A holiday newsflash from our favorite Bitter Script Reader:
Post #999 – “Script reader… NO MORE”
by The Bitter Script Reader
Okay, so maybe the blog title is a little dramatic, but I couldn’t resist the Spider-Man allusion. If I could actually draw, you might have gotten a sketch of the Bitter Puppet walking away from a trashcan full of scripts. Instead, you get the copyright infringement above.
[Update: a very kind reader, AP Quatch, did a sketch much as I described. It was kind of a kick to see! Check out more of his work at http://www.sassquach.com.]
For some time now, I’ve talked about how the market for script reading is drying up. Sure, you can always hang out your own shingle and take payment directly from people interested in your feedback, but the days of supporting yourself on just a couple regular script-reading gigs with agencies, production companies and studios are fading fast, if not gone entirely. It’s why when people have written in asking how to become a reader, I’ve told them, “You don’t want this job.”
Things have been going down this road since the writer’s strike. For a while, I was able to compensate thanks to the sheer number of freelance jobs, but I’ve been aware of the ticking clock. Each year, it became more and more difficult to make a full living off of just my reading gigs. I’ve pursued other jobs within the industry, particularly with the goal of becoming a writer’s assistant. I got maddeningly close several times, close enough that I convinced myself I just needed to stick with the freelance jobs a little bit longer because surely my objective was within my grasp.
But as the years wore on, I enjoyed reading less and less. The scripts seemed to get worse, and I found increasingly less satisfaction in what I was doing. The companies I read for were unfortunately very stable in their development departments, which meant there was little opportunity to convert my reading gigs into some sort of Creative Exec position. I’d love to work in Development if the opportunity presented itself, but I’m done being just “the reader.”