I saw some coverage/review services offering a section called "marketability" or "commercial" or something similar... How important is this section/ Why is it important, and what should it mean to you? How should you view it?
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Well, generally "coverage" is a report card/grade sheet written by a reader for a producer/exec so that she/he does not have to read the script in order to determine if it is a viable and profitable project for them. With that, obviously budget, production costs, marketability (Will this perform well? Make money? Etc) is highly relevant and important to that producer/exec who may be considering a number of possibilities. Is marketability important for the writer? Depends. However it's smart to consider those factors as well, is it not? Lol! Especially if you are trying to sell your script as a product. ;) Some readers just make educated guesses on commercial marketability based upon the performance of similar films (comps). And some in the industry are quite savvy and can accurately estimate a spec script's budget and market viability. So how do I view this? Coverage is not intended for the writer; it is a skim-the-surface review and report card written for the producer/exec—from and for their perspective. Notes are more in-depth, much more constructive, helpful, and are meant to help the writer with her/his creative intent. So if you're looking for constructive feedback, then you should inquire about notes. If you are curious to know how a reader/producer/exec may view or "grade" your screenplay, then seek coverage. :)
Beth Fox Heisinger , spot on comment as usual. You're definitely one of the bright spots around here. A voice of reason. LOL
Marketability / commercial viability is a very important consideration for producers and distributors as well as investors. So if you're planning on trying to sell the script, or even if you're planning to produce it yourself and hope to have it released in theaters or even bypassing theaters and going straight to tv or internet, or if you will have investors who you will have fiduciary responsibility to, then an analysis of how your script fits into the market (or doesn't) is important.
Depends on the credibility of the coverage itself and depends on your intentions for the material.
I never thought of coverage as a marketing tool but if the coverage comes from a credible service I can see that as being a help. If I ever try to sell another screenplay I might try that.
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