gleaning more from these hot messes than I ever had reading five-star film scripts. Breaking down a story and examining why it didn’t work was far more helpful than trying to decipher what makes a perfect script

Anyone who has worked more than a day in the film industry can tell you that at least 90% of all scripts written are terrible. That knowledge can be a terrifying, seemingly insurmountable barrier. But taking every bad script as an opportunity to learn and grow as an artist makes the whole process a lot less futile and a whole lot more rewarding.