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What is a Script Doctor? by John August (Charlie's Angels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride)

Robert McKee
on Screenplay Formatting

William Goldman on SAVE THE CAT
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Script Doctor - Home

What is a Script Doctor?
A "Script Doctor" in Hollywood vernacular, is a screenwriter with exceptional talent that is brought in, often times without credit, to "punch up" a script before shooting. Since movie making is a fluid medium, it is possible to shoot much more material than is actually need to complete a project, so this additional material added to a script by the uncredited writer can easily be taken or left out of the final cut.

What are the differences between
"Script Doctors", "Screenplay Consultants" and "Script Analysts"?

A Screenplay Consultant is usually a person --sometimes a writer, sometimes not -- who is paid to give written or oral feedback on a script. Unlike Script Doctors, Consultants and Analysts will point out problems to a script, pose possible solutions, but they are not going to dig in and do the writing.

What are the advantages of using a
Script Doctor?

A Script Doctor is great if you are producing your own material but are maybe not the best writer in the world. Screenwriting takes years of practice to master. And while you may have a knack for directing or producing, shooting and editing is way too much work to be doing with a sub par script. Better material means more eyeball, better talent and a better opportunity for everyone on your projects to move up the industry ladder.

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