Writing Testimonials and Coverage Testimonials

My introduction into the world of Bob Saenz came about originally as a meeting between an actor and a casting director. Bob did not know I had recently begun developing and producing independent feature film projects, nor did I know he was a prolific screenwriter. But that was to quickly change. After discovering each other’s other endeavors, Bob sent me two scripts and I immediately recognized a unique voice and writing talent. Dramatic structure and characters were clear and motivation consistent and dialogue crisp and concise. Bob has the rare gift for compelling story-telling written with commercial marketability. I have optioned two of Bob’s scripts and am in full development now on one of them.


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I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Bob for several years. He is, without a doubt, one of the most talented writers I know, and the first person I seek out for script advice. While his original screenplay work is outstanding, he has a true gift for script analysis and rewriting. Bob has the rare ability to assess a script on all levels, from both creative and business standpoints. He is equally comfortable speaking to a project's budgeting and marketing problems as those related to its characters and story. More importantly, he always finds a way to improve the material by making it clearer, funnier, cheaper, smarter… better. When I was at “Our Stories Films”, I brought Bob into my production company to pitch his take on a rewrite of a thriller we were developing. He was not only able to address every single creative problem with the script, but also presented ideas about how to make the working elements of the script more effective, to the point where the script was paced better, significantly cheaper to shoot, and infused with a subtle humor and energy that wasn’t previously there. As far as writers go, you would be hard pressed to find someone more professional and more competent than Bob.

-- JEFF WILLIS Executive (The Weinstein Company)

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Bob Saenz is an incredible writer! His writing goes above and beyond the standard formulaic Hollywood patterns. His innate ability to capture the essence of a dramatic or comedic visual, gives the reader and certainly the producer, the opportunity to build a true unequalled arc between character relationships and plot line. The way he tells a story, his intellect and style never interferes with the relationship enjoyed by the audience with all his characters, good or bad, and transcends the multiple climactic venues he weaves along the way. I have enjoyed every script he has written,no matter what the genre, and certainly look forward to his future projects from the point of view as a producer or simply an audience member. Keep up the great work!


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When you read a screenplay by Bob Saenz, you know you are in good hands. Every scene is necessary. And every detail pays off. The premise is always original and rich with possibility. The dialogue is crisp. The scenes build in a tight narrative arch to a satisfying pay-off. And the stories are always entertaining. If that sounds like I’m describing a flawless, classic narrative script, then so be it. That’s pretty much what Bob writes on a consistent basis.

-- CHAS HALPERN Director

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Having known Bob Saenz since working together on a daily basis for five years on Nash Bridges, I have come to recognize him as a true talent. Bob has a unique ability to create realistic dialog and real emotion within imaginary circumstances.

It is my goal to work with Bob again, soon and often.

He is a true talent.

-- JAIME GOMEZ Actor/Producer/Director

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Bob Saenz is a gifted writer. Anyone who reads his work recognizes that immediately. But he’s more than a wordsmith. Like most writers, Bob loves stories. However, unlike most writers, Bob is a perceptive observer and chronicler of the human condition; a person who instinctively understands what makes a story worth writing, and therefore, worth hearing. My life as a film director has been immeasurably enhanced by my friendship and partnership with Bob Saenz.

-- TOM DONALD, Director

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Coverage Testimonials and Writing Testimonials

I’ve had well-known script analysts read my scripts in the past, and I have always been disappointed. Their viewpoint is narrow and lacking in understanding or subtlety. They apply the ‘rules’ and purport to tell you how to write a script that sells. It’s a rigid approach that often misses the writer’s intentions, especially if those intentions include broader themes or anything that could be construed as art. Bob Saenz is different. He understands the ‘rules’ of Hollywood. But he also understands the writer’s intentions. He works on many levels. At the same time, he has an uncanny ability to cut to the chase. Sometimes that ‘chase’ is a major narrative hole. And sometimes it’s a subtle character issue. Whatever his comments may be, they are always honest, personal and constructive. He’ll never try to squeeze your script into a pre-conceived set of rules.


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I first met Bob a few years ago on a message board for writers. I was extremely new to screenwriting and had just received my first rejection.
I had never spoken with Bob before, but had taken notice of the genuine advice and encouragement he had given others on the message board.
I wrote him a private message. I was fishing for a little pep talk.
Bob had no idea who I was at the time, but he wrote me a long, quite helpful, reply.
We stayed in touch and when I finally had my first “commercial” script complete, I sent it to Bob for coverage. I was still new to the business of screenwriting and I honestly thought I had the next L.A. Confidential on my hands.
For the next couple of days I was anxiously awaiting Bob telling me how brilliant my vampire spec was.
Within a few days we spoke by phone. Within 30 seconds of listening to Bob, I realized my script was not ready. He laid out all the problems the script had and he didn’t beat around the bush. But at the same time, he was nice and constructive in his criticism.
Earlier this year I sent Bob a second spec. Once again, within a couple of days Bob had read it and was ready to discuss the script. I called him, and we talked for probably a half an hour. This script had the complete opposite reaction from him. For the most part he seemed to really enjoy it and gave it some pretty high praise. He had a few issues with the opening and the ending and again, he was really honest and straight forward about these problems, why they bothered him, and how they affected the script as a whole.
I couldn’t really disagree with anything he said, and the script is better because of his advice.

Through feedback and coverage on my scripts he has taught me a lot about telling a great story.


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I've been script writing for a couple of years now, but before I wrote any of my other scripts, Bob covered my "first screenplay.” He was patient, positive and thorough in providing details and notes on my script. My script had many holes in it, but I got the encouragement and honest advice I needed. “You've got writing talent so, don’t give up, but you really gotta do A... B... and C... before this can be reader ready.”

When you're starting out it's easy to get depressed by the myriads of different advice: like searching for a new religion during a 19th century religious awakening. Thanks to Bob's professional coverage I was able to skip the ambiguity and jump start my writing career. A couple months after following Bob's notes I was able to secure a work for hire assignment from a local producer.  


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Bob Saenz was the first person to offer me honest, legitimate feedback on my work, and in addition, was kind enough to speak on the phone to point out my script’s problems. We spoke for an hour (there were a lot of problems), and I’ve sent him everything I've written since--unless I know there's no point in wasting Bob’s time, because I know how well you have to write to impress him. He’s a fantastic analyst, an even better writer, and a damn respectable actor.

What’s more, Bob is still responsible for producing the best unproduced spec screenplay thriller I’ve read to this day, one I still pass around to my friends when I want to show them the type of work I’m aspiring to write. His emphasis on craft and story is really, really strong, and that’s apparent in all of his work. If you need someone to tell you how to fix your story, or better yet, just fix it for you, I would recommend Bob first, every single time.


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A lot of people have read my scripts over the years, and I learned quickly to recognize who could be trusted: who was simply criticizing because they thought it was their job, and who honestly knew what works dramatically and could articulate it; who was hunting for the best way to say “No, thanks,” and who was making high quality suggestions that would genuinely improve my work. So I was very happy to find Bob. This is a man who does not mess around, a fast thinker with a sharp critical sense and scary instincts for zeroing in on the problem with a script (and there are always problems). More than that, he knows how those problems can be fixed if you’re willing to listen. I was willing to listen and he made me see my script in several new ways, all of them better.


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Insightful, honest, incredibly accurate...Bob’s coverage abilities are stellar and cover all facets of a script that need to be firing on all cylinders to attract the attention of an agent, manager, producer and everyone in between. I’ve used Bob’s services in the past and will use them in the future. His observations are pertinent in readying a script for the brutal spec marketplace.


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Recently I was lucky enough to work with Bob Saenz, who consulted with me on my script. As I soon found out, my screenplay needed lots of work. I had adapted it from my own play and it still read like a play. Bob was very generous with his time, helping me to “open” up the script. Bob is not only knowledgeable, he is patient and understanding. It took me two passes before I could accomplish what he was trying to teach me. When it finally came together I couldn't believe the difference. I was able to craft a pitch around my new script and take it to a big pitching conference in L.A. After pitching to thirteen execs, seven asked for the script or a treatment. It is too early yet to know what will happen, but I am delighted with the work we did and the doors that it opened in Hollywood. 
During the time I worked with Bob I learned many tips about screenwriting that one doesn’t learn in books. But even before that I knew Bob was a consummate writer, himself. All I had to do was read THE PAGE, one of his original scripts. It was absorbing and fast moving and very funny. I was emotionally engaged and rooting for the hero. Whether it’s for a consultancy or a rewrite job I recommend Bob without reservation. Likewise, if a studio is looking for an original script that is perfectly crafted and engaging, they should contact Bob Saenz. 


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The main problem with script feedback is that it’s rarely helpful. You’ve just finished a big project and people want you to feel good about it. So what happens? They sugarcoat things. They may tell you something’s good, when in fact it isn’t. Despite your lifted spirit, you don't learn. You don’t progress. 

If you want to bring your writing to the next level, you need feedback that’s honest and thoughtful. Feedback from someone with experience. Feedback from a guy like Bob Saenz.

Bob’s a story expert with years of industry experience. He’s as good at fixing story problems as he is at spotting them, and he doesn’t focus on the mundane. He just wants your scripts to be better. He’s helped me breathe life into mine, and I’m happy to say that industry professionals are taking notice.


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