We’ve happily worked with writers from all over the world, at all different levels of experience. Here are comments from just a few of our satisfied clients/friends, all with produced credits and projects we’ve helped on. So, some endorsements:


“Key Payton is one of the most highly gifted story/script consultants I have worked with. His abilities at analyzing story structure, character development, plot, theme, tone and style — all with a constructive eye to making a screenplay the very best it can be — are second to none. Key is also an expert on script formatting, and a master proofreader. I would not send out a project before I had Key review it. His knowledge, wisdom and experience are invaluable. — William R. Ewing, co-writer and producer, End of the Spear, etc., former Sr. VP of Columbia Pictures Production Administration


“Key Payton has long been one of my top story advisors and script readers. His meticulous attention to story details, structure, and character development makes his input invaluable. His insights have helped me make all of my scripts better. Key is always one of the first people I have read my rough drafts, and — because of his unparalleled ability as a proofreader — the last person who reads my scripts before they are sent to my agents, the studios, or the networks.” — Dean Batali, TV writer-executive producer (“That ’70s Show”; “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”; “What’s Up, Warthogs?”; et al.)


“When brainstorming and writing a screenplay in just one week, you can really develop tunnel vision. Key provided that much-needed step back, that wider perspective to point out what was missing and how to fill it. Thankfully that perspective also included a detailed understanding of the story, characters, and theme, beat by beat — and in time for us to have a great story for this speed-filmmaking competition.” — Brandon Adams, writer-director-cinematographer on Useless, Best Film of the 2011 168 Film Festival


“When I was struggling to crack the story of an historical adaptation, Key Payton proved invaluable. Through patient questioning and strategizing, Key helped me hone in on the theme of the film and the arcs of my central characters. After meeting with him, I knew I was well on my way to creating a fresh, compelling and cohesive script.” — Nancy Sawyer Schraeder, novelist and screenwriter (Rivka; Magdalena: Released from Shame; Ready or Not)


“Key is one of our top script consultants. Not only do our alumni use him, but also some of our faculty — as well as other production companies and writers. Particularly skilled at working with highly-motivated-but-still-inexperienced writers, Key is our go-to guy when particularly complicated projects come in.” — Jack Gilbert, the late director of Act One Script Consulting (and for 20 years the head of the Warner Bros. Writers Workshop)


“Absolutely fine, a great thing, very helpful! Key did a superb job and we were extremely pleased. Our sincerest thanks for his help on the script for e’Lollipop 2: Tsepo’s Story.” — André I. Pieterse, former Executive VP of MGM, now writer-producer-CEO of Ma-Afrika Films (producers of the ground­breaking South African hit, e’Lollipop: Forever Young, Forever Free, as well as When the Lion Feeds, The Word of a Gentleman, and Zoyatchka)


“Key Payton has a great understanding of story, including how to flesh out the characters so your competing values are interfaced in the most-dynamic way. He asks all the right questions, and he’s also quite savvy at punching up a script when you get to that polish stage.” — Cheryl McKay, novelist and screenwriter (The Ultimate Gift; Never the Bride)


Faith Happens is an incredibly complex multi-plot drama, and at the script level it was a massive challenge to sort out and prioritize the stories that really needed to be told. Key Payton not only was incredibly helpful at helping me organize the storytelling, but also offered a take on the ‘big picture’ that helped me improve the ‘voice’ of the movie. He was also a joy to work with, and it doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks, Key!” — Rick Garside, writer-director-producer on Faith Happens, as well as similar credits on A Beating Heart; The Trial; Alone Yet Not Alone; et al.


“As far as screenplay proofreading, Key is one of the most thorough people I’ve ever met. He also has the keen ability to suggest fresh story solutions that stay logical while keeping perfectly in sync with the genre, tone, and style of your script.” — Amy Heidish, playwright (Say Goodbye, Toto) and screenwriter (Two Million Stupid Women)


“Key is one of the most insightful and articulate analysts Act One has ever had on board (and we’ve worked with hundreds of screenwriters). Key has the unique ability not only to recognize where each project needs development, but also to communicate to each writer his analysis — and the principles behind it — in a clear, compelling, and also affirming manner. Not only does each project get better; more important, each writer does as well. You simply could not hire a better screenplay analyst, writing coach, or small-group-workshop leader than Key Payton!” — Gary David Stratton, former executive director, Act One: Training for Hollywood, and professor of theology, Bethel University


“Key is a peach of a human being. He has that rare combination of deep understanding and concern, in conjunction with a fantastic grasp of his art. He has helped me tremendously to realize possibilities in my screenwriting efforts.” — John David Ware, founder and chairman of the annual 168 Film Project


HUNKS was a good idea of a script, yet it very much looked like a ‘newbie’ had written it. Key gave it a professional finish so I could hand it to anyone in the industry, knowing it now read like the genuine article. And on my next project, Key was great at asking the hard dramaturgical questions that I kind of wanted to avoid… but answering them made the difference between it just being a good idea and becoming a great script!” — Jim Shores, screenwriter of HUNKS, which won Best Original Screenplay at the 2011 Gideon Media Arts Festival

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USELESS (2011)
Best Film 168 FilmFest
Best Screenplay 168 FilmFest
and more!

Best Comedy, GIAA FilmFest
Award of Merit, The Indie Fest
and more!