So it is Nicholl time. Not for the readers, readers will not be reading for a while here, but now is when people start sending scripts in. It does not do any good to bitch about brad injuries after everyone has sent the scripts in already so I figured I would post something now while you have time to save yourself — and the poor bastard you are about to impale on that unfortunately long evil and sharp brad.
Greg Beal, Program Coordinator for Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, made a list of “ten things that might make a reader think a little less of your script before it has been ‘cracked.'”
1. Art on the script cover.
2. Hard, slick, Acco covers with long metal connectors.
3. “Permanently” bound scripts.
4. Commercial, “college paper” covers.
5. Wimpy brads.
6. Long, “dangerous” brads.
7. Cut, “dangerous” brads.
[Notice “dangerous brads” comes up twice? I am not kidding about brad injuries.]
8. Overly thick scripts.
9. Overly thin scripts.
10. The color of the card stock cover just bugs the reader.
Okay, number ten is maybe not your fault, how could you know the reader was struck by a powder blue van that morning? But —
Everything listed there was something that made an impression on someone before they opened the script. Did you get that? Before they opened the script. And not a good impression. A bad impression.
You should really try not to make a bad impression before the script is even open.