Ice Block offers script consulting in the form of coverage, feedback and proofreading. When you hire us to write coverage from your screenplay, you're accessing a team with deep industrial experience and a robust knowledge base of story structure and character development. While most screenplay reading service sites use this space to list their credentials, we're in the very nice position of not needing to do that. If you want to know about our industrial experience, just click around this site. We feel the work speaks for itself.
But, what exactly do you get when you hire us to provide script coverage?
LOGLINE: We cook up a punchy, concise log-line, something that summarises the world of the film, the characters and their central conflict.
ONE-SHEET: A 1-2 page summary of the film that goes into more granular detail on the characters, plot, dialog, mood, et cetera than the logline, without going into needless detail. (Hint: If the story can't be summarised into less than two pages, it might be lacking focus.)
THE ID PASS: Our immediate thoughts as we're reading. If there's a line of dialog that jumps out as particularly clever (or clunky), we jot a note down regarding the page number and why we reacted to it. In this section, you will find us at our most unfiltered, reacting as we experience the story, for better or for worse. We also make best-guesses as to where the script is headed. (Hint: if we're too accurate, your screenplay might be overly formulaic. If we're way off base, you've either got a twist that would make Hitchcock jealous or your first act isn't properly setting the story up.)
THE EGO PASS: Once we've let our unfiltered id respond to the script, we carefully consider the core elements of the story (characters, plot, dialog, mood, and so on) and try to suggest ways they can be improved.
GRADE: We give the script a letter grade based on a collection of quantified metrics. What are those metrics, you ask? Let's all say it together, shall we: characters, plot, dialog, mood et cetera.
RECOMMENDATION: We derive our recommendation from that grade. The scale breaks down as follows: Recommend (A+ to B-), Consider (C+ to D-) or Pass (D- or below, see me after class).
Won't your opinion of my work be skewed if I'm the one paying your rent?
Not a chance. We're not in this to make friends. We're in this to help people tell better stories. Our only goal is improving the script. The notes we give will be specifically focused on what elements need more work and suggestions on how you could approach that work.
What if I'm not happy with the coverage?
All art (and artistic critique) is subjective and it's entirely possible that you will think we totally missed the mark in our feedback. In the event that that happens, we will have a different reader give the script a pass. If you're still not happy, we will give you a full refund. It's as simple as that.
Why The Id Pass and The Ego Pass?
The reason we do two passes in this form is that we feel it is important to give the writer insight as to how the vast majority of your audience is actually going to experience the story. You've poured over the ins and outs of the script. You've talked it out with your writing group. But, most people are going to experience the story once and judge it as they're experiencing it.
Whether it's the audience watching the film in the theatre or an executive looking over the screenplay, people react to movies in realtime, not in carefully considered pages of notes delivered via PDF. We want you to have access to the reader's experience of a first pass. What is the audience thinking? What parts really hook them? What parts will just be fodder for cynical jibs? We find this type of feedback to be just as vital to understanding and improving a screenplay as the carefully considered notes.
I've never heard of that type of feedback before. Did you make it up?
Yes, we did. As we read scripts, we found ourselves compelled to scribble initial reactions in the margins. When we realised that it was our id taking over and that we'd eventually reign it in with the ego, the naming seemed inevitable. The directness of The Id Pass often contains vital information about what is and isn't working in the script and is delivered in a very immediate manner. However, it takes The Ego to apply that insight. Which is correct? They both are.
You're proud of yourselves, aren't you?
We think it's clever enough.