I got this questions recently:
“As someone who’s not in the screenwriting business but thinks he has a “great” idea for a movie screenplay, I was wondering if you’d be willing to read my treatment for a movie I’ve had swimming around my head for 15 years?
The treatment is 10 pages long but what I’m really looking for is someone to give me realistic guidance on its mass audience appeal.
I’m not a famous writer or even work in the movie/entertainment industry. I’m just a regular working guy with visions (perhaps delusional) of this movie and need to know if it’s worth getting my hopes up.
Please let me know if you’re willing to spend 20 minutes reading it.”
I’d rather not read people’s work. It would be very time consuming and I’m not sure how much value people would really get out of it. Check out this post, too. It explains some of my thoughts on reading people’s scripts: https://www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/screenwriting-faq/will-you-read-my-script/
I recommend Script Doctor Eric for this type of service. He will charge you a reasonable fee but give you exactly what you want. http://www.scriptdoctoreric.com.
From your email, however, I think you’re on the wrong track. There is a famous quote, maybe Tennessee Williams, that goes something like this; “Don’t write a play, write plays.” Without knowing you or reading your work I can tell you, you are NOT “delusional” just unrealistic. There is no single idea or story that will singlehandedly make a screenwriting career. If screenwriting is something you want to pursue than pursue it but realize it’s going to be a lot of work for no pay for a lot of years while you figure out how to write a compelling script. Me reading your treatment, or not, isn’t going to change that. You’re going to have to put in the work. There is no getting around this, no matter how much God given talent you have or how lucky you’ve been in coming up with a brilliant idea. Tiger Woods didn’t show up ready to play on the PGA tour after playing one or two summers of golf. He devoted his life to it for years, and mixed with a heap of talent he’s succeeded at the highest level.
If you’re idea is compelling to you, I can assure you it will be compelling to others as well. But even if it’s not, if you spend 6 months or a year writing it up it’s still well worth the time and effort because you need to get a few scripts under your belt before you’ll be able to write something that’s good enough to sell. There is no shame in this. Any successful screenwriter will tell you how much drek they had to write before they wrote anything worth selling.
As a rule I would say be prepared to write at least 10 scripts before writing a “good” one. If you continue to read and study other scripts, learn from your own writing, each script you write will get better and better and by the 10th one you’ll probably have something that’s pretty good.