The latest in a series of interviews with script readers and consultants who would be worth your while to work with if you want to get your script in shape. Today’s spotlight is on Glenn Benest.
1. What’s the last thing you read/watched that you thought was incredibly well-written?
I loved Nightcrawler – an incredible script starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. How’d you get your start reading scripts?
I’ve been a professional screenwriter for many years as well as a teacher of screenwriting. I liked to teach because it got me out of my house and around people, sharing the thing that I loved.
3. Is recognizing good writing something you think can be taught or learned?
Yes, once you understand the craft of screenwriting, it becomes clear what constitutes a great script. You can learn this craft like any other. I teach many techniques for writing better dialogue, creating believable characters, scene development, etc.
4. What are the components of a good script?
First of all, a strong structure, then well developed characters who go through believable changes in a story, witty, terse dialogue and scenes that have strong conflict.
5. What are some of the most common mistakes you see?
Formatting that is incorrect, scenes that don’t end strongly, a poor sense of structure and protagonists that don’t engage us emotionally.
6. What story tropes are you just tired of seeing?
I don’t know what this means.
7. What are the 3 most important rules every writer should know?
The connection between the reader and the protagonist has to be deeply emotional, the story has to have a strong beginning, middle and end and the dialogue has to be witty and engaging.
8. Have you ever read a script that was an absolute, without-a-doubt “recommend”? If so, could you give the logline?
I’ve helped launch six films in my screenwriting workshops, including “Scream” and “Event Horizon.” They didn’t begin as “winners” but promising concepts that we developed until they were great. I don’t just read and recommend scripts, I help develop them from beginning to end and don’t let a script go out until it’s ready.
9. How do you feel about screenwriting contests? Worth it or not?
Worth it. Anything that can get you attention is beneficial.
10. How can people get in touch with you to find out more about the services you provide?
11. Readers of this blog are more than familiar with my love/appreciation of pie. What’s your favorite kind?
Pecan with vanilla ice cream on top.