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Script Analysis

Sam Oddo

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Hey Guys,


I was contacted several days ago to DP a short feature and was sent the script; however, I had a few questions:

Is it bad industry practice to suggest changes in the script? After reading through it several times, I believe that some changes in dialogue etc. would really improve the overall story, but I'm hesitant to suggest changes to the director.

Also, could you walk me through your personal processes as cinematographer when evaluating scripts (subtext, emotional analysis etc.) before production.




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I wouldn't make script suggestions until you've got a relationship with the director, who may or may not be the writer. I'd tend to keep such things on hold until you've had discussions with the director and discovered their thoughts, then any suggestions can be slipped in if they're open to it. The cinematographers role is different to that of a script editor, although some scripts may not have gone through a strong script development process, so are coming to production underdeveloped.

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It is bad form to make script suggestions as a cinematographer unless they are specifically photography related, such as "this scene might be better at sunset" or "wouldn't it be interesting if it were raining during the scene?"


Later when you have been working with the director for a while, you can casually talk about the dialogue.


You have to breakdown a script dramatically in order to make choices in terms of camera placement, movement, mood lighting, etc. But it's not your job to be a script doctor.

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