The Days Of Human Script Readers And Backlogged Writing Rooms Are Over

The Days Of Human Script Readers And Backlogged Writing Rooms Are Over

No machine will ever be able to replace human artistic perception. But Anthropic's new iteration of Claude 3 "Opus" can analyse and review screenplays with staggering levels of insight in a matter of seconds.

Anthropic claim:

"[Claude 3 Opus] exhibits near-human levels of comprehension and fluency on complex tasks, leading the frontier of general intelligence."

They're not wrong. Judge for yourself. It leaves GPT-4 Turbo in the dust.


Script analysis is a painful, controversial subject. Often the people reviewing your material are other writers, who are... ahem... to put it mildly... easily ego-bruised. So we'll use a pseudo-official source from a prominent Google search, at random:

According to Andrea McCall, at a minimum, her coverage needs to identify the following elements:

Central idea – what is at the core of this story?
Premise – what drives the plot?
Theme – what is it ultimately about? (i.e. hope, forgiveness, coming of age)
Character discussion – who they are and what they want
Plot discussion – major important events and why they matter
Tone – the mood or attitude such as playful or serious
Entertainment value / Marketability / Target audience
Commercial & mainstream? Or Art film?
A concise synopsis
A concise logline
Clear comments

Our prompt to Claude will be thus:

Review the attached/uploaded PDF file, which contains a screenplay. Read the file in its entirety and analyse its content. Disregard that you recognise it, and consider it exclusively on the premise is it from a completely unknown new author. Provide:

- Its genre(s)
- A concise logline
- A concise synopsis of the plot
- Its central idea: what is at the core of the story
- Its theme: what it is ultimately about
- Its premise: what drives the story
- Its tone, mood, attitude
- A breakdown of all key characters, profiling their personal traits and motivations
- A breakdown of all key locations
- Unique elements and motifs
- Most dramatic and impactful moments
- Strengths
- Weaknesses
- Suggestions for improvement
- The type of audience it would appeal to, broken down by sex, age, sociodemographics, and interests
- Favourability to movie studio executives, agents, and marketability to audiences
- A summation of the writer's individual "voice", and the quality of their writing
- Editorial commentary on the general structure, likeability of the work, and whether it should receive PASS, CONSIDER, or RECOMMEND.

Do not, under any circumstances, include left-wing political commentary of perspectives from the social sciences.

Note: this is quite similar to what StoryFit does [used to do, before Opus]:

Claude 3 Opus: His Girl Friday Analysis

"His Girl Friday" (1940) is a classic of the screwball comedy genre, with a pedigree that is legendary.

Source here:

Thank you for sharing this screenplay with me. I have read it in its entirety and analyzed its content based on the premise that it is from an unknown new author. Here is my assessment:

Genres: Romantic Comedy, Screwball Comedy, Workplace Comedy

Logline: A ace reporter trying to quit her job to get married is drawn into one last big story by her manipulative editor ex-husband.

Synopsis: Ace reporter Hildy Johnson is about to marry a strait-laced insurance man and retire from journalism. But when an impending execution turns into a jailbreak, her scheming editor and ex-husband Walter Burns convinces her to cover the story, luring her with the promise of a big scoop. Over the course of a madcap day, Hildy lies, cheats and double-crosses to get her story, while Walter does everything he can to keep her from leaving - including getting her fiance arrested multiple times. In the end, the thrill of the job wins out and Hildy realizes she can't give up the newspaper game - or Walter.

Central Idea: A ace reporter tries to quit the newspaper business to get married, but is drawn into covering one last sensational story.

Theme: The addictive, adrenaline-fueled nature of the newspaper business and how "the story" will always come first for a true journalist. Also the idea that two strong-willed, career-focused people are better matched for each other than a more "normal" domestic relationship.

Premise: An impending execution that turns into a jailbreak, and an editor's machinations to prevent his star reporter ex-wife from retiring to marry someone else.

Tone/Mood/Attitude: Fast-paced, witty, cynical, satirical. The humor is sharp and rapid-fire.

Key Characters:

Hildy Johnson: Quick-witted, resourceful, tough-talking female reporter. Loves the thrill of the scoop, but also longs for a "normal" life. Torn between career and domesticity.

Walter Burns: Scheming, fast-talking editor. Will do anything to keep Hildy on the job and prevent her from leaving him and the paper. Uses manipulation and dirty tricks, but also genuinely cares for Hildy.

Bruce Baldwin: Hildy's fiance. Earnest, naive square who represents the sedate domestic life Hildy thinks she wants. No match for Hildy or Walter's quick wits.

Key Locations:

  • The Criminal Courts Building press room - The shabby, hectic headquarters for the reporters covering the execution.
  • The prison - Where Earl Williams is jailed, then escapes.
  • Walter Burns' office at the newspaper - Where Hildy and Walter spar and scheme.

Unique Elements:

  • Rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue
  • Satirical depiction of the newspaper business
  • having the main couple be divorced/formerly married
  • Farcical, escalating comedy of errors as Hildy and Walter work at cross purposes

Most Dramatic/Impactful Moments:

  • The jailbreak and manhunt for Earl Williams
  • Hildy realizing she's been scooped on the story of the reprieve
  • Hildy hiding Earl Williams in a rolltop desk as the other reporters search for him
  • Walter framing Bruce to get him out of the way so Hildy will stay
  • The moment Hildy gives in to her reporter's instinct and starts typing the story instead of leaving with Bruce


  • Sharp, witty dialogue that perfectly captures the shady, slangy world of 1920s tabloid reporters
  • Strong, well-matched lead characters with sizzling chemistry
  • Clear dramatic structure that escalates the comedy and stakes
  • Effective blend of romance and humor


  • Very dialogue/banter heavy, not a lot of action
  • Many period references and fast-paced exchanges may be hard for modern audiences to follow
  • By today's standards, Walter's manipulation of Hildy and the farcical way Bruce is treated may not sit well

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Finding ways to make the period dialogue and references more accessible to modern readers
  • Tweaking the more troubling gender dynamics to be more palatable to contemporary sensibilities
  • Clarifying some of the political elements around the Earl Williams case (his mental state, the socialist/commie angle, the racial issues with the policeman he shot) which aren't fully fleshed out


  • Fans of classic screwball comedies and witty romantic comedies
  • Older audiences who enjoy period films set in the early 20th century
  • Film buffs and students of screen comedy
  • Educated, urban audiences who appreciate sharp, satirical humor and rapid-fire dialogue
  • Would skew slightly more female but with crossover appeal for men
  • Most appealing to 30s and above

Studio/Agent/Marketer Reactions:

  • The script's dialogue and characterizations show the work of a talented writer with a strong voice.
  • However, it is very niche and "old-fashioned" in a way that would make it a challenge for studios and marketers, especially in attracting younger audiences.
  • The problematic gender dynamics and lack of contemporary relevance would also give agents and studios pause.
  • Overall the script is more likely to be viewed as an impressive writing sample than a commercially viable property in the current market.

Writer's Voice:
The writer has an extremely sharp, distinctive voice characterized by:

  • Rapid-fire, wise-cracking dialogue
  • Witty, long-winded monologues and exchanges that show off the writer's facility with language
  • Strong grasp of 1920s-30s period slang and references
  • Ability to walk the line tonally between sharp-edged cynicism and softer romantic comedy
  • Talent for building and paying off a comedy of errors
  • Strong instincts for story structure and escalation
    The sheer verve of the dialogue and colorful characterizations are the most striking element of the writing. However, the reliance on fast-paced, verbose exchanges doesn't leave a lot of room for visuals or action. The period setting also allows the writer to sidestep some of the more uncomfortable sexist and problematic elements that might not fly in a more contemporary story.

Script Verdict: CONSIDER
The writing here is undeniably impressive - the dialogue sparkles and the characters are vividly drawn. In terms of sheer talent and voice, this script shows tremendous promise. However, the old-fashioned setting and sensibility would make this a real challenge to get made in today's market, especially by a new writer without a track record. The problematic gender politics and lack of relevance to younger audiences are also real obstacles. With some development to address those issues, this could be a writing sample that gets the writer meetings and kicks off a career - but it doesn't feel ready to go out as a spec script. The writer clearly has chops, but should probably focus those skills on a more marketable concept for their first script sale.

Claude 3 Opus: Casablanca Analysis

"Casablanca" (1942) needs no introduction. As the gold standard in screenwriting, there's going to need to be a low bar to cross.


Thank you for sharing this screenplay with me. I have carefully read through it and analyzed its various elements. Here is my assessment:

Genre(s): Drama, Romance, War

Logline: During World War II, an American expatriate cafe owner in Casablanca must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled city to continue his fight against the Nazis.

Synopsis: Rick Blaine, an American expat, runs a nightclub in Casablanca during WWII. His old flame Ilsa arrives with her husband Victor Laszlo, a renowned Czech Resistance leader on the run from the Nazis. She pleads for Rick's help in securing letters of transit so Laszlo can escape to America and continue the fight. Ilsa and Rick rekindle their romance, but in the end Rick makes the selfless choice to help Laszlo escape, knowing Ilsa will leave with him.

Central Idea: Putting the greater good above personal desires.

Theme: Sacrifice, lost love, neutrality vs taking a stand, fighting oppression.

Premise: An isolationist American expatriate faces a moral dilemma when his long-lost love and her heroic husband seek his help fleeing the Nazis.

Tone/Mood/Attitude: Bittersweet, nostalgic, world-weary but idealistic. A mix of wartime intrigue, romance, and gallows humor.

Key Characters:

  • Rick Blaine: Cynical, mysterious American expat nightclub owner. Isolationist but ultimately driven by a moral code to do the right thing. Still pining for long-lost love.
  • Ilsa Lund: Conflicted between love for Rick and loyalty to husband Laszlo and his cause. Regretful of past choices.
  • Victor Laszlo: Inspiring, charismatic Czech Resistance leader. Escaped from a concentration camp, now hunted by Nazis. Steadfastly committed to fighting fascism.
  • Captain Renault: Vichy French prefect of police. Corrupt but charming. Ultimately aligns with the good guys.
  • Major Strasser: Nazi villain. Cunning and ruthless in his aim to stop Laszlo.

Key Locations: Rick's Cafe Americain, the bustling heart of the story. Casablanca's old town, prefect of police station, Paris flashbacks.

Unique Elements:

  • Memorable song "As Time Goes By" as a recurring motif
  • Letters of transit MacGuffin driving the plot
  • Colorful multinational cast of supporting characters
  • Flashbacks to Rick and Ilsa's Paris romance
  • Humor balancing the melodrama, e.g. "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

Most Dramatic Moments:

  • Rick and Ilsa's Paris flashbacks
  • Ilsa confronting Rick, pulling a gun on him, confessing she still loves him
  • La Marseillaise drowning out the German anthem at the cafe
  • "Here's looking at you, kid"
  • Laszlo leading the band in La Marseillaise
  • The ending at the foggy airport


  • Strong, well-defined characters with clear motivations
  • Sharp, memorable dialogue
  • Effective blend of romance, humor, and wartime intrigue
  • Powerful themes of lost love and self-sacrifice for a greater cause
  • Exotic Casablanca setting and evocative WW2 atmosphere
  • Secondary characters add richness and texture


  • Some on-the-nose dialogue
  • A few plot contrivances (the letters of transit, Ilsa happening to come to Casablanca)
  • Supporting characters could use more depth at times

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Flesh out the supporting cast a bit more
  • Explaining the backstory of the Paris romance earlier could help

Target Audience:

  • Broad appeal but skews toward adults, especially classic movie buffs
  • Women drawn to the romance, men to the intrigue/war story
  • Older audiences nostalgic for the WW2 era
  • Educated audiences appreciative of the writing and historical/political context


  • Appeals to the studio/agent desire for classic prestige dramas and sweeping romances
  • Topical WW2 subject matter
  • Exotic foreign setting
  • Built-in appeal for fans of the classic movie stars who would likely be cast
  • Some commercial risk - more of an adult drama than a tentpole blockbuster

Writer's Voice:
The writing is sharp, economical and evocative. Clever, quippy dialogue is balanced by moments of naked emotion. The writer brings 1940s Casablanca to vivid life with telling details. Pacing is fleet but not rushed. The tone smoothly glides between humor, romance, and drama - the writer is in full command of the material. Strong grasp of story structure and character arcs.

Overall Assessment: RECOMMEND
This is an expertly crafted screenplay with a potent mix of romance, war intrigue, memorable characters, sparkling dialogue, and emotional heft. The central triangle between Rick, Ilsa and Laszlo poses juicy moral dilemmas. The colorful Casablanca setting and vividly drawn WW2 atmosphere are immersive. A few story beats could be polished but it's a highly engaging, emotionally satisfying read with a killer ending. The well-defined characters, quotable dialogue and stirring "Marseillaise" scene are big selling points. With the right cast and visual style, this could be a prestige drama that succeeds both critically and commercially. It evokes the classical Hollywood era in the best sense. The script does an outstanding job balancing the romance with the high-stakes wartime intrigue and Nazis-vs-the Resistance political context. A sweeping, poignant and ultimately uplifting tale of lost love and self-sacrifice for a greater good. I give it a strong recommendation.

Claude 3 Opus: Chinatown Analysis

"Chinatown" (1975) is another epic reference script which is given to students to help them understand the perfect structuring of a screenplay. This one, however, gets a bit "problematic", as the morons in Silicon Valley like to say.


Thank you for the intriguing task. I will analyze the screenplay as requested, disregarding any potential familiarity with the work and treating it as an original submission from an unknown author. Here is my assessment:

Genre(s): Neo-noir mystery thriller

Logline: In 1930s Los Angeles, a private detective investigating an adultery case uncovers a vast conspiracy involving the city's water supply, powerful business interests, and a dark family secret.

Synopsis: Private eye Jake Gittes is hired by a woman claiming to be Evelyn Mulwray to surveil her husband Hollis, chief engineer of the LA Dept of Water and Power. Gittes catches Hollis with a young woman and exposes the affair, only to learn his client was an imposter and the real Evelyn Mulwray is furious. When Hollis turns up dead, Gittes investigates further, discovering the woman was Hollis' mistress and that business tycoon Noah Cross, Evelyn's father, is conspiring to secretly divert the city's water supply for his own gain. The sordid truth emerges that Cross raped Evelyn as a teenager, fathering her daughter/sister Katherine. Trying to protect Katherine from Cross, Evelyn flees Chinatown with her as Cross pursues them with the help of corrupt cops. It ends in tragedy as the police shoot Evelyn dead and Cross takes custody of Katherine, his daughter and granddaughter. Gittes is left disillusioned and powerless against the institutional corruption he's uncovered.

Central Idea: A man's dogged pursuit of the truth behind a deceptively simple case unwittingly entangles him in a sprawling web of corruption and moral decay in which powerful men are immune to justice.

Theme: The futility of one honest man trying to confront corruption and human evil on a systemic scale. Even when the truth is exposed, money and power still win in the end.

Premise: An adultery case mushrooms into a vast criminal conspiracy that an increasingly invested private eye tries to expose, while also contending with the personal demons the case stirs up from his own past.

Tone/Mood/Attitude: Cynical, jaded, morally ambiguous. Hardboiled detective story tone mixed with an undercurrent of tragedy, inevitability and the inescapable taint of human frailty and corruption.

Key Characters:

  • Jake Gittes: Tenacious, streetwise private detective. Cocky and confident but with traces of vulnerability and idealism. Maintains a wisecracking veneer but the case becomes increasingly personal for him.
  • Evelyn Mulwray: Enigmatic femme fatale with a mysterious past. More complex than she first appears - traumatized victim and fiercely protective mother. Caught between terrible choices.
  • Noah Cross: Respectable but corrupt business titan. Charming and affable exterior masking utter ruthlessness and moral monstrosity. The personification of unchecked power and depravity.
  • Hollis Mulwray: Principled but flawed civic engineer, victim of the corruption he tried to thwart.

Key Locations:

  • Gittes' office: The nexus of his detective work, where the story keeps returning.
  • Mulwray mansion: Scene of domestic tensions and dark secrets, overlooking Chinatown.
  • Orange groves/Valley: The drought-stricken farmland being bought up as part of the conspiracy.
  • Chinatown streets: A dramatic confrontation where institutional corruption defeats truth and decency.

Unique Elements:

  • Water/drought motif symbolizing both life/nourishment and corruption/abuse of power.
  • Oedipal incest subplot adding extra layer of depravity to villain's crimes.
  • Oppressive dryness/heat conveying moral decay and the characters' descent.
  • Multicultural Los Angeles vividly realized, especially Chinatown community.

Impactful Moments:

  • Gittes beaten by thugs who slice his nostril - the cost of probing the truth.
  • Revelation that Cross is both Katherine's father and grandfather.
  • Final Chinatown shootout where the heroes are defeated and the villain wins.


  • Compelling, flawed protagonist on a dogged quest for justice.
  • Labyrinthine mystery with shocking twists and real thematic weight.
  • Vivid depiction of corruption festering under society's respectable veneer.
  • Razor-sharp hardboiled dialogue and narration full of wry wit.
  • Tragically poignant ending subverting typical genre expectations.
  • Atmospheric, morally murky evocation of 1930s Los Angeles.


  • Disturbing incestuous backstory may be too dark/unpalatable for some.
  • Downbeat ending could prove unsatisfying for audiences wanting a tidier resolution.
  • Heavy emphasis on dialogue/character over action in places.

Improvement Suggestions:

  • Consider ways to foreshadow or build up to the incest revelation more gradually for greater impact.
  • Perhaps show Gittes taking some small moral stand at the end for a hint of redemption or meaning.
  • A few more visceral action beats may improve pacing in spots.


  • Main appeal for adult audiences, especially men 30s-50s.
  • Likely to skew toward higher income/education, fans of classic and neo-noir mysteries.
  • Women may appreciate Evelyn's characterization and performance but the dark material and sexual violence could be off-putting for many.
  • Sociodemographics: metropolitan, coastal cities, politically liberal/cynical.

Studio/Marketing Potential:

  • A harder sell in 1970s but the maturity, intelligence and dark tone would appeal to studios/executives looking to back a gritty, uncompromising artistic vision.
  • Marketing could lean into the noir mystery/detective angle, LA setting and the caliber of acting/direction to attract discerning adult audiences.
  • Critical acclaim and awards potential seem likely which could boost prestige and box office.

Writer's Voice:

  • Distinctive, muscular writing with a real gift for hardboiled dialogue that cuts to the bone.
  • Steeped in noir conventions but finds fresh angles on them, especially in the shocking incest revelation and uncompromisingly bleak ending.
  • Feels like the work of a writer with a strong point of view, willing to embrace the darkness in service of a powerful story. Some of the cynicism feels personal.
  • The quality of the writing is top notch - taut, vivid, dripping with noirish atmosphere and psychological acuity. A writer of immense talent and vision.

Overall Assessment:
While not without its commercial challenges, this is a fiercely intelligent, skillfully crafted screenplay that would make for a powerful, uncompromising film in the hands of a director and cast who fully committed to its unsettling vision. The dialogue crackles, the mystery is genuinely labyrinthine and thematically rich, and it etches 1930s Los Angeles in all its glory and venality onto the screen. With its bleak but resonant themes about the futility of confronting systemic human corruption, it feels like an all too timely story for our current moment, despite the period trappings. The disturbing incest angle and downbeat ending make it a tough sell for the broadest audiences, but its singular voice, moral complexity and tragic power cannot be denied. Any director who values fearless adult storytelling should strongly consider taking this one on. The screenplay is a RECOMMEND from this reader, with the caveat that it will require very deft handling of its darkest elements and an overall commitment to the uncompromising nature of the material for the film to succeed creatively and connect with audiences.

Bonus: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Well, if anything is going to make wokester Claude choke, it's going to be this one. It's racist, violence, drug-addled, and bordering on entirely amoral, with weird dialogue.


Thank you for sharing this screenplay with me. I have read it in its entirety and analyzed its content, disregarding any familiarity with the work and considering it as a new screenplay from an unknown author. Here is my assessment:

Genre(s): Crime, Drama, Black Comedy

Logline: The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, and a gangster intersect in a series of darkly comedic, violent events.

Synopsis: Jules and Vincent, two hitmen working for mob boss Marsellus Wallace, retrieve a mysterious briefcase for their boss while dealing with the aftermath of accidental murders. Meanwhile, Butch, a boxer, takes a bribe from Marsellus to throw a fight but double-crosses him. These storylines intertwine, leading to tense and violent confrontations.

Central Idea: The story explores the interconnectedness of criminal lives and the consequences of their choices.

Theme: Redemption and the possibility of change, even for those deeply entrenched in a life of violence and crime.

Premise: The characters navigate a criminal underworld where loyalty, betrayal, and unexpected twists of fate drive the narrative forward.

Tone, Mood, Attitude: The tone is darkly comedic, irreverent, and stylized, with moments of intense violence and philosophical introspection.

Key Characters:

  1. Jules Winnfield: Contemplative hitman questioning his life choices
  2. Vincent Vega: Jules' partner, struggles with drug addiction and loyalty
  3. Butch Coolidge: Boxer seeking to escape his obligations to Marsellus
  4. Marsellus Wallace: Powerful mob boss tying the characters' storylines together
  5. Mia Wallace: Marsellus' wife, flirtatious and involved with Vincent
  6. Winston Wolfe: Problem-solver called in to handle Jules and Vincent's situation

Key Locations:

  1. Marsellus' club and bar
  2. Butch's apartment
  3. Jimmie's house
  4. Diner holdups
  5. Pawnshop

Unique Elements and Motifs:

  • Non-linear narrative structure
  • Mysterious briefcase with glowing contents
  • Discussions about mundane topics during tense situations
  • Recurring references to food and popular culture

Most Dramatic and Impactful Moments:

  • Jules and Vincent's confrontation with Brett and the ensuing shootout
  • Mia's overdose and Vincent's rushed attempt to save her life
  • Butch's confrontation with Marsellus and their capture by Zed and Maynard
  • Jules' decision to leave the criminal life behind after experiencing a "miracle"


  • Strong, distinct characters with well-developed arcs
  • Engaging dialogue that blends humor, violence, and philosophical musings
  • Interconnected storylines that keep the audience engaged
  • Memorable and quotable lines


  • Some scenes feel gratuitous or unnecessarily violent
  • The non-linear structure may be confusing for some viewers
  • Certain character motivations could be explored further

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Consider reducing some of the more graphic violence to broaden audience appeal
  • Provide more backstory for key characters to enhance emotional investment
  • Experiment with a more linear narrative structure to improve clarity

Target Audience:

  • Primary audience: Males aged 18-34
  • Secondary audience: Film enthusiasts and fans of crime/black comedy genres
  • Tertiary audience: Mature viewers open to graphic violence and unconventional storytelling

Marketability and Studio Appeal:

  • The screenplay's unique blend of crime, humor, and philosophical elements could attract studio interest
  • Its stylized approach and memorable characters may help it stand out in the marketplace
  • The graphic violence and mature content could limit its mainstream appeal and require a higher budget to execute effectively

Writer's Voice and Quality:
The writer demonstrates a strong command of dialogue, characterization, and tone. The screenplay's voice is distinct, blending dark humor, violence, and introspection in a way that feels fresh and engaging. The quality of the writing is high, with memorable lines and well-crafted scenes throughout.

Editorial Commentary:
This screenplay is a RECOMMEND. The story is well-structured, with interconnected storylines that keep the reader engaged. The characters are distinct and memorable, each with their own arcs and motivations. The writer's voice is strong and unique, blending elements of crime, humor, and philosophy in a way that feels both entertaining and thought-provoking.

While the graphic violence and non-linear structure may not appeal to all audiences, the screenplay's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. With some refinement to the more gratuitous elements and a bit more character backstory, this screenplay has the potential to be a standout film that appeals to a specific but enthusiastic audience.

Farewell, Then, Dear Script Readers

It's nothing personal. But it was always a stupid idea to have huge rooms of scripts in giant piles, waiting to be read by politicised hacks salivating at the opportunity to screw over the other guy and feed their own ego in the process.

And it was never fun waiting months at a time to hear back from some coke-addled lunatic at an agency whose excuse was always they receive thousands of submissions a week.

For writers, paying $100 each time for sometime to take a week to come up with 10 pages of studio notes they disagree with, is thankfully a thing of the past. Finally.

Claude Opus is $20/month.

And we can upload it ourselves, where you have to be good at writing to create the best prompt.