Script Consultancy Testimonials

SCRIPT CONSULTANT TESTIMONIALS 2015

When I first started writing scripts a couple of years ago I had no idea what I was doing. I was writing on word documents and didn’t really know how to present a screenplay.

I scoured the Internet and happened upon ‘Philip Shelley’s Script Consultancy’ website. What a find. I joined his weekly newsletter and discovered Celtx (free screenwriting software) through reading his brilliant ‘Tips On Screenplay Presentation’ document.

Then when I felt happy to show him a script I sent him an email and he got back to me with feedback within the month. His insightful feedback is above all honest, he doesn’t sugar coat it, and fair. He explores your script in detail, no matter the genre or length. He analyses presentation, story, premise, marketability, dialogue, tone and character, and then gives scene-by-scene notes. And it’s affordable — trust me — as a recent student and someone who never has any money, it’s very reasonably priced.

Philip has a knack of identifying the problem with your screenplay and through constructive advice, finding a way for you to move forward with it. He’ll even respond to any follow up questions you have about the script or about the changes you’re planning on making. And, if he feels your script or scripts are strong enough he will get behind your work and help you through his extensive contacts in the industry. I believe Philip was one of the first people to give Chris Chibnall (creator of ‘Broadchurch’) his big break.

(This was mentioned in the UKscriptwriters podcast when they interviewed Chris Chibnall).

Through Philips’s continued advice I believe my writing has improved significantly, although I still have a lot to work on. But I know his many notes have helped as I was recently selected as one of the twenty finalists at the BBC Writers Room (Comedy).

So, if you’re stuck with a script, feel you’ve written the next big hit or just want an outside set of eyes, then I thoroughly recommend using Philip’s consultancy service. You might not always hear what you want but I guarantee you your script will improve because of it.

LAURENCE TRATALOS. August 2015.

Although Philip is proven to work wonders with professional writers, I compose this with newer and aspiring screenwriters in mind.

I can honestly say that working with Philip was the single most important component outside of my actual writing in making the jump from aspiring screenwriter to entering the industry proper.

Over the course of 9 months and 3 sessions Philip helped me refine and polish my script until it was genuinely ready to be set free into the industry. His feedback is constructive, informed, objective, and most importantly, honest. His knowledge of structure and his eye for focussing a story on its core was particularly helpful in terms of getting the very best out of my story.

Philip became a proper partner on my project and played a key role in my first industry option. If you’re serious about screenwriting as a career then working with Philip is one of the best ways you can get your work and yourself ready for the challenge ahead.

HUNTER ANDREWS August 2015

‘Philip gives me precise, honest and constructive feedback which has enabled me to improve every script — but more importantly; improve my writing skills. His feedback has taught me more about the “craft” of writing and re-writing – and at times the sheer honesty/brutality of some notes is just the kick up the backside that I need.

Since working with Philip, I have improved the weaker areas of my craft but also; he has encouraged me in regards to my strengths — and this gives me confidence.

This confidence in my ability has enabled me to sell a radio play in South Africa — which is in production autumn 2015 — have BAFTA nominated talent attached to my TV pilot script.

Philip is a top-notch script editor who has improved my skills and I will continue to use him throughout my career.’

STEVE MANWARING Professional Writer/Actor

Phil’s thorough and insightful notes on my drafts have sped up the process of development immeasurably beyond what I could have achieved on my own. In particular, his guidance on developing truthful and flawed characters has given me invaluable craft tools that I reach for time and again across all new projects that I write and develop.

Stay in touch,

Paddy

PATRICK MACRAE August 2015

“As a new writer, I’d struggled for years writing, then re-writing my own work, with only feedback from friends to guide me. Then I read an article about paying for professional script development – I hadn’t even realized I could do that! I did some research on-line and read various blogs about services other writers used, and Philip’s name kept coming up. After discovering he was hosting a writing workshop with ‘the other Phil’, I decided to sign up so was able to meet Phil in person – and was mightily impressed with his expert knowledge and genuine desire to help. Shortly after the workshop, I sent him my latest draft and within about three weeks he replied with detailed, pertinent, and at times painfully honest feedback. But that was good. I couldn’t have improved the script without such constructive criticism. Friends don’t really tell you when something’s not very good! I’ve since gone on to send Phil several more scripts, and each time I’ve found his feedback invaluable. I’d recommend Phil’s script consultancy service whole-heartedly. To a new writer who isn’t yet making much money, it feels like quite an indulgence to spend money on yourself in this way. But believe me – it’s a price worth paying to get to the stage where you have a script that helps get you noticed.”

DENISE WATSON  – Writer / Storyliner, Coronation Street, August 2015

In the world of feedback, Philip Shelley is king. He understands writing. He understands the writer.

His Art is to criticise without crushing the creative spirit.

His approach is forensic. His analysis of the work always gets to the heart of the problem. His notes are invaluable – precise, concise and encouraging.

Philip is always the first person I show my work to.

CHARLOTTE BOGARD MACLEOD, August 2015

‘As someone with experience in writing for the stage and radio, I found
making the transition to screenwriting more challenging than I’d
imagined but with Philip’s clear, honest and straightforward feedback
I’ve now written a spec screenplay that I’m proud of. My agent and her
colleagues are impressed with the script and it has now gone out to two
television producers. I can’t recommend P{hilip highly enough and
would urge anyone who is serious about a career in screenwriting to
contact him.’

LOUISE MONAGHAN August 2015

I would highly recommend Philip Shelley as a script consultant and editor for many reasons. To start with, his services are very affordable and he is extremely reliable in his response to deadlines. However, the most important recommendation relates to the skill and expertise and understanding he shows when analysing a script.

He provides an in-depth and intelligent overall appraisal of a script, based on years of practical experience, as well as a very detailed analysis of all of the elements within the script. He will also give advice on how to re-structure, improve dialogue and re-shape a plot, where necessary.

His is a very personal service, offered on a one to one basis, followed by face to face discussions, if desired. I have found his advice and cooperation invaluable during the writing of our latest project.

JOHN McKENNA (Mckenna and Brown Musical Productions) August 2015

 …And it’s not just screenwriting. Philip has provided assessment and feedback for each of my radio dramas. I wouldn’t let script out of the house unless I’d run it past Philip first.

He has an unerring and razor-sharp facility of cutting to what’s strong in your script – and cutting out what’s weak or unneeded. His reports seem to manage the impossible balance of finding the strengths in your plot/characterisation/technique (hence making you feel rather clever) while pointing out what’s not working (without making you despair). His enthusiasm for your writing gives you real confidence to keep improving your script.

He has an empathy with creative writers that I imagine comes with years of developing new scriptwriters and appreciating that feedback needs to be sensitive as well as critical. If I’ve written something that’s duff Philip will be first to explain why it doesn’t work – but do so in a way that’s positive and encourages me to find the answer. Unlike other editors, he doesn’t try and rewrite your script for you.

Philip has a profound understanding of what makes a script work – whether it’s the plot, the characters, the narrative arc /development of the story or the overall tone of the play. He also has a keen idea of what appeals to radio producers. His approach to your script is that of an industry insider who knows what will work both artistically and commercially.

It’s difficult to think of any better investment in a script than asking Philip’s advice on it.

A plug too for the Script Consultant Newsletter which unfailingly brings joy to Friday morning’s inbox. With critiques of mainstream TV and film alongside less well known work (independent productions, stage drama), concise interviews with thoughtful industry movers and shakers, and news of the latest courses, it has a philosophy of seeking out the good and ignoring the bad. Numerous pundits are quick to criticize: to find something good on a weekly basis is a much more difficult task, but makes for a much more rewarding read.

[Philip – when I think of your newsletter I always have the image of a tube of Opal Fruits (now Starburst) made up solely of red and purple ones].

JACK HOLLAND, August 2015

I wanted to make my work better. Philip helped me to do that. I’d
definitely
use him again, and am more than happy to recommend his services.
cheers
Keith

KEITH BRUMPTON August 2015

“As a script editor/consultant Philip brings a vast amount of experience as a drama writer and of working with writers which is why we asked him to act as script consultant on Ayeesha Menon’s UNDERCOVER MUMBAI for BBC Radio 4. Philip is brilliant at nurturing an idea and cleverly draws out of a writer their vision without imposing his own. He is a pleasure to work with and cares deeply about good writing.”

JOHN DRYDEN, BBC Radio Director / Writer August 2015

“I first met Phil through The Two Phils Screenwriting Course, which had been recommended to me. I’d been on a couple of writing courses previously, but The Two Phils stood head and shoulders above the rest in the content it covered, the manner in which it was delivered, and the support offered afterwards (which still stands to this day). From there – as my writing developed – I engaged with Phil directly in the hope that his script consultancy service would help fine-tune a TV script that I was working on. I wasn’t disappointed. Phil’s advice not only helped to guide me on the script itself, but also more widely on how I went about structure, series outlines, and even the eventual marketing of the idea. During that time, one thing I really valued from Phil was his direct approach; if something wasn’t working he would point it out and explain the reasoning behind it. His ability to critique what I was doing without telling me exactly how I should be doing it helped to steer me in the right direction but left enough creative freedom for me to find my own path. Working with Phil was hugely useful and enjoyable and I would highly recommend him and the service he provides to anyone who wants to take their writing to the next level.”

JAMES WIGLEY, September 2015

‘I was in need of a script consultant to tell me if I’d got the plot or lost the plot! In my search for one, Philip Shelley’s name cropped up again and again. He was highly regarded within the industry, so I sent my script to him. The forensic report that has come back is inspiring and in no way dispiriting. It so precisely pinpoints the strengths and weakness of my proposed TV drama I am able to progress it to a marketable level. I would say Philip’s input is not an extravagance, it’s a necessity and a worthwhile investment!’

JULIA HEYWOOD, September 2015

‘Phil’s experience in the industry and his role in the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course is what gave me the confidence to use his script consultancy service and I wasn’t disappointed. His feedback was detailed, constructive and delivered in such a way that left me feeling energised to write a new draft. Phil’s help and support has also gone beyond his script consultancy. I approached Phil when I was looking for writers to collaborate with on a web series that I was producing and directing. Phil was more than happy to help and very kindly put me in touch with two great writers which resulted in two brilliant episodes of our series.’

GAVIN O’GRADY, September 2015

‘I have been using Philip for about a year now and he is an excellent teacher and an obvious master of the craft. Always detailed, always candid, always fair, his analyses always get to the nub of the matter. I feel confident that, with Philip’s guidance, I can maximise my screenwriting potential.’

ROBERT PORTER September 2015

‘Dear Philip,

Thank you so much for your feedback – I think you’re amazing! Your ability to zone in on the exact problems in a script is something else. Your notes are spot on, which is exciting for me because it gives me the opportunity to write a (hopefully) better draft.

Thanks again for the great notes,

Regards,

Rachel’

Rachel Kilfeather, Dublin, Ireland, Feb 2014

‘Phil gave me crucial advice that was clear, concise and informative. His sharp critique helped me whip my calling card into shape and land an agent. I’d recommend him highly.’

Victoria Grey, Feb 2014, Richmond, Surrey

‘Hello Philip,
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your input on my script and to tell you “The Dowager” is a quarter finalist in Hollywood’s BlueCat Screenplay Competition. The one thing you pointed out that really helped and made perfect sense was that I had a series of arguments and no real arc to the main character. I worked hard on these two issues and the critique from BlueCat was that I had a very strong arc to my main character and you were the one who put me on the right path. Your advice was invaluable and I listened to everything you said in doing the rewrite. Obviously, since I’m a quarter finalist out of 4000 entries, your advice was exactly what I needed. Thanks again.’

Bob Rossi, Feb 2014, Palm Springs, CA, USA

‘I…wanted to let you know that Missing won Gold Prize in the TV Drama Pilot category of the Page Awards – WOOHOO! I was able to send my revised script in for the final stage (Top 10) – the one which included all of your great feedback/ notes – so thank-you again for all your help and valuable advice on that script. I’m incredibly proud of it and really thrilled that it won its category, especially considering the level of TV writing talent in the US. Happy days!’

Sharon Walker, screenwriter


“I’ve asked Phil to help me on every one of my screenplays so far. He’s not only helped me to raise my game immeasurably – making my writing much tighter than I could ever have managed on my own – but he’s also used his own (considerable!) connections in the business to put me in touch with TWO agents. I’ve had a meeting with one, and am currently talking to them both about possible representation. Phil Shelley? He’s the man!”

Jan Smith, screenwriter, East Lothian, Scotland, Feb 2013


Philip Shelley For Inspirational Feedback

Prior to working with Philip I was getting nowhere. Since working with Philip I’ve become a finalist in the 2012 L. A. Screenplay Competition with my WWII action/adventure/drama Hearts of Cold Stone. And that’s not all – with help from Philip’s analysis reports, this same script is currently in the quarter finals of two other Hollywood competitions whose semi-finals are announced in about a month.

In a nutshell, Philip taps his vast experience in the business to provide analysis that is incisive, user-friendly but most importantly, inspirational. Many thanks, Philip!

Stephen Hunt, screenwriter, Stockport, UK, Jan 2013

I regard Philip as my Script Coach; someone who’s there to hone my skills, identify areas of improvement and encourage me to be more critically aware of how I write.

Philip has the uncanny ability of being able to get to the jugular of script analysis. He knows instinctively what works, what doesn’t and where crucial improvements can be made. I used to include with my script, a page of notes, identifying what I felt didn’t work or was uncomfortable about. I don’t anymore. There’s no point. Philip will spot these points anyway.

In my early days as a screenwriter, I shied away from script reviewers, fearful of getting a right good self-confidence bashing. But since using Philip, tapping into his insightful analysis and drawing from his years of experience, I’ve learnt to understand the value of critical appraisal. As a result, after his script analysis, I dive into a next draft with relish and vigour.

Rick Hughes, screenwriter, Perthshire, Scotland Feb 2013


When it comes to screenwriting, Philip is a one-stop shop. Not only is he incredibly helpful and easy to talk to, his script writing service is second to none as he provides you with intelligent and honest feedback. For me, the real difference lies in the fact that Philip himself personally takes the time to examine your screenplay in detail – as opposed to a reader working for a consultancy who is just going through the motions. Along with his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the craft, Philip has many industry connections, which is a huge plus should you manage to develop your script into something special. As the saying goes, the best writing is rewriting; and Philip is with you every step of the way to help you take your screenplay to that next level.

Jamie Sweeney, Screenwriter, Donegal, Ireland


I have submitted several scripts to Philip. His careful, insightful comments have served as an invaluable tool when writing subsequent drafts.

As a new writer it can be difficult to see where you’re going wrong. Philip offers unashamedly honest advice – he tells you things you don’t really want to hear but know you must hear, bringing to the fore all those niggling doubts that are buried deep somewhere in your subconscious.

The feedback is always specific to each script, and represents excellent value for money.

I would recommend his service very highly.

Jonathan Fisher, screenwriter, Island Pictures, London

I’ve used Philip as script editor on my work for over two years now. I have always found he hits the nail on the head, pinpoints exactly where I am going wrong, and offers some great insights into how I might pull it around. Writing is a pretty isolated business, but with Philip I feel as If I’ve got someone else batting in my court – a great feeling. I’ve used other script editors, but to be honest he’s leagues ahead.

Shirley Day, screenwriter, Suffolk


“I believe Philip’s script consultancy services to be unparalleled. His feedback is thorough and extremely thoughtful, covering all aspects of your script including concept, tone, structure, dialogue and originality in depth. He covers issues and weaknesses with delicacy and is honest in his praise, allowing you to really see your script from both a neutral and a professional perspective.

What’s more, his service doesn’t stop with the feedback, Philip is always happy to have follow-up discussions, answering any questions you might have and is also encouragingly enthusiastic when discussing how the script can be improved further.

He takes a real interest in yourself and your writing and it’s for this reason that I’m now turning to his script support for a third time.”

Pat Monger, screenwriter, Brighton, UK


‘I enlisted Philip’s help not only because of his impeccable industry credentials but also as someone who is also willing to ‘stay the course’ with new writers to help develop both their work and their careers. This, in my opinion, is what sets him apart.

His insightful and practical judgment of my script gave me both the ammunition and encouragement to tackle and improve subsequent drafts. I recommend him highly.

Jeremy Carr

‘Hi Philip, just a quick thank you for all your help. The script benefited hugely from the extensive notes and advice you provided and has just been optioned by Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s company. Great working with you and I’ll have another spec script winging its way over to you at the end of this month if you have time?’

Adrian Mead, screenwriter


‘Philip’s help in improving my script through his astute advice and detailed reports has proved invaluable. Not only has the reworked script prompted interest from several industry people, the process has led to my first professional commission, working with Philip as a scriptwriter and storyliner on a Nigerian TV drama series. I’ve learned so much from this experience, and am now revved up to seriously pursue a career in screenwriting. A huge thank you Philip.’

Jacqui Canham, Journalist and screenwriter


‘Dear Philip

Just had to get in touch with regards your recent work on my struggling drama script through your reading service to let you know what has happened.

After taking on board your notes and comments I went ahead with a rewrite – a MAJOR rewrite. And now, it is optioned and in development!

Your notes were thorough (oh boy were they!), clear, and honest and helped me see exactly where the script wasn’t pulling its weight and the issues that needed to be addressed.

So a huge-big ‘thank you’ cos having these has helped me get this drama ‘market ready’ and also helped me to further understand and hone my craft.

Oh, and one final note …..

I’ll be back. ‘

Philippa Langley, Screenwriter


‘I worked with Philip Shelley over a period of six months and recommend him highly. His reports and guidance helped me realise my vision for my first screenplay, Being Hope, a drama about two sisters. It took several attempts to generate a draft that Philip was happy with but his exacting standards had a great outcome – Philip passed the script to a couple of his contacts and the upshot is that Ceri Meyrick of the BBC Writers Academy has taken an interest in me and has invited me to pass her my next piece of work. It’s a fantastic result for a new writer and one I wouldn’t have achieved without Script Consultant. Thank you Philip!’

Sally Shaw, screenwriter.


‘When I felt like a lost soul in the wilderness with my script, Philip gently guided me in the right direction. The reports he provides are extremely insightful and feel very personal. I would have no hesitation in recommending him whatever stage you have reached in your journey into writing for television.’

Jo Frank – screenwriter


‘Philip makes me raise my game. I’m confident that his advice to simplify my story and create three-dimensional, idiosyncratic characters will help me to deliver the script that opens doors.’

Julia Howe, screenwriter.


‘…The NYPD Blue script got me accepted onto the Carlton Screenwriters Course where I met Philip Shelley who really supported me and in the end up got me my first paid writing job and used his contacts to get me an agent…’

Terry Cafolla, Screenwriter (Holy Cross, BBC; Messiah, BBC; Law & Order (Kudos/BBC) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/schools/11_16/blastni/mtp_tcafolla.shtml


‘I’ve worked with Philip on a number of projects over the last 10 years, all of which have been enjoyable and collaborative experiences. He’s that rare beast: an editor confidently on the side of the writer trying to produce their best work, while also maintaining an independent and objective viewpoint’

Matthew Bardsley, Screenwriter (The Bill, ITV; Making Waves, ITV; Casualty, BBC; Dangerfield, BBC)

‘Hi Philip, I just wanted to say thank you for your report. I didn’t get back to you because once I’d read your comments and considered them in detail, as your suggestions made perfect sense, I just went ahead and reworked the script with your comments in mind. Now I feel a lot more confident that the script’s ready to send out. Thanks again. I have been letting other writers know how helpful your feedback was…

With best wishes

Lucy Kaya, Screenwriter


‘Hi Philip, this is a thank you letter. I have finally finished my calling card script. On the basis of what you’ve said in your reports I’ve shortened it, sharpened it, got rid of some boring characters. I’ve also done synopses for the next six episodes which was a challenge and made me rethink bits of the original. In short you were a brilliant midwife.

Also your reports made me see what my biggest failing will be as a writer — as I’ve written theatre scripts for 30 odd years for a variety of companies, I don’t think my main problems will be with character but with plotting and making a riveting story. My other issue, coming from a theatre background, is that my first instinct is to think dialogue – it’s been a bit tough moving into pictures and non verbal scenes.

Anyway, thanks again for your wonderful support and positive feedback. I hope we meet again in the future.

Cheers,

Clair Chapwell, Screenwriter


Hi Philip, many thanks for your report. It clearly explains both what works and what needs work, and is packed full of useful insights. Thanks to your positive feedback, I’ve now got a clear idea of where and how to focus my efforts, and can get cracking on my next draft with confidence that the script is heading in the right direction. I’ll definitely be sending more scripts your way!

All the best

James

James Coleman, screenwriter


Hi Philip,

Just wanted to drop you a quick email to say that myself and Alyson have now been over your feedback together – it’s excellent.

We agree with your thoughts that we need to get the story happening faster and make things more difficult for the protagonist, Danny especially has to suffer more! Now it’s the small matter of how we achieve that! 🙂

We just wanted to let you know that your feedback was clear, concise, constructive and above all highly useful. Also we will be shamelessly stealing some of your excellent scene-specific suggestions.

Thanks again for the feedback and we’d definitely use your services again.

Frank & Alyson

Frank Arnot & Alyson Conway, screenwriters

 

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