10 Reasons You Need to Table Read Your Screenplay

Star Wars Table Read

What is a table read? Why do you need one? Well, if you’re a screenwriter trying to sell a screenplay, you need to keep working on that sucker until it’s good enough to beat out thousands of competitors. Hollywood is a tough industry to break into, but if your script is GOOD, you’re already ahead of the game. But how do you know when it’s good? Feedback from friends, family, and script coverage sites can help. Enter some contests, see how it fares. But there’s no better way to test the waters with your screenplay than doing a table read. Why? Here’s the Top 10 Reasons You Need to Table Read Your Screenplay right now!

10. Spot Typos & Formatting Errors

Amateur hour! Typos and formatting errors are incredibly distracting to the reader of your screenplay, but sometimes when you’ve read your script a million times over and over, you become blind to them. During a table read, typos will stick out like a sore thumb as you hear them read out loud. Usually, the actors or narrator will correct as they go, but you will still hear them stumble and struggle to figure out what you meant. And if your table read is done by a company like Scriptwax who provides real voice actors to table read your scripts, the readers will also point out if they notice any formatting issues during the feedback session after the table read.

9. Build Confidence

Nailed it! Table reads help build confidence in your abilities as a screenwriter. Hearing a table read go smoothly, actors laughing at all the right jokes, narration paced just as you intended… it makes you feel proud! And you should! #awesomescreenplayCONFIRMED

8. Gather Honest Feedback

Let’s be real. Your mom is always going to say she loved your screenplay. You need honest feedback from strangers who aren’t worried about hurting your feelings! After a table read, actors will usually provide feedback on your screenplay, including their thoughts on characters, dialogue, plot, and even marketability.

7. Identify Problem Areas

Table reads are a fantastic tool when approaching rewrites. You can hear for yourself when the narrator stumbles on some clunky prose, when actors are having trouble breathing life into wooden dialogue, awkward pacing, plot holes, boring scenes, unlikable characters, and so on and so on!

6. Hear What Works and What Doesn’t!

Not sure if your jokes are funny? Table Reads are the best way to hear what works. You can hear if people laugh! Sometimes even the narrator will have a chuckle or two during an entertaining scene. On the flip side, when scenes are boring or awkward, you can pick that up from the reader’s reactions.

5. Generate New Ideas

Table reads help you generate new ideas regarding plot, characters, dialogue and narration. Often you will hear an actor read a line a little differently than you intended, and this turns out to be a good thing, inspiring new ideas and new directions! Take that new idea and RUN, FORREST, RUN!!!

4. Collaborate with Real Actors

Very few screenwriters will have the opportunity to hear their scripts table read, let alone by real actors. Scriptwax gives you that opportunity! Not only will their voice actors perform your screenplay to the best of their abilities, but they’ll give you their unique perspective on the characters they played. This is a great source of feedback, different from what you get with the usual script coverage services.

3. Boost Project Momentum

After a successful table read, you will be energized, excited and hopefully, a little proud, too. You’ve got a whole new batch of ideas for improving your script and you can’t wait to get started rewriting. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve received all the encouragement you needed to get the script out there and read by agents, producers, and contest juries.

2. Share with Producers & Investors

Reading a screenplay can take hours of undivided attention, but it’s so much easier when you can listen to a table read instead! Scriptwax provides your table read as a shareable video and sound file, so you can send your table read to producers or potential investors to show how well your story came to life and pitch your heart out!

1. Hear Your Story Come To Life

Joy! Nothing compares to seeing your story come to life on the big screen, but hearing it performed by talented actors comes incredibly close. It is the first time you get to hear your words spoken by real people! It’s a great experience, and one you’ll want to share with family and friends!

I’m Ready! Table Read My Screenplay!