The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

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  • The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

    (Updated May 2014)

    While I’m more commonly known as the Screenplay Mechanic (or EvilRbt), my real name is Andrew Hilton. In the 90s, I studied film at the university level in the UK, New York and Los Angeles. During my final year of education, I began working at the studios, starting with Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation, then segueing to a development job at Universal Pictures. Next, I worked at Silver Pictures (Warner Bros) for six months, before moving to Mario Kassar’s MK Productions, which had a two-year deal with Paramount. There, I worked as an Executive Assistant and Story Editor, and my job included training readers.

    During this time, I fell into screenwriting and my first script landed me an agent and was quickly optioned. Later, when MK Productions’ deal with Paramount ended, I began reading freelance. For more than a decade, I read scripts primarily for New Regency Productions, but in the course of my entire career I've read for companies and producers at every single major studio.

    Some writers insist that a reader must be produced to be legit, so here are my writing credentials thus far: I'm in the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and my first produced project was a thriller called FATAL TRUST. Lifetime Television bought the script before it went to market and they had me develop it into their style movie (less horror; more romance). Production followed very quickly and the MOW premiered to record ratings for Lifetime. I also have several credits as a producer. In 2012, I was a Co-Producer on BRAKE, a theatrical thriller starring Stephen Dorff. I also did an uncredited rewrite on the script. In 2013, I was a Co-EP on a feature-length motorcycle documentary, WHY WE RIDE.

    In addition to my producing experience and my Screenplay Mechanic work, I continue to write features. Every screenplay I’ve ever written has been optioned or sold, but nothing has gone into production yet. Presently, my two most active projects are both setup with Nicholas Chartier’s Voltage Pictures (THE HURT LOCKER, DALLAS BUYERS’ CLUB), both of which should begin principal photography in late 2014 or early 2015. The first is a big-budget action project entitled BULLET RUN, which I’m also Co-Producing. The second is my latest spec, THE GUNS OF CHRISTMAS PAST, an action-packed retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

    While I wait for the cameras to roll, I intend to keep reading and writing coverage. I truly enjoy helping my clients, and the reaction to my work has been incredibly positive and rewarding. My rates are very reasonable and I work very hard. So if you're looking for basic coverage or development notes on your next screenplay, please keep me in mind.

    For more information, rates, etc. please visit my website:
    www.screenplaymechanic.com

    And become a "Fan" of the Mechanic on Facebook: The Screenplay Mechanic Facebook Page

    Or you can send questions to [email protected]

    Happy Writing!

    ~ Andrew
    Last edited by EvilRbt; 05-08-2014, 03:31 PM. Reason: typo
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  • #2
    Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

    Just wanted to throw in my two cents to anyone thinking about sending a script to EvilRbt. I sent him one of mine about thirty days ago and felt absolutely horrible when he sent back the results. Horrible because I felt like I had completely ripped him off. Sixty bucks! The price of a dinner out in the Bay area? He's worth a lot more than that.

    The work was way above the call of duty. He saw things I hadn't picked up on in seven rewrites. He was insightful, professional, and made himself available for further follow-up.

    I will never consider a script done till I have received his feedback. He's that good. I just sent him another script a few hours ago.
    If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base.
    Dave Barry

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    • #3
      Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

      I know Jeff Lowell used Andrew, with good results. On the opposite end of the spectrum, as someone writing my first comedy script, I had a really good experience, too.

      I had a partial script -- and he was able to identify the problems, offer solutions, and he didn't tip-toe. His style was professional and to the point.

      definitely a RECOMMEND

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      • #4
        Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

        Hello out there in DDP land. Yeah, my first post. I'm here as well to add my RECOMMEND to Andrew in the strongest light possible. Who'm I? Certainly no pro. But I did work in the industry, from typing up director's draft changes to proof reading Michael Eisner's Deal Memo. Nope, not saying that to toot my own horn. I'm sayin' it as examples of the perspective I bring to Andrew's coverage. During my time at Touchstone, I had an "in- to read unvarnished Studio Coverage. Boy kids, you wanna see the bar you need to hurdle? Read the real deal sometime when a studio reader wuz havin' a bad day and disemboweled your genius. I sure wish I had an A.H. around when I was pitchin' stuff to help me tune things up or Page One clean it!

        Andrew's coverage is "straight forward.- No coddling of the writer, no useless generic slop, no personal bias. His notes simply give one the means to correct structure, dialogue and character per the Coverage Sheet check-offs that are the gateway to getting to the higher-ups. He also gives a nice market perspective as it relates to your stuffs, that I have not seen in other reader's work.

        Again, I cannot RECOMMEND him highly enough. And I say that, having been "taken to the woodshed- by the man himself. In the end, his notes will improve your writing. And like the man says, he is here to realize your success.

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        • #5
          Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

          I think EvilRbt's sample coverage 2 on his website is definitive proof that he may know what he's talking about. And I'm being serious about that. Honesty go a long way in my book.

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          • #6
            Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

            Evil: just curious, how long have you been doing coverage for Scriptshark?

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            • #7
              Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

              I'll throw in my 2 cents by saying: there have already been three films called ASH WEDNESDAY, including a recent one by/with Ed Burns... I would recommend a title change.

              Now: carry on, carry on.

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              • #8
                Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                Originally posted by Rantanplan View Post
                I'll throw in my 2 cents by saying: there have already been three films called ASH WEDNESDAY, including a recent one by/with Ed Burns... I would recommend a title change.

                Now: carry on, carry on.
                I know. That's a working title the director came up with. It will change.
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                • #9
                  Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                  Originally posted by winter dreams View Post
                  Evil: just curious, how long have you been doing coverage for Scriptshark?
                  About 2 years now.

                  If anyone has any other questions, post away or feel free to email me directly at [email protected]
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                  • #10
                    Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                    Originally posted by haroldhecuba View Post
                    I think EvilRbt's sample coverage 2 on his website is definitive proof that he may know what he's talking about. And I'm being serious about that. Honesty go a long way in my book.
                    Those samples were randomly chosen from my archives by my friend who built the website. Not necessarily my best work but you get the general idea.
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                    • #11
                      Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                      And here I thought it was a brilliant ploy to lure the skeptics in. Still...good stuff, and if I decide to pay for coverage I'd definitely use you.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                        EvilRbt is a real find - he knows how to help you make your script better.

                        And he's fairly priced and he's fast, too!

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                          I loved the summary "Overall, this writer seems to be exorcising some demons rather than crafting a movie which is going to entertain audiences. So unless (AUTHOR) wants to peddle stories which will titillate people who fantasize about mutilating kids, there seems no point in considering these nauseating 101 pages any further."

                          But how did the client react ?

                          Mac
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                          • #14
                            Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                            Guess I'm a little late to the party... sorry EvilRbt.

                            For those of you considering script coverage, Andrew is your guy.

                            I sent him one of my scripts and was impressed with the detail
                            of his analysis. He showed me, in an encouraging way, flaws
                            that needed to be addressed to make my script better.

                            There's no question I'll be using his services again.

                            And, well, you can't beat the price.... anywhere!
                            The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense - Tom Clancy

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Screenplay Mechanic (EvilRbt)

                              Originally posted by Mac H. View Post
                              I loved the summary "Overall, this writer seems to be exorcising some demons rather than crafting a movie which is going to entertain audiences. So unless (AUTHOR) wants to peddle stories which will titillate people who fantasize about mutilating kids, there seems no point in considering these nauseating 101 pages any further."

                              But how did the client react ?

                              Mac
                              That was a report for a production company, likely New Regency. My style is different when reading for the writer, i.e. less blunt and more constructive.
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