Script Consulting

 

My favorite thing about teaching and consulting with writers is when I establish an ongoing mentoring relationship and see it pay off over time.  While it might start with me giving notes on a script (see details on that below), it often continues beyond that into “coaching” — because my approach is less about focusing on what might not be working in a piece of material, and more about identifying a path forward — where I help a writer work their way to the best possible version of their project.

It’s the first big decisions that are the most important, and most difficult to get right — which is why I always recommend writers seek professional input early in the process, before getting in too deep. (Just like an agent or manager will want clients to run ideas by them before committing to writing a spec script.)

I always start with the basic concept – with the story challenge(s) that the writer is hoping to get an audience emotionally invested in.  I find Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat  books to be a great help with this — and especially his thoughts on “genre”. (You might also be interested in reading about “What I look for in a script“, as well as my take on the phenomenon of “script consultants“.)

If you’re interested in having me read all or part of a finished script or outline, here are the options:

 

“Fifteen and Four”

My recommended introductory method for giving feedback on material is priced at $295, and is called the “Fifteen and Four.” With this package, I read the first 15 pages of a script, plus a 4-page story or series synopsis — then discuss it with you during a one-hour recorded phone conference (or Skype call).

In my experience, 90% of the important notes I have on a script will be notes that I would also have on that 4-page synopsis — notes that center on the story concept, main character and structure. (For a feature screenplay, the “Beat Sheet” from the SAVE THE CAT books provides a great template to use.)

Alternative options for the “Fifteen and Four” are:

(1) 25 script pages, with no 4-page synopsis.
(2) A 10-12 page outline, with no script pages.
(3) A 4-page synopsis, with no script pages — in which case Erik will first provide written comments and e-mail them back, before doing the phone or Skype conference.
(4) A 4-page synopsis, plus a coverage report from a service like www.SpecScout.com. (Erik can read and interpret reader scores and comments, and help you identify next steps, in addressing the feedback.)
(5) Two rounds of written notes on a one-page synopsis or query, followed by a 60-minute call.
(6) A 90-minute call to discuss a one-page synopsis or verbal pitch for an idea.

Of course, there are times where a full script read is the preference (see below for details on that), but more often than not, this introductory package makes an ideal way to begin working with me.


Fifteen and Four



 

The “Add to Cart” buttons on this page will take you to a Paypal shopping cart, through which you can prepay using a major credit or debit card, or e-check. This reserves your spot the quickest, and gets you the fastest turnaround time, but there is a 3% “tax” to cover Paypal’s fees.

If you’d rather prepay by sending a cashier’s check or money order, you can send it to:

Funclub Unlimited (Erik’s corporation name, please put this on the payee line)
PO Box 281
Agoura Hills, CA 91376

Please e-mail Erik to let me know it’s on its way, and when to expect it.

With any payment, I will confirm receipt via e-mail, and let you know when to expect feedback by.
 

 
 

Full script consultations

If you would like a full consultation for a feature film screenplay, television script or short film or script, choose one of the packages below.

Each includes a four-page written analysis and suggestions, covering concept, genre, structure, and execution — looking at the project’s overall potential, what he felt you were trying to achieve, and how best to improve it moving forward, as well as a 60-minute recorded phone conference (or Skype call, or in-person meeting) to discuss the notes, and your possible next steps.


Script Consultation:



 

“Erik’s expertise has helped me improve my pitching, my screenwriting and my TV writing.  He really knows story (it’s obviously second nature to him), but is also able to step back and articulate big conceptual ideas in a practical way, which makes him a wonderful teacher.  Over the course of the last year I have met with many television executives, and Erik’s coaching has helped me walk in with confidence.  Working with him is like attending the film school I wish I had when I went to film school!” – AMY TAYLOR, represented by Original Artists and Quattro Media

 

 

 

hoover 3 (2) “I would not have made it this far without Erik’s very direct and constructive criticism.  At a time when it’s difficult to get a break, it’s great to be able to receive feedback from a top pro.  I’ve worked with dozens of consultants, and his script notes are the best I’ve ever received. Amazing that such a talented writer does consulting. He’s reasonably priced and a nice guy.  I will be using his services again in the future!” – STEPHEN HOOVER, 2010 Grand Prize Winner, “Table Read My Screenplay”; 2009 Gold Prize Winner, PAGE International (Thriller/Horror Category)

 

Jeff Cotton photo

“I’ve worked with half a dozen evaluators before finding someone of Erik Bork’s caliber.  Thanks in part to his invaluable insights, my screenplay placed highly enough in Script Savvy’s contest that they are now recommending it to producers.  Erik has an exquisitely attuned sense of truth and is willing to give critical, hard-to-hear feedback so important in helping me hone my scripts.  His points are always about the screenplay and not his ego. Perhaps most importantly, Erik listens. His intention is to work with me as an ally and I trust that completely.”  – JEFF COTTON, Script optioned by Emmy-nominated and Peabody-winning producer.

     
If you haven't read them already, I also recommend my "Ten Key Principles Successful Writers Understand", and my series of audio downloads.

41 Comments

  1. Jaquie Brown

    Working with Erik over the past six months has been a game changing experience for me. Every time my email pings with something from him I get excited because I know his notes will make me think about my script in a new way and take me closer to it being ‘ready’ (Does any writer ever feel their work is ready!?)
    What I love and appreciate about working with Erik is the way he guides you. I have never felt that any of my ideas are wrong, just that there are other ways to look at things that I’d not considered. Erik is truly generous with his time (he even worked on my script on the plane coming home from his vacation!) he’s patient and encouraging. But as well as being an all-round nice guy, he absolutely knows his stuff. He is intimidatingly well versed in the ways of script and story, and yet I’ve never felt anything other than supported. Erik’s helped me with structure, truly understanding story and as I’m writing for an ensemble, the importance of the web of conflict. I’m like a sponge, soaking up everything Erik has to say and I’m just trying to work out how to make my last draft a bit terrible, so that he can keep giving me notes and we can carry on working together. FOREVER. Any success I earn from the script I’ve developed with Erik will be because of him, I’m truly thankful for his help and think anyone that is serious about being a better writer and breaking into the industry would benefit from his teaching.

  2. Angela Uzun

    When it comes to scriptwriting teaching and coaching, Erik is absolutely the best! I came to him with no scriptwriting experience whatsoever, just after reading a book on scriptwriting and coughing up a script in 2 weeks. I asked Erik to review my script (and he was kind!) and started taking lessons since Feb, 20th, 2016. If there ever was an Eliza Doolittle of scriptwriting – I would definitely qualify, and to complicate the matters even more – English is not my native language. However, after Erik’s coaching, on May 13, 2016, I became one of the top ten finalists of the Industry Insider Contest.
    When people buy golf clubs, they know that they need lessons in golf. However, once we can hold a pen, we fancy ourselves a writer. Yes, scriptwriting lessons and coaching cost a lot of money, but I value my time and an opportunity to grasp the new concepts fast and in a bullet proof manner more than I value my money.

  3. Having listened to all of Erik’s lectures and completed a consultation with him on my TV pilot, I was very impressed with his honesty, insight, and breadth of industry and film knowledge. On top of that, Erik is just a very nice guy who seems to genuinely want me to improve as a writer. I highly recommend working with Erik however you can.

    Best,
    Stephen Woodward

  4. Eric has been hugely helpful in guiding me through the script writing process. His advice is always spot on. Even though I sometimes resist in the end I come around to embrace his informed analysis. Having Eric’s expertise to lean on gives me a greater confidence. I look forward to his consultation on my future projects and would unequivocally recommend his services.

  5. Mark Morrow

    Erik is AMAZING! Even if you don’t like what he says at first. Hey, the truth hurts and we writers are SENSITIVE. But Erik’s main goal is to MAKE YOUR STORY WAY BETTER. I have worked with Erik on several projects and have been really happy with the results. One script we worked on, got me meetings with several MAJOR STUDIO EXEC. (I am not talking meeting low end bottom feeders either. – THINK VP and Oscar Winners) Another script was picked up by a mid level studio.

    So results are possible. Again, Erik can’t make you CREATIVE and he won’t hold your hand. (Unless you pay him, I suppose…then it is possible.) BUT…..you will not waste your money and your STORY will be WAY BETTER.

  6. Kyle Notkin

    Erik Bork has the ability to put into words the infinite thoughts of a writer both on the page and in life. I recommend the Ten Key Principles and stalking the blog, there is a ton of gold right here.

    Greatly appreciate the dedication!

    Sincerely,

    Kyle Notkin

  7. Wade Alexander

    Erik brings an unbiased and objective point of view to your material, which is an invaluable resource to any writer.

    Not to mention he is a story scientist.

    He has such a solid understanding of character and structure that he’s able to spot where things are working, and conversely, where things need a closer look.

    Erik obviously loves what he does, it comes through when you talk to him; he’s passionate about storytelling and his ultimate goal is for you, and your story to improve.

    What more can you ask for.

  8. Tony Babarino

    Finally, an experienced and working professional who has reasonable rates for those of us that need excellent feedback, idea, and help! Looking forward to using this service!

  9. Karen Wilson

    The opportunity to get personal feedback from Erik was a valuable experience. Not only did he pack a great deal of information and advice into an hour session, but I could tell that he gave my work his full attention. He is straightforward, knowledgeable, as well as enthusiastic. I would recommend his services to anyone.

  10. Madia Hill

    I had a consultation session with him and the information provided was invaluable. He was easy to talk to, knowledgeable and provides great feedback. He really knows his stuff and I look forward to receiving more of this information in the future!

  11. My script “Static” just won Best TV Pilot in the Emerging Screenwriters Competition, and I doubt that would have happened without Erik’s help. He worked on two separate drafts, finding numerous ways to improve the story, and pointing out some flaws that I was oblivious to (or thought I could get away with). I wish I’d found Erik sooner – with his invaluable insight and knowledge, I’m sure he would have been able to help me improve my earlier scripts. I’ll be sending him my next script very soon. And the one after that.

    • Lee

      Hi Keith, I’ve had in mind the subject of a book, describing the pain and rot embedded in multi generations of families across UK as a result of the anguish and physiological disturbances of WW2. Any thoughts ?

      Best wishes Lee Davidson (44 Ex 3Para now Architect)

  12. Patrick Wier

    As someone who has spent enough on Erik’s consultations to send his kids through college, I can attest that his help is well worth the money. His analysis and advice are always spot on. He doesn’t miss a trick. His patience and sense of humor (at least he thinks I’m funny…) help make the experience rewarding. Screenwriters need to use this valuable resource before he is gone. (Don’t go, Erik!)

  13. Brett Preiss

    Hi Erik,
    you most likely get a million messages like this, but I just wanted to say thank you for the Ten Key Principles. They were very helpful. I particularly liked and agreed with the final one about giving rather than expecting and waiting. I am a novice write, have loads of stories in my head but need to learn the craft of writing. I come form the deserts of Australia and now live in Europe and have accumulated a myriad of stories in my head to entertain. My style is mainly humor and tragedy together (typical Aussie trait really!). I agree with you, that the more you write and share your writing, the universe will return as much as you give. I just love writing and I’m enjoying the journey. Your Ten Key Principles really resonated with me and have been a wonderful springboard on my writing journey.
    Cheers and many thanks,
    Brett

  14. Erik is the real thing. He’s insightful, perceptive, incredibly knowledgeable and tells it like it is. Working with him has taken my writing to a completely new level. I only wish I had started working with him ten years ago. He’s as good as it gets. Makes me want to move to Los Angeles just so I can take his classes in person.

    Marie Dame

  15. Andy Neilson

    Success as a writer in Hollywood is a puzzle; in that venture Erik is an invaluable resource. If you want to work you have to sell, and he will work with you on the foundation of your story in order to help you find the script that can get sold. As somebody who is recently out of college, I IMPLORE young writers or film students to pick his brain, and as somebody who’s on a budget, Erik’s variety of consulting options and prices are a godsend compared to the majority of writing gurus who charge exorbitant fees. He has my wholehearted recommendation. Thanks, Erik!

  16. Lawrence Ribeiro

    Erik’s experience hasn’t been learned from books but from hard earned fought battles being in the trenches. This was invaluable to me as I don’t need to reinvent the wheel and as a result saves me a lot of time and money. It won’t take too long to figure out you are working with a pro. But most of all he’s a great guy and very easy to to deal with absolutely no ego.

  17. Gray M. Wlliams

    WORTH EVERY PENNY. Still floundering about after several story revisions, I finally decided to work with Erik. I couldn’t be happier with the decision. Erik’s insights and attention have helped me progress in leaps and bounds. My only regret is not working with him sooner. Thanks Erik.

    Gray M. Williams

  18. I decided to contact Erik during the final stages of writing my short screenplay; “Still Falls the Rain”. It was the best decision I could have made at that point, as he made me see issues that I completely overlooked, and emphasize the aspects that were already working particularly well. I’m not one to normally write reviews, but I’m confident when I say that I would recommend Erik to anyone else in the same position in a heartbeat.

  19. Roger Schick

    Erik is an excellent reviewer and consultant. I was very excited to have one of the producers of Band of Brothers (one of my favourite miniseries) even read my script at the time. He did a great job helping me to hone my craft and have some clarity in what “Hollywood” wants to see as it related to my story. With the written analysis, I didn’t think that a one on one conversation was necessary but he answered all my questions, I was very impressed and was glad I did.

  20. Rev. Dr. B Bruce Cook

    Erik

    Thanks for being a great mentor! I could not have done it without you, my friend!

  21. Chris Thrower

    Hi Erik,
    Thank you for this. I’ve had a few disappointments of late but your website and advice makes me realise this is still what I want to do.
    Kind Regards
    Chris

  22. Hey Erik,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging emails and the opportunity to meet you at The Great American Pitchfest. Your seminar was very practical and educating both from a creative and business perspective. Okay, back to the year 2071 I go.

    Thanks for Saving my Cat,
    Jesse Wine

  23. Leisa Elliott

    It was wonderful to meet you Eric! It is always wonderful to meet a fellow buckeye who is doing extremely well in this business. I look forward to working with you in the future. Be well and continue to prosper.

    Best Wishes,
    Leisa Elliott

  24. Robert Pascoal

    I first met Erik at a San Diego Filmmakers meeting. With so many people offering similar services I was lucky to have had the chance to hear Erik speak and get to know him. I felt very good about choosing Erik and was not disappointed.

    We met over a Skype session and I knew I had chosen wisely, as he accurately summed up my treatment, pointed out the strengths and weaknesses, and delivered professional, constructive and helpful criticism that helped me move my project forward. It was good time and money well spent.

  25. Jeff Michaels

    In a town where it is difficult to separate what is truth from fiction Erik Bork is the real deal. His credits and accomplishments are well known. Erik brings his experience to you in a frank and friendly manner. My time with him improved my vision of my work and re-focused the screenplay, strengthening the concept. Always respectful, Erik sought ways to sharpen not just the project at hand but also my craft. His practical suggestions during our session brought positive results to all my writing projects.

    Thank you Erik!
    Jeff Michaels

  26. I have consulted with many script analysts, but Erik is the best! Not only does he have a very wide ranging expertise, but he is gentle, kind, full of creative ideas, and takes an active interest beyond the call of duty in the client’s work. My screenplay, The Journey, will be much, much better because of his comments. I plan to consult him again after I complete the second draft. There is no better way to spend your screenplay development money than to get a consultation with Erik! Also, his prices are very reasonable and competitive.—Trisha Howell, published author, actress, screenwriter

  27. Shahin Afnan

    Apart from being a great writer and giving us the benefit of his expertise and experience, Erik Bork was able to enter into the world of our feature length screenplay, giving my writing partner and I thought provoking analysis and insights.

    When you work with Erik you know he is truly listening and present every step of the way. A rare gift indeed.

    Thanks for being there Erik!

  28. Our nonprofit organization discovered Erik after our short film script had already been written. As I am a copywriter and had never written a script, Erik’s knowledge and constructive criticism was extremely valuable and helped us to greatly improve before shooting. The purpose of the videos was to raise funding and awareness of the humanitarian crisis in North Korea through the eyes of three refugees and one volunteer. Erik pointed out sections of the storyline that would have confused people unaware of the issue and provided suggestions for a stronger opening and closing.

    The finished videos can be found at http://vimeo.com/linkglobal/videos under these titles: Joseph, Jane, Shin, Nomads. We’ll definitely be going back to Erik again!

    Esther Lee

  29. Robert Gustafson

    My writing partner and I have spent a lot of time this year working on spec sitcom scripts and Erik has done two things for us very well.

    First, he’s helped us focus our energies on writing only the scripts that make the most sense for our goals. Before we even began using his services, we spoke to him at length about what we wanted to achieve and he’s offered to take a look at our simple outlines so we wont do any unnecessary writing.

    Second, he’s focused our work on those projects. His notes have steered us away from gimmicks and helped us concentrate on character and story first. If he doesn’t agree with a direction of the story or character, he thoroughly explains why and offers up possible suggestions to illustrate his points.

    Bottom line, Erik is a professional who understands character, story and structure. His notes are thorough and appropriate for our goals and specific to our project. I would highly recommend him.

    Robert Gustafson

  30. Elisa Fleener

    Shock. Disbelief. Just a couple of words to describe how I felt when I realized this talented pro was willing to consult at such an affordable price. Thank you!

    Synergy. Connection. Words to describe what our one on one meeting was like in LA. Everything Erik explained and brainstormed just made total sense to me… from character and plot development to steps to take for a rewrite. Things fit. Eric also has a nice disposition – not a Hollywood snob.

    Detailed. Efficient. These words describe the analysis he sent before our meeeting and the notes he sent via e-mail after our meeting.

    He will help bring life to your script!

  31. Susan Wadsworth Taylor

    As my sister and I began our current writing project we prayed for the right people to cross our path on this journey to help us successfully tell our story. I met Erik at the LA Writer’s Conference. Hearing his background and impressive accomplishments along with the fact that he is very warm and approachable, I felt assured that he was one of those people. His fees and the steps to initiate the process were reasonable and clear. He promised one thing. “I try to give more value than I receive.” He absolutely fulfilled that.

    I believe Erik really cares about people and he really loves what he does. It is evident in his sincerity. He is very professional, prompt to always respond and gave abundant sound advice, detailed notes and explanations mapping our direction. We gained tremendous insight, instruction, and inspiration.

  32. Peter Jedick

    Erik IS the man. I’m an author and wanna be screen writer. After penning four books I thought screen writing would be a snap. Then I tried it and discovered how challenging it really is. Without Erik’s help I would still be lost in the wilderness. His advice has been invaluable and his prices are very reasonable. I would recommend him to anyone and everyone.

  33. To be really useful, script analysis should be like good medicine––specific to the problem, evidence-based, therapeutic and prompt. Erik Bork provides all of that and as a bonus gives the distinct impression he actually cares about your success.

  34. Pete Greenwald

    Erik- Thanks for the detailed notes and recent feedback on my script. Your assistance and attention to detail is not only appreciated, but also cherished. The amount of input you gave has really made an impact on my re-writing focus and your pointers on new approaches has really changed my focus for the better.

  35. Richard Periard

    Big Help:
    I had been working on my Romantic Comedy for 2 years and it was Erik’s analysis that solved my problems. Now, the script is done and l am ready to send it out to producers.

    Thanks Erik

  36. Beth Rohach

    After attending one of your seminars at the Screenwriters Expo it was apparent, after sharing stories of successes and failures, that you had insightful knowledge of the inner workings of the entertainment industry. You offered a very, in-depth, comprehensive analysis of my sitcom pilot that has given me many ideas on it’s development that I wouldn’t have considered before. Even with all of the success you’ve had, I can tell that you still enjoy working with new writers and helpling them along in the process.

    Thanks Erik

  37. Hi Erik:

    I very much enjoyed your workshop at the LA Writer’s Conference. Thank you for sharing your years of experiences and beneficial expertise. I have been focusing on a much deeper look at each scene. I have posted a banner above my computer that reads: Compelling, Entertaining, Believable and Unique….often easier to read than to write but I like the end results!

    I hope to get some coaching from you soon, thanks again.

    Peace,

    Sharmyn
    Author: “40 Something & Single”

  38. Erik, your presentations were the buzz of the conference. I’ve been attending SCWC since 2004 and now help out with staffing logistics, leaving me little time for attending sessions. However, I knew you would be there and hoped I could sit long enough to take in a workshop. I finally was able to sneak into your Sat a.m. session and was blown away by your humility, approachability, clarity and common sense. Trust me; this is not always the case in a screenwriting presenter. For some reason, in fact, those who have written the least seem to be the most authoritarian and least flexible in their approach. Your embrace, not only of differences between individual ambitions but also of wildly variant subject material, signals to me your seriousness and effectiveness as a teacher and writer. (You handled everything from religious memoir to romantic comedy, including fiction, non-fiction and script formats, and helped everyone see the necessity of emotional hooks in all.) Thank you so much for your outstanding contribution to the event, as well as giving me (as an attendee) much-valued encouragement and wisdom to help sustain me along the writing path.

  39. Jeff Michaels

    Hi Erik,

    Thank you for the article. It is a nice summation of your presentation. I have taken the words “Compelling, entertaining, believable and unique” to heart and literally am looking at every paragraph I write to see if it fulfills this guideline.

    That is the unique thing about the concept. It is NOT a formula, rather a guideline. It is flexible and can be adapted to any writer or genre.

    I really enjoyed your sessions at the conference and look forward to working with you in the near future.

    Kindest Regards,
    Jeff

  40. Buck McLean

    I have read the books, paid for coverages and consultations, listened to the experts at seminars, and otherwise sought to understand this crazy business, but I can honestly say that Erik Bork’s insight and advice is outstanding, Give him a chance to help you. You won’t regret it.

    Buck McLean

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