For this post I decided to go over perhaps my most assigned task at Red Wagon.
One of the most common tasks given to interns at Red Wagon is writing coverage on various material (scripts, books, etc.). Usually totally about 3 pages, coverage consists of a plot synopsis, a section of comments evaluating the material’s quality, and a final judgement on whether or not you think the material is worth the company further looking into.
Since there is so much content making its way around week-to-week, coverage becomes a key part in sorting through a seemingly endless pile of potential films.
While I’m writing coverage, I always have a few voices informing my writing. For example, in regards to synopses, I remember one Michigan alum telling me that if someone reads my synopsis they . Meanwhile, for final ratings, I generally use the three grade system I learned from my first screenwriting class — pass, consider, or recommend. Unfortunately, I’ve passed on most material I’ve read; a lot of stuff isn’t that great, not ready, or ill-suited for adaptation. Some pieces are good in their current medium but would really struggle to make it to screen. I’ve considered a few pieces; however, I’ve yet to recommend anything. Again, the words of my first screenwriting professor hang in my head, “Recommend is sticking your reputation on something.”
In reading and writing about so much, I feel like I’m getting a better grasp on writing and what works, and what doesn’t, in regards to screenwriting, the field I most want to go into. Thankfully, Red Wagon has started a small program called “Good Scripts,” where all the interns read a “good” screenplay and give our opinion about it.
Coverage has been a staple of my internship experience that offers me the opportunity to learn about the craft of screenwriting by seeing a multitude of written material, some successful, others less so, but each script or book contains its own promise and lesson to learn.