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Old 01-27-2015, 03:45 PM   #1
Centurio
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Default Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

Just finished a very difficult first draft and wanted to give out a shout out to the two folks that helped me get through it -- and mapped out the rewrite road. Two consultants that have seen every single script (multiple times) that I've ever worked on and, in so doing, led the way to a few nice sales.

1) WheelHouse Writer -- I stumbled on her service years ago when I was first getting started on Triggerstreet. She doesn't advertise (never has) and limits her reads to scripts that interest her or clients that use her frequently. When I first sent her a script there was no charge. It's not how she makes her living, but she's since decided there should be some fee or people tend not to value the service. But it's the world's greatest deal at $50.00.
She's a three time produced writer (feature films) so she's pretty selective and often isn't in a position to take anything new. (I do have her permission to post this as she's currently got some time on her hands.)
She's fantastic on first drafts as she not only gives you an idea of what's not working and what's not up to industry standards, but also has some great suggestions to help out with the rewrite. Fair warning: She's brutally honest (in a good way.)

2) Screenplay Mechanic -- he's so good I name a character in every script I write. So yes -- there are Andrew Hilton's in the credits of all my produced (and far to many un-produced) films.
I also use Drew throughout the process and have sent treatments to him before even getting started.

I decided years ago that the fastest way for me to learn and get better was to use both as a part of the process. Two extra sets of eyes. Two professionals and both extremely cheap for what you receive in return.

Both really helped this time and I encourage anyone to give them a shot.

wheelhousewriter@gmail.com
screenplaymechanic@gmail.com
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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Originally Posted by Centurio View Post
Just finished a very difficult first draft and wanted to give out a shout out to the two folks that helped me get through it -- and mapped out the rewrite road. Two consultants that have seen every single script (multiple times) that I've ever worked on and, in so doing, led the way to a few nice sales.

1) WheelHouse Writer -- I stumbled on her service years ago when I was first getting started on Triggerstreet. She doesn't advertise (never has) and limits her reads to scripts that interest her or clients that use her frequently. When I first sent her a script there was no charge. It's not how she makes her living, but she's since decided there should be some fee or people tend not to value the service. But it's the world's greatest deal at $50.00.
She's a three time produced writer (feature films) so she's pretty selective and often isn't in a position to take anything new. (I do have her permission to post this as she's currently got some time on her hands.)
She's fantastic on first drafts as she not only gives you an idea of what's not working and what's not up to industry standards, but also has some great suggestions to help out with the rewrite. Fair warning: She's brutally honest (in a good way.)

2) Screenplay Mechanic -- he's so good I name a character in every script I write. So yes -- there are Andrew Hilton's in the credits of all my produced (and far to many un-produced) films.
I also use Drew throughout the process and have sent treatments to him before even getting started.

I decided years ago that the fastest way for me to learn and get better was to use both as a part of the process. Two extra sets of eyes. Two professionals and both extremely cheap for what you receive in return.

Both really helped this time and I encourage anyone to give them a shot.

wheelhousewriter@gmail.com
screenplaymechanic@gmail.com
Bumping this to thank Centurio.

This forum is how I discovered Wheelhouse Writer. She is fantastic. The scope of her notes was extremely detailed and focused. She really helped me to sharpen characters and a bunch of scenes a ton and a half.

I also found TitanCreed through DDP (TitanCreed@gmail.com) who was equally great with notes. Lots of really considered feedback that helped tremendously to focus central story points and pacing.

(I haven't had a chance to work with Andrew yet, but maybe next time!)
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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1) WheelHouse Writer -- [...]
She's a three time produced writer (feature films) so she's pretty selective and often isn't in a position to take anything new. (I do have her permission to post this as she's currently got some time on her hands.)
This sounds like an interesting person to contact. Is there an IMDB link to her produced films?
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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1) WheelHouse Writer --
A WARNING TO OTHERS

I just wanted to share my weird experience with WheelHouse Writer (Kelly). After reading the initial post above I emailed her and waited for a reply. The next day I got an email from "Kelly" stating that I had to send her a log line, genre and what sounded like a university application-package essay on " what you think makes your script stand out". All this in order to see "if its a project [she] can accept at this time".

Interesting... I have never before encountered an approval process for a notes service, especially an anonymous one.

But I decided to give this a shot anyway. So I wrote back expressing my continued interest in her services and included the log line, genre and other info on the screenplay as requested. But I also asked her if she could give me a better idea who she was, her track record as a reader/analyst and maybe IMDB links to her produced features (as mentioned in the first post above). For this I also included several links to my own bio, press, IMDB and Variety coverage on my activities as a producer. I thought that having over 100 news articles published on my film-related activities in Mexico as the president of the National Society of the Cinematic Arts and Sciences would be enough to qualify me to pay $50 for her services. I was also feeling very confident on my log line and other script info.

The next day she emailed me back the same identical boilerplate email that I got the first time stating her requirements. What made this especially ironic was that in her email she has this one sentence with one word in CAPS (always a red flag): " I will read your ENTIRE script and provide detailed notes... " It seems she doesn't even read complete emails (mine wasn't even long... only one paragraph).

What strikes me as very strange is why all the mystery who she is? Are we supposed to blindly pay a complete anonymous stranger with no last name and no references/credits? And this of course only if you are 'approved' by this stranger. I have to admit that this whole things sounds very fishy and I would be very careful of sending a screenplay to this anonymous person. If she does have a real track record, why not state it and link to it?
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:28 PM   #5
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What strikes me as very strange is why all the mystery who she is? Are we supposed to blindly pay a complete anonymous stranger with no last name and no references/credits? And this of course only if you are 'approved' by this stranger. I have to admit that this whole things sounds very fishy and I would be very careful of sending a screenplay to this anonymous person. If she does have a real track record, why not state it and link to it?
Manfred- your questions might have been asked of the reader privately, rather than posting them here... This might be a simple miscommunication IMO. (And many readers don't have any credits at all... I would go as far as to say most don't. Many will provide samples, but not many have a track record of finished films to their name. At least not that I'm aware of...? Someone with more knowledge here can feel free to jump in anytime.)

In my experience, I felt all that was asked of me from WW was pretty standard. It didn't seem like any kind of arduous application- it was about the same info I've given to most other readers.

That being said, someone who provides a service that doesn't accommodate your needs as a paying customer should lose your business. In my experience, you're better off getting reads from people who are interested in your genre and style anyway. And there are a TON of readers out there. You should be getting feedback from people you're comfortable with too, especially in early stages. You don't always click with a reader and it's OK to walk away from that situation.

It's OK to question if someone is legit (which I've done many times on DDP) but maybe not by implying that someone isn't legit...? Just my two cents.

Good luck with your work!
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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In my experience, I felt all that was asked of me from WW was pretty standard. It didn't seem like any kind of arduous application- it was about the same info I've given to most other readers.
I have never had a paid reader require me to submit an essay to persuade them to allow me to pay them to read my script. That seems bizarre, frankly.

I don't know anything about this wheelhousewriter person, but the essay thing alone is enough to steer me away.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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Manfred- your questions might have been asked of the reader privately, rather than posting them here...

[...]

(And many readers don't have any credits at all... I would go as far as to say most don't...)
I *did* ask her privately (with no luck). In fact I even asked here on this thread several days ago before contacting her (see third post), but no one answered. I agree that many excellent readers don't have produced credits, nor would I ever expect this to be requirement. But the whole point is that Centurio advertised her as someone very selective with three produced feature film credits. So these outstanding credentials is why one would presumably go through her application process. Which is fine by me. The only thing I ask is to at least know who she is and what these movies are before sending the essay, payment and screenplay.

The reason I'm sharing my experience is because Centurio's recommendation/advertisement in this very thread is what caused me to contact her in the first place, and I feel her essay and application process were not clearly disclosed. I think it's only fair that the positives be shared along with the negatives. And the only negative thing I am currently saying is that all this secrecy and radio silence is strange. Why not say who she is and what the films are?
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Old 03-01-2015, 10:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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I have never had a paid reader require me to submit an essay to persuade them to allow me to pay them to read my script. That seems bizarre, frankly.

I don't know anything about this wheelhousewriter person, but the essay thing alone is enough to steer me away.
I honestly have no idea what "essay" is being referred to. I was asked for really basic info- like genre and page count. I maybe sent two lines of description...? I agree, an essay would be beyond bizarre.

And, manfred, apologies for not replying to your question. I didn't (and don't) have an answer. I don't pick readers based on credits, so I don't know anything about WW's own work. I was looking for someone who wanted to read my genre and give honest and constructive feedback. I was happy with the results. That's all I was posting about.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

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And, manfred, apologies for not replying to your question. I didn't (and don't) have an answer. I don't pick readers based on credits, so I don't know anything about WW's own work.
No worries I'm glad you shared your positive experience. Posts like yours are the best way to share with others good tips that can help us all along our writing journeys. But unfortunately sometimes user experiences can vary. In my particular case I was just really surprised that after 'opening' myself up to her with a lot of personal information on myself and my screenplay, she wouldn't say who she was and instead emailed me again her list of requirements. It just seemed cold, if not a bit rude. But maybe everything was just a miscommunication. It is possible. At this point I guess it's best to give her the benefit of the doubt and just wait for her response if she wants to. It's okay if she doesn't. I'll respect her right to absolute anonymity. It just seems odd.

***

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I honestly have no idea what "essay" is being referred to.
On a last note (and I do mean last note because I think it's time for me to drop this, move on and mend fences ), the whole thing about calling it an essay was a rhetorical device used to make a point. If you look at my initial negative post you'll see all I said was that one of her requirements almost "sounded like a university application-package essay". The actual line in her email that gave me this impression is this:

"If this sounds good to you email me your Logline, genre, and what you think makes your script stand out, any particular areas of concern, and I'll let you know if its a project I can accept at this time."
(My emphasis)

NOTE TO WW (Kelly): if you are reading this, all is forgiven I also sincerely apologise for having made such a stink out of all this. It stems from the fact that I felt a bit judged when you didn't respond the way I was expecting. I'm sure you have valid reasons for remaining anonymous.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Great script services: The Screenplay Mechanic and the Wheelhouse Writer

I just finished using Wheelhouse writer and wanted to post here as I know there was a little mixup.

I had no issues mentioned above, she was polite and courteous. She asked me for my logline, and replied back that she would be interested in reading it.

She took about a week to get back to me, and had some very nice things to say including mentioning that it was hard to be helpful with such good writing which made me beam

She provided some great feedback and suggestions on how to improve my script. I would definitely use her again, and at $50, that's hard to beat.
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