In-Depth Script Analysis


The In-Depth Analysis expands the writer’s perspective on the story, especially if s/he may sense that something isn’t working but can’t see the forest for the trees. It assists the writer in understanding current script-writing standards in today’s movie industry. It also provides a great deal of knowledge specifically applied to your story that can’t be found in books and seminars.

This service was featured in the Mar/April 2003 Creative Screenwriting article (vol. 10; #2). I’ll send you my structural breakdown of the external quest/plot, internal journey/thematic story, and page notes (created from 3 reads).

Or I can write out a detailed and cohesive analysis, including principal and secondary character analyses. This usually consists of 35 to 40 pages of detailed information and ideas based on 30 years of experience. This service costs more but many find it invaluable. (Check fees below.)

The written service includes the following:

1 — LOG-LINE – In movie terms, the conceptual hook that makes the story unique and the screenplay commercial. It’s a one-sentence summary of the story.

2 — OVERVIEW – A summary of impressions of the strong points of the writer and the script. The commercial and artistic merits of the script in general are addressed as well. Then, there is an overview of suggestions for discussion that will be covered in the critique.

3 — GENRE – Type of movie and explanation if the story ventures outside of the tonal environment that is set up. Hybrid genre mix is one thing; aberrant tone is another.

4 — THEMES – The abstract ideas that permeate the story. The underlying universal value (moral) implied by the story, usually through the main character’s internal journey, which unfolds as a result of the inner conflict provoked by the external quest. The resolution of the inner struggle within a philosophical, political, or social framework implies theme. Yes, even silly comedies need one of these. It’s what makes the story worth telling. Otherwise, it’s just a mindless series of events.

5 — STORY – Addresses the principles of tying theme to plot in an organic manner that implies the theme without blatantly stating it. These principles are applied specifically to your story and characters. The subjective part of your script is broken down and the elements are discussed with an eye toward story cohesion.

6 — STRUCTURE – Detailed comments on the inner design of the story, pacing of the plot, relationship of the subplot to the main plot thematically, and the proper order of structural steps that the protagonist should be taking in his/her transformation while advancing the conflict toward the plot’s resolution. (Notice how all these elements of plot, theme, structure, and character unite in an intricate relationship with each other.)

7 — CHARACTERS – Observations on how well-defined they are regarding needs, wants, motivations, flaws, ghosts, and character traits. Do they act and speak in keeping with their intentions, drives, and motivations? Are they sufficiently different from each other?

8 — RELATIONSHIPS – How well do they work regarding the story? Is there sufficient conflict in each one to create and maintain your story argument while sustaining a forward thrust to the story? Also, we take a look to see if there is sufficient Protagonist/Antagonist bonding through conflict that leads naturally to climax. Is there sufficient internal conflict created within the main character from the tug-of-war battle between Conscience Character and Tempter Character?

9 — DIALOGUE – Does it match the character’s semantic universe? Does it move the story and/or character forward? Does it reflect the character’s needs within that situation? Is it really the character speaking, or the writer? Does it imply character motive, or does it bang the audience on the nose?

10 — WRITING STYLE FOR SCREENPLAYS – Once upon a time, I was a lonely voice screaming in the wilderness about inadequate writing style – poor grammar, punctuation, spelling, passive verbs, non-dramatic description, telling without showing, etc. It seems that I’ve been heard. Now, others are teaching this and writing books on it. Why? A screenplay is more than a mere blueprint. It must evoke emotion and passion without distraction. The writing requires a certain kind of immediacy in its expression. The writing should be efficient to make the mind and eye of the reader zoom down the page. I used to write all my suggestions out. Now, I’ll just send you my book on Screenwriting Style for free along with your written In-Depth Analysis, which has all this info spelled out and suggestions on how to edit your script.

11 — FORMAT – Is the screenplay formatted according to current industry standards? I’ll mark improper or antiquated formatting and refer you to my CRAFT NOTES page.

12 — PAGE NOTES – in which I notate my specific thoughts, ideas, responses, reactions, suggestions, criticisms (things that work; things that don’t work) that come to me while reading your script 3 times. Page Notes are my unadulterated thoughts and impressions at the point where I have the thought. It is valuable for you to know what thoughts come to a reader as he reads… let you know what he likes, what he doesn’t understand, and what takes him out of the story. Many of these notes will be fodder for discussion, or for the written critique if requested.

13 — RECOMMENDATION – suggestions on the steps to take with the rewrite of your script.

Your script needs to be in New Courier 12-point type with margins of one inch at top (page # as a header), bottom, and right side at one inch, and left side at 1.5 inches. Do not cheat the script with the software. That means there are 57 lines per page. Plus, all description paragraphs need to be no more than 4 lines, and preferably less.

Mailing info below, or we can accept the script by email in Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft, Word, RTF, or PDF.


We also accept credit card payments through Pay Pal. Acct:








$10 per every page over 120 pages