Take Your Screenplay All The Way -- Constructive Coverage From A Nicholl Fellow

I've gotten to know dozens of writers who've achieved success.  Major contest wins.  Options. Paid writing assignments.  One thing these writers have in common is this:

They’ve all revised their screenplays based on constructive feedback. 

The key word here is “constructive”.  The feedback you get from the industry is often harsh and unreasoned.  You hear things like, “It just doesn’t work.”  

That’s not helpful.   You need the kind of feedback that recognizes potential.  The kind of feedback that usually comes from other writers.

In 2004, I won a Nicholl Fellowship.  Since then I’ve worked with numerous Hollywood producers and executives, including the Oscar-winning producer of the film Crash.

I will tell you this:  Before I got quality feedback from experienced writers, I got nowhere.  After I sought out that feedback, everything changed.

Unfortunately, not everybody has access to writers who know what they’re doing.  Free coverage-swapping websites usually get you the random suggestions of anonymous newbies.  And most pay-for-coverage sites rely on undisclosed readers with unknown credentials.

I'm not anonymous.  I will personally read your script and thoroughly respond to it.  I won’t tick boxes on a formulaic coverage sheet.  I’ll offer my supportive and constructive ideas, to help you write what you set out to create – the kind of story that wins contests and gets you paid.  


Doug Davidson


Script Coverage Chronicles – February 2019 - Which L.A. Hotel Will You Stay At When You Hit Big In Screenwriting?

For a bit of extra motivation to push harder on our screenplays – and as an excuse to spend some time thinking about my favorite Hollywood area hotels – this month’s blog lists five great Los Angeles locales to celebrate a big break.

The Beverly Hilton

This unassuming edifice at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica is the home of the Golden Globes.  They have a large circular driveway where they’ve been known to park their guests’ most exotic rides for all to gawk at.  So if you’ve just sold a screenplay, you can research the hot new car you plan to buy right outside the spacious main lobby.  I saw a Bugatti there once.  If that’s the one you pick, you’ll have to sell a few more scripts.

The Hotel Bel-Air

This famous La La Land lodge offers “out of the fray quiet elegance”.  It has a simple round pool – nearly empty and silent the one time I stayed there.  There was an equally noiseless herb garden with the most amazing aromas – oregano and basil melding with the nearby lavender and bougainvillea.  It’s a place to sit back, listen to your dreams and smell victory.

The Beverly Wilshire

I never actually stayed here, but I attended an industry event inside its hallowed walls at the south end of Rodeo Drive.  The ornate arched entryway is grand.  You walk past pillars framing impeccably clean windows into a world of luxury and privilege.  This is the hotel where they filmed the moviePretty Woman – you know, the one where Julia Roberts plays a hooker who falls in love with her john.  Hoist a drink here with your fellow screenwriters and toast to prostituting your soul to Hollywood.

The Beverly Hills Hotel

I love this place.  It’s pure pink panache tucked in among a rainforest of semi-tropical foliage.  There’s something so old-school glam about the setting, it makes for an amazing spot to sit poolside on a plush chaise lounge and tweak your latest script.  And yes, it’s very likely you’ll dine near someone famous in the Polo Lounge.  My wife and I sat ten feet from Diane Keaton. Maybe, in a few years, someone will be able to say they sat ten feet from you.

The Chateau Marmont

You’ve probably heard the old saying about this storied Sunset Strip hotel: “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont.”  That idea always appealed to me.  This hilltop gothic palace is the place to party when you really have a reason to let loose.  I’ve never stepped foot on the grounds.  I vowed not to until I’ve done everything I wanted to in screenwriting.  I haven’t done that yet – not even close.  I’m not even sure what it will look like, but I’ll know it when it happens.  And when it does – or if my writing career ever tanks for good – you’ll find me at the Chateau Marmont getting in trouble.