Selling a Script – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Screenwriting Glossary Terms

I. What is a Script?

A script is a written document that outlines the dialogue, actions, and scenes of a movie, television show, play, or other form of visual storytelling. It serves as a blueprint for the production team to follow when creating the final product. Scripts can vary in length and format depending on the medium they are intended for, but they generally include descriptions of the setting, characters, and plot.

II. What is the Pitching Process?

The pitching process is the act of presenting a script idea to potential buyers in the entertainment industry. This can include producers, directors, studio executives, or agents. The goal of pitching is to generate interest in the script and ultimately secure a deal for its production. Pitching often involves a formal presentation where the writer outlines the story, characters, and themes of the script in order to convince the buyer of its potential success.

III. What is a Treatment?

A treatment is a condensed version of a script that outlines the main plot points, characters, and themes of the story. It is typically used as a sales tool to generate interest in the script before it is fully developed. Treatments are often one to ten pages in length and provide a brief overview of the script’s key elements. They can be used to pitch the script to potential buyers or to attract talent to the project.

IV. What is a Spec Script?

A spec script, short for speculative script, is a screenplay that is written without a specific buyer or commission in mind. Instead, the writer creates the script on their own initiative in the hopes of selling it to a production company or studio. Spec scripts are often used as writing samples to showcase the writer’s talent and creativity. They can also be a way for new writers to break into the industry and establish themselves as professional screenwriters.

V. What is Script Coverage?

Script coverage is a service provided by script readers or consultants who evaluate scripts for potential buyers. The coverage typically includes a summary of the script, an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, and a recommendation on whether or not to pursue the project. Script coverage can be used by writers to improve their scripts before pitching them, or by buyers to assess the quality and marketability of a script before making a purchase.

VI. What is a Script Sale?

A script sale is the process of selling a script to a production company, studio, or other buyer in the entertainment industry. This can involve negotiating a deal for the script’s production, securing a writer’s fee, and potentially receiving royalties or other compensation for the script’s use. Script sales can be a lucrative opportunity for writers to see their work brought to life on screen and to establish themselves in the industry. The sale of a script can also lead to further opportunities for the writer, such as assignments to write for other projects or adaptations of their work into different mediums.